Monday, July 14, 2014

Way Beyond the Bay Area - A Peek at Sauvie Island, Oregon

Most of the Southern half of Sauvie Island is farmland.
Sauvie Island  (pronounced Saw-vee or So-vee) is 15 miles long, 4 miles wide and only 10 miles north of Portland, Oregon. My husband and I discovered it when he decided to run "The Flat," the "flattest and fastest half & full marathon on the West Coast." His plan was to qualify for the Boston Marathon. So we left our kids with the grandparents and on the morning of July 4th, Bill ran the marathon while I walked and photographed the 5K. Guess who had the most fun?

My husband does all the hard training and I go along for the ride.
The only way to reach the island is by crossing the Sauvie Island Bridge on Highway 30. Our shuttle bus, full of runners, got us there by 5:30AM (where's my coffee??), which meant we would miss the daily tourist crowds (approx. 1.5 million a year) and hopefully beat the summer sun.

Sunrise and coffee
The welcome area to Sauvie Island boasts a large produce market, a worthy gift store and (in the Autumn) a large pumpkin patch and maze. With acres of farmland and clear skies (not common in Portland), I fell in love with it immediately. I also discovered that the northern half of the island (12,000 acres) is a state managed wildlife habitat and "a major stop on the Pacific Flyway," which means lots of waterfowl and songbirds. Unfortunately, access to the bird sanctuary is limited in the late Fall and Winter because of hunting, and as any birder knows, Winter is the best time to see migrating birds. :-(

Along the 5K - nesting Ospreys!
Anyway, back to the marathon. It seemed cool enough at the start. The runners were excited and my husband had trained really well. He was ready for this!

Winning just by being there.
Love the shoes . .
I saw Bill off, then joined the 5K. Looking at all the stressed, sweaty runners as they pounded out and back, I was awfully glad to be walking, shooting pictures and having a grand time.

Good bye! See you on your way back!

I got to enjoy the sights.
I wasn't the only non-runner - this group was laughing and singing the whole way.
Now, maybe I'm gloating a bit too much. Perhaps I am a little jealous. But I can't run (physical issues) so I make sure I enjoy the walk, and it really is better for photography. :-)

As Sting would say - "Fields of Gold."

And how did Bill's race go? Although the official temperature was cool, the sun burned brightly, with no shade for the runners and no breeze. Bill doesn't do well in the heat, he never has. So he ran the marathon but he didn't make his time and didn't qualify for Boston. After training so hard it was quite a blow, but these things happen in marathons and they say it keeps you humble. .  to heck with that - Whah!

If you go: my blog just hinted at the possibilities of fun on Sauvie Island. Be sure to read all about it on their official site. For me, I would love to go back in early October to visit the pumpkin patch and hopefully the wildlife area.

Have you visited Sauvie Island? I would love to read your comments about it below! Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a fun day in an interesting location. Nice pictures supported by well written narrative.

Karen Gough said...

Thank you. Would this be a comment by JJ perhaps?