Category: Walking Group


Quick post today. What? You thought I meant something else? 😉 That can burn a lot of calories, too. But, on to the real reason I’m posting. Today I got to walk with a friend who brought her dog along, too. It was cold, but bright and beautiful. Of course, I had to take a photo of “the tree”. No birds were there today, rude or otherwise. As with all most posts, scroll over the image for more info.

There were lots of people out walking, running, taking their dogs to the dog park. Here in the Northwest we have to take advantage of the sun whenever we get a chance, especially in winter.

I don’t have any deep philosophical thoughts to share today. Just happy to be alive and able to walk around outside taking in the fresh air and sunshine, enjoying good coversation with a friend. Now it’s time to get some care packages together to send over to soldiers in Afghanistan as a “thank you” for putting their lives at risk so we can do things like go for a walk whenever we want to or post whatever we want to say for the world to read. What will you choose to do with your freedom today?

Let me just say that I’m going to need some people to start walking with me because today I think I spent more time taking photos and video than actually walking. That’s ok today, though, since I have ChaLEAN Extreme Burn Intervals and Ab Burner to do, too.

I headed out, down the same street I always do, past rows and rows of apartments with cars lining both sides. I was stopped in my tracks when I saw this. As I stood there taking in the scene the owner of the car pulled up. He said that no one knew who did it. Unbelievable! Who smashes someone’s car to that degree and just drives off?? I found out later from his wife who was standing there with tears in her eyes that the person hit two other cars, too. Her’s just got the worst of it. I can’t even believe the person was able to drive away from it. I can only speculate, but it seems you’d have to be drunk or high to cause that kind of damage and keep on going. I felt so bad for them. All I could do was offer to let her use our third car if she wasn’t able to get  rental. (The fact that we have three cars is a whole other story involving more rude people who seem to think taking someone’s car for a joy ride is acceptable behavior.)

I went on my way, past Autzen Stadium like I always do, but decided to take a different part of the path. Had to take a few shots of “the tree”. It’s shown up in all of my posts with photos from walking so far. No reason to stop now. Looked at it from a different angle today. It had some visitors. The large bird was very impressive. Not sure what kind it was and I wish I had a better camera. The smaller black bird was not happy about sharing the tree and was letting everyone know. The video quality isn’t great, but I still found it amusing.

The large bird stood its ground…or limb…and I moved on.

As I headed back home I heard a tap tap tap above all the other sounds. It was a woodpecker with a bright red head. He was still long enough for me to take several pictures, but my camera was not cooperating and I didn’t get any good shots. Back at the apartments I saw another cute little bird chirping away. It was not as cooperative as the woodpecker. Just as I took the picture it flew away. It landed nearby, but went under a car. Rude. 😉

I only took a few photos on today’s walk for two reasons. 1: Uploading all the photos from my phone caused me to go over on my data plan and the batteries in my actual camera were dead. (Note to self…buy rechargeable batteries.) 2: I was distracted by the events that transpired last night and my reaction to them.

The night started off as usual. I read for a little while in bed before the book slipped from my hands and hit me in the face. I turned off the light and went back to sleep. My husband tried to wake me when he finished his online tutoring so we could watch a movie on Netflix together. As usual, he was not successful. Once I’m out it takes a lot to get me out of bed. I continued to sleep soundly until a sound began to creep into my dreams. It was banging and shuffling and grew louder as I came into consciousness. Still half asleep, I tried to mentally locate the source of the sound. Then footsteps, running fast. Just as I realized they were coming from the hallway outside our door a woman’s desperate voice cried out, “Somebody help me! Help me, please!”

My heart began to race as I laid there trying to decide what to do. My first thought was to jump up and see what was happening. Then it occurred to me that if I opened the door the woman might run in followed by her persuer. The sounds from the struggle were coming from right outside our door. I didn’t want to take the chance of putting my family at risk. At that point, I was frozen by indecision. I heard the door to the stairwell across the hallway slam shut and then silence. There I was, still in my comfortable bed trying to make sense of what had just happened. Was this a prank? Remembering the fear in her voice I didn’t think so. Had someone else let her in or at least called the police? Surely. Should I get up and see what’s happening now? I knew I’d have to venture out of the safety of our apartment and my still sleeping husband who, as an infant, lost his mother to a burglar wouldn’t have wanted me to do that. As the questions swirled around my tired brain, I drifted back to sleep.

Again, a sound interrupted my dreams, more abuptly this time. Someone was knocking on the door. Again, unsure of what to do I was still. Another knock, a little louder. I though it might be the police so I sat up and began to head for the door. A third knock, still louder. Whoever it was, they weren’t going away. My husband woke up this time and in a whisper explained everything that had happened. He checked the peephole and said the police were talking to our neighbors across the hall. “We need you to answer the door!” The officer’s voice boomed as he knocked one last time.

I opened the door just enough so they could see me. The three of them began asking questions. “Are you here alone?” “Who else is in there with you?” “Is everyone alright?” “Did you hear anything?” I told them what I had heard, then they asked if I heard gunshots which I hadn’t. “Are you aware of any domestic disturbances here?” I said that things have been pretty quiet around here recently. They went on their way, canvassing the other tenants and we went back to bed. After tossing and turning for a while I was finally able to go back to sleep.

Despite all the commotion, the kids slept soundly through the night and got ready school just like every other day. The sounds of footsteps and the woman’s plea for help interrupted my thoughts as we performed our morning rituals. For a moment I wondered if any of it had happened at all or if it was all just a vivid dream. Once the kids were off to school I headed out for my walk. At first, the sun was shining brightly and it looked like it would be a beautiful day. I took a photo of a stream I pass by everyday.

