Sunday, February 5, 2012

Obsessive much?

I've been slowly collecting pictures and course data for the Gorge Waterfalls 50K. And then relooking at it constantly. I finally decided I needed to amalgamate these obsessions instead of keeping 30 tabs open on my internet browser. Now I can revisit it all through this post whenever I need to.

Photographer's Pics of the Gorge Area (Not Exact Race Route)
The race finish, also where we park, is at Wyeth Campground, Exit 51 off of I-84. Then, they shuttle you a 40 minute drive west to the Wahkenna Falls Trailhead, which is Exit 35 off of I-84. This is the start, and then we begin our point-to-point 31(plus) miles. It's been said that the race director, James Varner, always ends up with courses that are long, and this one is rumored to have been more like 32+ miles per GPS. Hmm.

A friend sent me this link titled "Long Winter Walk with Friends" to understanding the beauty, and treacherous terrain, of the region, minus hopefully a vast majority of the snow when I'm there! Definite freaky moments of "I'm going to run or powerwalk where?" Again, these pics aren't from the actual course. They were taken at Eagle Creek Trail which is located off Exit 41 of I-84. So it's a side trail from right where we'll be going through it seems like, even just from the exit ramp number.

A couple of the pictures from the photographer's blog post...
Walking along the side of a mountain, just a normal Sunday, LOL

Um, I heard there were cliffs. Yikes. But look at that view!

Look at the size of those trees!
Videos That Capture The Beauty
Then I keep reading and rereading @RunnerTeri's blog post from last year's Gorge Waterfalls 50K. It was a good write-up with some great pictures. Also, she has a link to this video of Elowah Falls from the race company, which is so cool and gets me psyched up! Listen to the thunderous sound of the falls!

Speaking of videos, this video actually shows the race start too!

And this video was taken by one of the actual race participants. Because he's running, it's pretty shaky at times, but he captured video during the race of a waterfall that we actually get to run BEHIND!!!

More Examples of Brutal But Beautiful Terrain
Laura K's blog entry from last year has some amazing pictures. Example: a slope talus crossing. I had to look up what this even means. Basically, the mountain has a trail going through it, but it doesn't really level off, it's just there in the middle of this large slope down the mountain. See Laura's picture.
See the rocky trail crossing the side of this mountain? I'll be running that!
Here's a picture from one of the official photographers. Look at the little people and the cliffs!
Photo credit: Candace Burt
A look at a steep switchback. Note the height of the surrounding walls next to the trail to see steepness!
Photo credit: Tom Riley
Course and Elevation Profile
I found this page of someone's Garmin data who ran it last year. Here's a snapshot of the course and elevation profile...

Travel Plans
I guess it's getting real, because I've finally started looking at travel plans. It looks like there are two nearby towns.

1) Cascade Locks, 20 minutes away. There are two types of hotels, $60 a night really cheap ones and $250 a night resorts. The more affordable ones have reviewed where it's described that they give you earplugs for the trains that go right by them in the middle of the night. Um, no thank you.

2) Hood River, 15 minutes away. Good standard hotels here. Looks like I'll stay there!

Staying at a hotel in Hood River is 1 hr, 15 min from Portland.

I'm thinking about flying in late Friday to Portland Airport, getting my rental car, and staying Friday night at an airport hotel.

Saturday: I could spend a couple hours in Portland, then drive the little over an hour to the Hood River hotel, stopping to make sure I can find the race parking along the way. Rest, maybe a nap, dinner, lay out gear, bedtime.

Sunday: run the race.

Monday afternoon: fly back home!


  1. That looks freakin' gorgeous! I hope your training continues to go well! :)

  2. Yikes indeed but absolutely gorgeous views!