Portland Oregon Half Marathon 2016

Thanks to all who wished me luck in my plans to walk the Portland Half Marathon on Sunday Oct 9th. I completely rested the two prior days and started walking the 13.1 miles at 7:25 a.m. It was my second Half Marathon Walk this year (first time I ever completed 2 in one year,) my first since turning 71 and my 8th since open heart surgery nearly 9 years ago. It rained the entire time. I finished in 3 hours and  20 minutes – average walking pace under 16 minutes per mile.


45th annual Portland Marathon and 7th annual Portland Half Marathon Routes



First item given to finishers was a long stemmed rose. Portland Oregon is often called the Rose City.



Reverse side of my t-shirt says “Montague’s” in smaller font.



Second set of items given to HM finishers: A medal and a medallion coin (and a pin) of the same design.



Medallion coin: Shows the reverse side of the medal as well.




Third item given to finishers was a long sleeved t-shirt



Fourth item given to finishers was a tree seedling. I planted it in my living room, near a window.






A history of medals and medallions won (except left most two: they were given as part of a donation)

Final Days in Palm Springs Sept 2016

So, I leave Palm Springs in the morning (Sunday 9/18/2016). I’ve been spoiled. How?

Able to swim frequently in the warm pool right outside my front door; assured sunny weather every day; breakfast ready in the garden at 8 a.m. sharp every morning; abundant conversations with folks daily at breakfast, around the pool and at the social hour; bedroom, bath and kitchen cleaned every day with bed made up nicely; hot tub soak every evening under the stars; my Maine friends’ company everyday; walking companions everyday; and use of a car whenever I needed it.

All quite different than my life back in cute little Eugene. Although I surely do miss my friends back there and my walks around Hayward field.

Please enjoy the photos that follow.

Please Note: Tomorrow, before I depart, I will post another entry consisting only of photos of interesting “home entrances” and “mailboxes.”



Larry, Don and Ken



Social Hour Setting


By Large Pool



Smaller Pool



Breakfast Area



One of two hot tubs



On a neighborhood walk



Art on the Street Fair



Don’s T-shirt



On wall of The Purple Room



On neighborhood walk



At Palm Springs Museum “The Warrior”



At Palm Springs Museum “Reclining Figure”


Sculpture at entrance to palm Springs Museum



Along a neighborhood walk



Lucy and Larry






On wall in Our Lady of Solitude



Full Moon over La Dolce Vita

Early Days at La Dolce Vita

At 11 a.m. on Saturday Sept 10th I arrived at La Dolce Vita Resort and Spa. Both owners, Tim and Ken, greeted me at the front door with big hugs. A member of the staff carried my luggage to a two bedroom suite. (Don and Ken, from Maine, will be joining me on Monday afternoon.)


In Lobby of La Dolce Vita



One of two bedrooms



Fully equipped kitchen

After unpacking I strolled the neighborhood getting in about 4,000 steps. The variety of the palm trees was amazing. See below:

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After the social hour at the pool (after two sangrias,) I sauntered, in 104 degree temperature, to Wang’s for a simple dinner of salad and green beans.




Tempura green beans

Back in my room, I watched the Oregon Ducks football game. The rest of my evening was spent quietly sitting in the garden meditating and looking at a sky filled with stars.

Sunday September 11, 2016 (a decade and a half later after the Twin Towers):

Before breakfast I strolled the neighborhood for an hour, taking pictures of colorful and unique “entrances.” (I will share them in a separate post at the end of this trip.)

At breakfast conversations centered around what we like about our hometowns, our jobs, planned career changes, retirement goals and travel interests. After breakfast, I walked to a small simple local church.


The short service began with a piano player playing “America the Beautiful” during a long moment of silence for those lost and hurt on Sept 11th, 2001.)

One key message from the service was: “Live by faith, not by sight.”

(I took this to mean, maintain “faith” that one can handle whatever comes one’s way or that “things” generally work out)

The other message was, “Don’t forget the big picture.”

(I took this to mean, when one can put problems or struggles into a larger context, ways of dealing with them begin to appear.)

Back at the resort I swam and worked out in the large pool for about a half hour.



An hour’s walk to and from town in mid-afternoon, with temperatures well over 100, wore me out. My appetite disappeared. With my shirt drenched with sweat, I arrived at the front door of the resort only to have forgotten the code to get in.

I tried three different codes, none worked. I rang the front desk and one of the owners let me in. When I told him of my memory problem, he laughed and said not to worry, “It’s the heat.” Not true, but it made me feel less embarrassed. These guys abound with kindness.

Oh, for those of you who know my habit of picking up coins, I’ve been cured! In early September you do NOT pick up pennies here. You can burn yourself!

I spent the late afternoon meeting plenty of new folks in the pool. A lively lot.


Steam Room



One of two whirlpools



Second of two whirlpools



Smaller of two pools

Afterwards I went to my room and watched part of the Patriots game. They won.

Monday Morning Sept 12, 2016:

7 a.m. I walked to and from Ralph’s grocery store to pickup some snacks and drinks for my two friends from Maine who will be joining me later today. It was about 3.3 miles round-trip, nearly 7,800 steps, a good start to my daily goal of 20,000.

Please FOLLOW my blog to receive notifications of future posts. I plan to post again this coming Friday.

Day One and Two: Palm Springs CA Sept. 2016

Thursday and Friday September 8-9, 2016:

I went for a 45 minute neighborhood walk at 7:15 a.m., my first full day in Palm Springs this time of year. The temperature was a nice 75 degrees. I encountered many locals walking dogs or manicuring their front yards. Most made the effort to say, “Hello” or to respond to mine.

