Friday, November 16, 2012

The Avatar Checks In!

It's time to check in on the Running Avatar!  And since there has been a little bit of confusion about what exactly the Running Avatar is, let me reiterate that it is the extension of my running self into the world.  No, wait, that's too abstract.  The idea is just that I have an imaginary running-Michael out there in the world, and when I run a certain distance -- let's say four miles -- in the humdrum surroundings of my real life, the Avatar moves four miles as well.

Although he's only been going for a couple of weeks, the Avatar already seems surprisingly far away.  He/I took advantage of the long weekend just past to put in quite a few miles, and this brought him right away to Silverton, Oregon, a cute-as-a-bug town which is among my favorites in the Willamette Valley.  (Willamette, for the foreigners among you, rhymes with "damn it," and the Willamette Valley comprises the inhabited portion of the Beaver State.)  Mrs.5000 and I like Silverton, and have been known to go there for a little mini-vacation.  It is the home of the lovely but not-quite-close-enough-to-the-freeway-to-be-entirely-prosperous Oregon Gardens... well as a middlebrow family Mexican restaurant which is among my many favorites of the genre.

The Avatar's original intention was to carry on southwestward towards Corvallis, Oregon, which is his immediate destination, but it's hard to pass through Silverton without visiting Silver Falls State Park, a lushly forested canyon with an embarrassment of extremely lovely waterfalls.  So, he turned left at El Toro and took the Falls Highway to the southeast.  On Monday, he reached the park.

Leaving Oregon Highway at the north end of the Trail of Ten (10!) Falls, he enjoyed his first off-road running for a while.

Ten is a lot of falls, although the dirty little secret of the Trail of Ten Falls is that you only see nine of 'em unless you take the side trail to Winter Falls.  But still.  Representative sample:

As of this post, the Avatar is in the south parking lot of the state park, ready to get back on the highway and get moving towards Corvallis by way of Salem and Albany.  If there's anyplace in the mid-Valley you'd like to have him visit, let me know.  He's not afraid of a little detour.


pfly said...

For a long time I thought it was pronounced WILL-uh-MET-eh. In my defense this was growing up in Buffalo where there is almost zero need to ever say Willamette.

Jenners said...

He's having a lovely scenic time … better than you I suspect.

gl. said...

that seems like a nice place to run to and through!