One of the many benefits of living in Portland is the close proximity to the mountains. I’m very lucky to have abundant wildplaces to run—and this summer I took full advantage of it and trained on the beautiful Pacific Crest Trail and on Mt. Hood Ski Bowl. Ski Bowl prides itself as being the largest nighttime ski area in the United States; however, in the summer, it’s perfect for hill training.
During my previous training runs on Ski Bowl, I couldn’t help but notice all of the trash and discarded bottles I passed while running up and down the face of the mountain; most likely remnants from many ski seasons. I always felt guilty leaving it behind, but wasn’t prepared to pick it all up. Excuse…maybe.
Seeing the trash reminded me of my friend Gina who always strives to pick up any waste she sees while running. At the finish lines of races, I often see her pulling out trash from her pockets that she picked up along the way. Her conscientious trail etiquette has always inspired me.
This past Saturday, I did hill repeats on Ski Bowl and again had to pass up the trash—my small pockets and hydration vest wouldn’t be able to hold all that I saw. However, I knew what I needed to do. I would return the next day armed with a large plastic bag and gloves. My mission: Pick up everything in my line of sight during my ascent and descent. And that’s just what I did. [Continue Reading]