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Approximately 5,000 steps later, I was at breakfast, poolside at the INNdulge, reading a New York Times’ article about Obama’s efforts on Climate Change.


Salt Water – Chilled or Heated

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I finished a second morning walk (going to the local drug store,) at 10 a.m., adding another 5,000 steps to my daily total.

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I read a bit more of a wonderful book, titled “Far and Away” by Andrew Solomon, and by noon (93 degrees) I was back at the chilled kidney- shaped pool. When others vacated, I eagerly jumped in to do some laps only to realize I had left my FITBIT on my wrist. I quickly dried it off; it seems to work just fine.


I checked my email, drafted the beginning of this post, checked out the gym at the INNdulge, reviewed a calendar of events at 14 local “friendly” pubs, and took a nap in my air-conditioned (a new high efficiency and very quiet machine) room.

At 2 p.m., with a temp of 97 degrees outside and 14 folks (nice mix of ages) floating and chatting in the pool, I chose the air-conditioned small, but well equipped, gym to work on weights and the stride machine. (Note: I scheduled my regular 3-month diabetes checkup only a few days after I return, hoping it would encourage me to not “cheat” on diet and exercise this trip. I am down 7 lbs since June and 17 lbs since February.)


INNdulge also offers access to a local larger gym for its customers.

4:30 p.m. 98 degrees:

I learned quickly to chose to walk on shadows on the cement; better yet on the grass. My necklace for the first time in 20 years began to burn my neck. My metal frame eyeglasses began to annoy me. The chaise lounge plastic seats needed the large wonderfully soft bath towel the resort provided. I must say the clear and sunny skies, the warm air and the friendly people kept my spirits high.

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6 p.m. Social Hour poolside (b.y.o.b) Very nice. Easy to chat with folks. Nice food. Very pleasant setting. Friendly and attentive staff.

7 p.m. I walked 20 minutes to the long multi-block Street Fair (held every Thursday eve from 7-10 p.m.) Amazing collection of musicians, artists, crafts, food, … locals and tourists.

9 p.m. I walked to a pub near the INNdulge. Quiet crowd but nice.

I ended Thursday at 10 p.m. with 22,634 steps (10.22 miles.) Temperature: 91 degrees, but seemed cooler. Here only 2 days yet my body seems to be adjusting!

Friday morning I went for a walk at 7:30 a.m. and got about 4100 steps in before breakfast, where I read an article on Oregon’s Measure 97 in the New York Times. During the early morning hours the pool is usually without folks, so I did my laps and then read. I packed for my departure tomorrow and washed some clothes, setting them out to dry.


Long sleeved shirt is only for chilly train rides. I don’t dare wear it in Palm Springs this time of year.

At 11 a.m. I walked back to town and in and out of air-conditioned shops (I never browse but at 102 degrees, it felt like the right thing to do.) I met Bob, a friend who moved here 4 months ago from Eugene, for lunch and good conversation then headed back to the INNdulge with over 12,000 steps under my belt. A nap, some reading, a swim in the pool and a delightful set of conversations at the evening social hour with folks from Australia, Seattle, LA, Winnipeg and Palm Springs filled the daytime. An evening was started with a final walk bringing me to my daily goal of 20,000 steps then two hours in the pool and the hot tub (with more conversations, mostly about marriage and family.)

I packed for tomorrow’s departure from this lovely resort (with a somewhat reluctant heart.) It’ll be on to the La Dolce Vita resort before the noon hour Saturday.

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Arrival Day: Palm Springs CA Sept 2016

I arrived by Amtrak bus into downtown Palm Springs at 5 p.m. on Wednesday Sept. 7, 2016. After five hours on the bus, following an equal number of hours on a Amtrak train from Sacramento to Bakersfield, I was more than eager to walk. But when I stepped off of the bus and onto the sidewalk, I felt like I had just walked directly into a brick wall. It was 91 degrees! So, I tossed my two back packs (2o lbs and 24 lbs) onto my shoulders and started the 20 minute trek to The INNdulge.


About 5 minutes into this foolish idea, I stopped in my tracks and decided to hail a cab. Not a one in sight.  I reluctantly back tracked my steps to the Arenas Street area and found a driver asleep in a cab outside of the Street Bar.

$6 later I checked into The Inndulge Resort.


Saturday I will check into the La Dolce Vita Resort for eight nights. Two friends from Maine will meet me there Monday afternoon. We will share a two bedroom suite.

Both resorts come highly recommended. I’ve stayed at the INNdulge resort a number of years ago and loved it. More recently I’ve stayed at the La Dolce Vita resort and, even though it is a bit longer of a walk to town (still easy), it too has always exceeded my expectations.

At 10 p.m. I did my laps in the chilled pool for about a half hour; then headed to an early and much needed sleep.

Please follow my blog to get updates on future posts. I plan on posting every other day from Palm Springs.


Sacramento CA. Sept 6 2016

I traveled on Amtrak’s Coast Starlight overnight on Labor Day from Eugene Oregon to Sacramento California on my way to Palm Springs. I walked about 1/2 mile from the Amtrak station to Marriott’s “The Citizen Hotel” and was able to check into my room at 7 am. Nice! I took my first stroll ever in the downtown area to have breakfast. Enjoy the photos that follow:




Cathedral Of The Blessed Sacrament



Breakfast at The Harvest Bar. Wonderful book I just started reading.



Nice Name

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“The Claims Jumper”



Award Winning Crosswalk in the Lavender District



First United Methodist Church Sign



Inside of “The Depot,” A neighborhood pub