Neahkahnie Mountain: Or, This Seemed Like A Good Idea at the Time

“Which way do we go?” There’s an obvious trail straight ahead, and an equally clear path switchbacking sharply to the left. I’ve stopped, considering, and my husband is asking the question behind me. We’ve divided most of the work in our partnership, and route-finding is up to me. The correct answer is “up,” because we’re … More Neahkahnie Mountain: Or, This Seemed Like A Good Idea at the Time

Henry Hagg Lake: A Wine Country “Wilderness”

I used to work a long way from my Portland home, out in the heart of Willamette Valley wine country. Every day I drove through gorgeous farmland: green waving fields, hazelnut orchards with their blur of fuzzy leaves above and anomalous scrubbed-clean ground below, vineyards marching in lines up the hills. In between cultivated lands, … More Henry Hagg Lake: A Wine Country “Wilderness”

Failing the Classics: Ramona Falls & Cascade Streamwatch

I kept a hiking log when I first moved to Portland. Skimming it now – terse entries noting trail names and miles walked, only – I can see I avoided the classic hikes. I don’t remember why. Exploring my new territory, I had weekdays off and empty trails all around; I could have had any … More Failing the Classics: Ramona Falls & Cascade Streamwatch

Salmon River Canyon

The scent of this morning is confusing. I’ve been here before, stood at this trailhead in the early hours of a summer day, quite recently. The rocky path, sloping up into the forest, and the talkative shallow river look and sound the same. But the smell! Sharp, rich, subtle, sweet: almost familiar and entirely alien. … More Salmon River Canyon