My thoughts turned again to the woman. I wondered what she was thinking at that moment. Did she feel safe? Was she enjoying the sunshine? Did the morning bring thoughts of hope or more fear and desperation? Was she even thinking anything at all? As I headed West the sky began to reflect my mood. I couldn’t really enjoy the sunshine and was almost relieved to see the clouds taking over.

As I headed into the trees I asked myself why I hadn’t done anything to help her. I thought of the physical and mental abuse I experienced as a child brought upon me by a woman who was abused herself. Was the woman last night living with a person who caused her fear day in and day out? Could she be suffering as a victim of domestic violence right under the same roof? How can we live so close to others and never get to know them at all? Maybe it was a one time thing caused by too much to drink, but why didn’t I help her? All my reasons for doing nothing that seemed so logical at the time didn’t amount to much in the light of day. How could it be ok to do nothing when another human being was pleading for someone to help them? I hoped that somehow she got the help she needed and that today was a new beginning for her. The pain of abuse doesn’t end when the abuse itself does. It lingers on and constantly finds new ways into the life of the person who suffered and all those around them. It affects every relationship they have and can make them feel trapped and alone even when they’re surrounded by people who care about them. Even after years of healing, a single incident can bring back a flood of pain and fear leaving them wondering if they’ll ever really be free. That is what I experienced this morning as I asked myself why I didn’t help her.

By the time I reached the park and turned to head back it was raining. The drops on my face hid the tears that slid down my cheeks. I felt ashamed for not doing anything. Then I began to feel thankful for the life I have now. Thankful that with God’s help I’ve stopped the cycle of abuse in my family. Thankful that even though I can still feel pain from events that took place years and years ago I wake up everyday feeling safe. Thankful that I have the ability to help victims in a way that others who haven’t gone through it can’t. By the time I returned to my starting place I had a new sense of determination and the realization that I can do something to help.

We travel the same path over and over. When we’re able see it from a different perspective and decide to make changes in the way we travel the path it can become a beautiful thing…for us and the people we encounter along the way.

“I can’t believe she’s wearing spandex.” I’m sure that’s what some of the people I passed on my walk today were thinking. Being a little behind on laundry, my only choices for covering the bottom half of my body this morning were skin tight running pants or jeans. It was raining so jeans were out of the question and so was skipping my walk. Even though I was fairly certain no one was going to join me because of the weather I was determined to do it anyway.

The only waterproof jacket we have in the apartment belongs to my husband (odd considering we live in a place where it rains A LOT). He’s not a big man so in order to be able to wear it I had to choose a shirt that wasn’t bulky…again spandex. With still over 100 lbs to lose, let’s just say I’ve got some curves. As I stepped through my front door I started having flashbacks from those dreams where you’re in a public place…naked. I reminded myself that it doesn’t matter what other people think and that there probably wouldn’t be many people out today anyway. I have to admit, I was torn. Part of me wished I had a big sign around my neck that read, “I know I have no business wearing spandex, but it’s all I had today!” Part of me knew it really didn’t matter if I gave some people a laugh and the rest weren’t even paying attention.

As I began looking for things to take pictures of I forget to be self-conscious and had a wonderful time out in the rain. I had almost as much fun playing with today’s photos in Picasa. Scroll over images for info and enjoy. : )

As I was taking this next shot, I noticed a lady calling after her Siberian Husky which had taken off into the street. The more she called for it to come back, the farther away it ran. For a moment, it stopped about 5 ft from me and I realized just a moment too late that she was yelling for me to try and grab the dog. I’m not exactly the kind of person who’s inclined to reaching out to grab strange dogs. I wanted to get a shot of the dog, but it wouldn’t stay still long enough. I tried calling it to no avail so I continued walking.

Made it over to Alton Baker Park. The building shown below is the public restroom. It has stalls with no doors. It belongs in my Emergency Use Only file.

You used to be able to feed the ducks and geese at Alton Baker Park, but now they’ve asked people to stop because it was bad for the birds and bad for the people using the park. These ducks didn’t seem to get the memo.

Headed back along the North Bank Trail, back to the bridge I crossed over the other day.

There were plenty of other things I could’ve taken photos of today, like the squirrel that let me get a little too close or the blue bird looking for its breakfast or the view of the trail that looked like it lead into an enchanted forest, but some things are best experienced first hand. If you haven’t gotten outside and taken the time to really look at the world lately, I highly recommend it…even if it means wearing spandex. 😉

This morning I walked solo and felt sorry for all the people who chose not to join me. It was absolutely beautiful outside! I ended up taking way more photos than I planned. Each time I took one I thought, “Ok, this is the last,” but then I’d turn a corner and have to take another. Scroll over the images for more info.  Check out the Photos from walking adventures Category to see more.

Decided to take a different route today. Went left instead of right toward Alton Baker.

Time to head back to where I started from. Since the route I’d normally take was closed off I hopped onto Pre’s Trail.

I was supposed to post pictures from my walk yesterday, but I had such a great time catching up with an old friend that I used to work with that I completely forgot to take any. Excellent walk and even better calorie burn, 954. Today I went by myself and it was still pretty cold, but not as foggy as on Wednesday when I started taking pictures again.

Normally I don’t cross over the first bridge unless I want to take the South Bank Trail, but today I felt like going over the bridge just to get some shots of the Willamette from above. The first photo was taken looking back toward my starting point near Autzen Stadium after I crossed over the bridge. The photos below were taken from the bridge. I love the way the water flows over the rocks.