Knitting finish! and another Forest Park hike –

May 22, 2020

For the third week in a row we went to Forest Park on Portland’s west side to hike. We chose the segment of the Wildwood Trail from Germantown Road to Springville Road, looping back to where we started via Leif Erickson Drive and the Cannon Trail (5.6 miles, 500 feet, hike #41 for 2020.) There was a 20% chance of rain for the day – I think we got all of it during our hike. The last time I hiked in this much rain I was in a rainforest in New Zealand! 

DSC01015

We began our hike in the rain.

DSC01016

A cedar dripping with rain and moss.

DSC01023

There were some sun breaks.

DSC01033

Returning down the wide, social distance friendly, Leif Erickson Drive.

DSC01027

Robins were hopping along the trail.

DSC01031

DSC01035

Honeysuckle blooming along the Cannon Trail.

DSC01241

Thoughts of New Zealand!

Knitting Finish!

The Which Came First? shawl by designer Cheri Clark used three full skeins (1260 yards) of Malabrigo Mechita in the Piedras color way! I will be mailing this to my daughter, who chose the yarn when I saw her in January.

IMG_0895

IMG_0887

From bottom to top, eggs (eyelets), chicken feet, chicken wire.

IMG_0921

Remains of the three skeins of yarn.

Garden and neighborhood:

IMG_0897

Penstemon blooming in our front yard.

Two kinds of poppies in the neighborhood:

IMG_0899

California poppies

IMG_0901

Oriental poppies

More words of encouragement on a local Poetry Post:

IMG_0900

Forest Park

Friday May 8, 2020 Wildwood Trail

We hiked out and back, from the Germantown Road trailhead to a little ways up the BPA Road. It was wonderful to be able to hike a good distance on an actual trail. The forest was beautiful, wildflowers were blooming, and we got an unexpected view of two mountains at our turnaround point.

DSC00890DSC00932

DSC00913DSC00929

DSC00938

Mt Rainier and Mt St Helens on view from the power line road

DSC00937

We decided to hike with masks and careful distance mode, in Forest Park, a huge city park in the hills west of Portland. We don’t often hike here because it is across town, and we usually drive a little farther to go to the Columbia River Gorge. It is one of the few trails close to us that is open, and friends reported that they felt safe on their hike there. The Wildwood Trail is 30 miles long. I hope to complete all the segments over time. Hike #39, 6.4 miles, 1060 feet.

Flowers in the neighborhood

IMG_0748

native iris

IMG_0750

red clover

IMG_0799

rhododendron

Knitting

IMG_0829

One of the sleeves cooperated and the other did not. Maybe next week…

A sad week. We lost a family member to a long standing illness (not Covid). He lives far enough away, that given the pandemic circumstances, we can’t go and be with his family. The key people that need to be together are together, but it is difficult to participate from afar. I will be thinking of him when we go for our next forest walk, because he was a man of the forest.

Peninsula Park Rose Garden

 

April 23, 2020 – Another urban hike-

We walked to the Peninsula Park Rose Garden through northeast Portland. Neighborhood gardens are bursting with flowers, but it was much too early for the rose garden.

DSC00778

It is pink snow season in Portland! (cherry blossoms)

DSC00780

DSC00834

These red and white camellias reminded me of the “Painting the roses red!” scene from Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There.

Our route took us through the Alberta Arts neighborhood where personal artistic expression is abundant!

We finally reached the Peninsula Park Rose Garden after walking about 4 miles. 

DSC00830

The rose garden was built in 1913.

DSC00800

The rose beds are sunken below street level.

DSC00801

Peonies near the entrance were the brightest color there today.

DSC00808

Brickwork paths.

DSC00810DSC00813

DSC00820

The gazebo

DSC00824

The only blooming roses.

DSC00823

DSC00829

Looking west across the rose garden.

Image 4-23-20 at 10.43 PM (1)

Hike #37, 8.4 miles, 200 feet. We are hoping to find a dirt trail nearby to walk next week – the cement is very hard on my poor arthritic feet, as I am trying to keep my fitness levels up for the duration…

Knitting

DSC00837

I finished the ‘eggs’ and the ‘chicken feet’ on the Which Came First shawl. On to the ‘chicken wire’!

PS. Happy 3rd Blogiversary to me – I published my first post in April of 2017!

 

Rocky Butte

Another week of Pandemic, another urban volcano hike, new spring blooms, a bit of crafting, and some good advice from George Washington.

April 16, 2020 – Hike of the Week

Rocky Butte is another Boring Volcanic Field volcano in Portland. We walked there from the Rose City Golf course, and had a great view of the High Cascades Peaks, with a coyote sighting along the way.

Image 4-22-20 at 10.09 AM

After walking flat city streets, we began the uphill climb on Rocky Butte Road.

DSC00700

A coyote, crossing the road ahead.

DSC00701

The coyote continued up into the forest.

DSC00702

Meanwhile, we walked up the road and through the tunnel.

DSC00705

The road, tunnel, and stone walls were built in the 1930’s as part of a WPA post-depression infrastructure project.

DSC00710DSC00712DSC00714

Eventually, we reached the park on the summit.

