Vera didn't understand why we'd want to leave and we were unable to explain. It just doesn't make sense.
Merry Christmas, Portland!
We crossed over Burnside and onto the narrow switchbacks of the multi-use path through the woods into Washington Park. We warmed up pretty quickly on the climb and were able to keep our toes and fingertips warm while our effort increased and the windchill abated.
We continued climbing through the park, past the Oregon Zoo up to Fairview Road and had achieved a reasonable level of toastiness when we reached the intersection. Now we were faced with a choice of descents, none of which sounded very appetizing given the frigid chill and persistent rainfall. We chose what we percieved as the least of all possible evils and turned right onto Fairview, descended back into the Washington Park neighborhoods, passed by the Japanese Garden and Rose Garden and continued the down Sherwood Blvd to the foot of the park.
At this point, the fact that we had greatly underestimated the warmth of our rain jackets and gone out significantly underdressed was abundantly clear. We had been warm briefly when climbing but had otherwise been locked in a battle for body heat and blood flow to the extremities since we started out the front door. We attempted to warm up a bit before continuing the descent into downtown by making a short ascent to a monument and overlook but felt little benefit.
We headed directly across Broadway Bridge to the Sullivan's Gulch neighborhood to take care of Jemima, warm up gloves and search Brooke and Anton's apartment for warming alcoholic beverages (we found none) while attempting to shake off the persistent chill. After attending to the big, furry lady's needs, we pulled our saturated gloves and jackets on for the return home via Broadway and Williams. We yelled Merry Christmas a roving bike posse who probably were toting flasks instead of water bottles. Smart folks.
After nearly two hours locked in a struggle for warmth we made it home, put the pot roast in the oven and poured another bloody mary to ward off disappointment while playing with Christmas toys. Here's hoping for better weather and smarter layering tomorrow.
654cal (a gross understatement, I'm sure)