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Outside for the Holidays

Cards made in previous draw your own nature- themed cards classes.
Cards made in previous draw your own nature- themed cards classes.

Holidays mean curling up by a warm fire, cocoa in hand, cat on your lap, with your stockings hung by the fire with care ... Because hanging your socks by the fire is a great way to dry them after a nice long hike in the rain.

The holidays are upon us, and for Oregonians those couple days off we get for stuff-bread-up-a-turkey’s-butt day and that other holiday when having an old man sneak into your house at night is somehow a good thing don’t have to mean shopping, eating and complaining about shopping and eating — they mean it’s time to put on a warm, dry coat and head outside. 

Nearby Nature gets you outside and helps with your holiday preparation on Saturday, Dec. 1, from 1 to 4:30 pm with its Lessons in the Learnscape Workshop: Draw Your Own Nature-Themed Holiday Cards with David Wagner. The event will be held at Nearby Nature’s yurt in Alton Baker Park and participants will draw pictures and take home cards at the end of class. Bring a favorite nature photo and a microtip pen and make all the relatives happy with your eco-oriented handmade cards, and Wagner says the method he will teach “is akin to tracing; it substitutes for drawing skills,” so no worries if you are new to art. The cost is sliding scale, $17-$30 for members, $20-$35 for non-members, with work trades available. To register or for more information, call 687-9699 or go to www.nearbynature.org/learnscape.

Nothing says love like a scented card, or any thing that smells good, so luckily for you nature lovers and artists, Cedar Creek Botanicals in Dorena is offering a holiday herbal workshop on Nov. 18. The focus is on perfumes, and for $45 you will blend two perfume blends out of essential oils, make a solid perfume stick and a perfume oil, and after eating an organic lunch, participants will make refreshing tonic sprays for the face. To find out more or reserve your spot, call 946-1012 or go to cedarcreekbotanicals.com

If you are the athletic type, there are always a lot of 5Ks to keep your blood pumping. Bonus: Races usually come with a free T-shirt. We do not recommend race T-shirts for re-gifting. On Nov. 22, the Turkey Trot at Skinner Butte Park features a 4-mile run, 2-mile walk and 200-meter kids’ “Gobbler Gallop.” Call 484-9883 for more information, that same phone number will also give you info on another Tofurky Day race: the 31st annual Turkey Stuffer 5K at Splash! At Lively Park.

For the true outdoor runner, Dec. 15 is Mt. Pisgah’s Frozen Trail Runfest and it bills itself as the “the muddiest, coldest, hilliest, most scenic event you’ll run all winter,” if you’re feeling really athletic you can tackle the 50K portion of the event. 

For those of you who didn’t stay up all night drinking champagne on New Year’s Eve ... or maybe for the hardy souls that do, and yet can still get up and run, there’s the First Run at Valley River Inn on Jan. 1. For those of us who plan to be fit and sleep in, you can run the 10K or 5K at noon on Dec. 31 instead. This is another Eclectic Edge event, so also call 484-9883. 

Not into spending money or the whole gift-giving thing? Hikes are free (or a small fee) all year round at places like Howard Buford Recreation Area, Elijah Bristow State Park, the Ridgeline Trail and more. Put your Santa hat on, slap the reindeer antlers on the dog and get outside.