Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Great Columbia Crossing

Today was the 28th Annual Great Columbia Crossing- a 10K/6.2 mile Walk/Run that crosses the Columbia River near its mouth. This is the third or fourth time I've participated. The sunrise this morning was gorgeous.

This year I walked with my sister. My son and nephew ran. Here I am with my youngest (Kyle). We got up very early and rode the shuttle bus to the Washington side of the Columbia River, where we had two hours to kill before start time. It was very breezy and cold - about 40 degrees, I think. Hats and gloves would have been nice - next year we'll be better prepared.

Three thousand walkers and runners gathered at the Dismal Nitchrest area. After a mile, we crossed the 4.1 mile-long Astoria-Megler Bridge (usually open to vehicle and cycle traffic only) and finished in Oregon.

This is my sister and I (Deb's on the left, I'm on the right). It's not easy to have a good hair day with all that wind. I'm SO thankful it didn't rain this year.

We'd like to train for next year and try running it. Neither of us are natural runners, so I'm sure we'll suffer mightily, trained or not. The rise and span of the bridge are deceptively long.

This bridge is the longest continuous three-span truss bridge in the world. It rises 205 feet above the river, over a major shipping channel. It used to be a toll bridge, back when I was new to the area (some 23 years ago). Once the bridge was paid for, the toll went away. Hey! I see my friend and coworker Shaun in this photo. Many hospital staff participated today.

This photo was taken at the top of the span. We're just starting to get our autumn colors here. I think October is my favorite month. Very crisp and cool, but sort of risky for an event like this.

If you have time, check out the links in this post for a little history.

I really don't think we need to leave quite so early next year. The thing is, parking can be a challenge. I suggested we walk to the shuttles (about 1-1/2 mile from our house), but for some reason no one was interested.

Oh, and I did get the T-shirt.

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