DSC00721DSC00722

Views in all directions:

DSC00723

East to Mt Hood

DSC00724

North to Mt St Helens

DSC00739

Columbia River, Mt St Helens

DSC00727

Mt St Helens

DSC00741

Northwest, down the Columbia River

DSC00731

West to the Fremont Bridge, Portland

DSC00734

West to downtown Portland

DSC00746

Southeast to Mt Jefferson

DSC00747

Mt Jefferson

DSC00728

Mt Hood again

And a last look at Mt St Helens before heading down.

DSC00756

I always love a Peak Finder!

DSC00733

Hike#36, 6.5 miles, 420 feet.

New blooms in the neighborhood and garden this week:

Crafting:

I made forward and reverse progress on my Meris sweater. While playing yarn chicken, I made the sleeves too short. I have knit just about every part of this sweater three times, so now I will reknit the lower sleeves.  I sewed more masks, started sewing a new bathrobe to replace the one I left behind in Queenstown, and continued knitting Emily’s shawl, and the purple socks.

IMG_0724

Meanwhile in Portland:

DSC00765

Physical distancing demonstrated by our founding father!

Meanwhile, in Portland…

Back in Portland after our trip to New Zealand, we were greeted by blooming daffodils, hyacinths and wind flowers.

Catherine Creek hike, February  27, 2020

We went to Catherine Creek in the eastern Columbia River Gorge to see what early blooming spring flowers were still on view. We lucked upon a windless, blue sky day, with Mt Hood reflected in the Columbia River. DSC00152Grass widows were waning, desert parsleys, gold stars, yellow bells and buttercups were emerging.

We hiked the lower paved loop, then the upper Bitterroot Trail above the fairy ponds all the way up Sunflower Hill to Atwood Road. We walked down the connector trail to Rowland Wall, for the first time.

DSC00248

Trail connection to Rowland Wall

DSC00249

DSC00255

Going down Rowland Wall.

We still want to try the inside out switchback on the upper Shoestring Trail that we missed last time. I love that there are so many trails to follow in this area, and that each visit during the next couple of months will present a different wildflower suite.

Image 2-27-20 at 9.33 PM

Hike #29, 5.5 miles, 1300 feet.

Knitting

I knit a small amount while in New Zealand.

DSC00267

Geology shawl, and my current traveling socks.

Late summer Gentians at Chinidere Mountain, Oregon

8/23/2019  Chinidere Mountain hike

The trail leads down to Wahtum Lake,

DSC03524DSC03533DSC03539

DSC03537

Chinidere Mountain, our destination, on the skyline.

DSC03548

Endemic cutleaf bugbane blooming along the lake trail.

DSC03554

After crossing the log bridge at the lake outlet, our trail leads steeply up hill, eventually reaching the top of Chinidere Mountain, with views of five Cascade volcanoes.

DSC03598

Mt Hood to the south,

DSC03593

and Mt Jefferson on the horizon just to the right.

DSC03592

Mt St Helens, Mt Rainier, and Mt Adams to the north.

DSC03596

The burned drainage of Eagle Creek, with Mt St Helens on the far right.

DSC03599

Wahtum Lake below us to the east.

I was pleased to find many patches of Explorer’s gentian blooming along the trail and at the top of the mountain.

DSC03568

Explorer’s gentian

DSC03620DSC03617

DSC03585

Previous hikes here earlier in the season had a different suite of flowers. Today we saw the later season flowers and berries: 

Other new and notable flowers:

Berries of late summer:

We found plenty of ripe huckleberries to supplement our lunch. We saw a few north and south bound PCT through-hikers, but not many other people on the trail today. It was a fairly perfect late summer hike.

Image 8-23-19 at 5.42 PM

Hike #41, 5 miles, 1200 feet

Spinning

I finished plying the last of my Tour de Fleece yarn. I am planning to try Easter Egg dye on this yarn – stay tuned for updates.

DSC03523

Signs of Fall in the neighborhood

Wildwood Trail and Tour de Fleece

 

July 19, 2019  Wildwood Trail

A short hike this week on the Wildwood trail in the Portland Arboretum. We stayed in the shade, though it is not as hot here as other places right now. Hike #32, 2.6 miles, 200 feet.

Tour de Fleece

It is Tour de France time, which we love, and I have joined the parallel Tour de Fleece. I took a drop spindling class in the fall of 2017 at my local yarn shop. Shortly thereafter, spinning fell by the wayside as I dealt with my acromegaly diagnosis. For Tour de Fleece 2019 I pulled out my drop spindle and remaining fiber samples. I borrowed the Maggie Casey Getting Started on a Drop Spindle DVD from my library. I have been spinning a bit of fiber each night as we fast forward our way through each day’s stage in France. I love seeing the landscape, mountains, castles of France, and the bike race has been exceptionally unpredictable this year. And I feel like I am getting a new feel for spinning, and would love to take another class.

IMG_2476

I have also been knitting my traveling socks, and have started a shawl that is a gift for someone…

Garden

It is berry time at the farmer’s market,

and we have more blooms in the garden.

CT NY MD PA OH and CO, Oh My!

May 16 to June 1, 2019

This post is a summary of our recent trip to visit family and attend our daughter’s college graduation.

CONNECTICUT

We flew to Hartford, then stayed 3 days with family in the New Haven area.

Highlights: While celebrating a family birthday and spending lots of time catching up, we visited places near New Haven that held significance for my husband.

East Rock State Park

DSC00217

View from the top to New Haven and Long Island Sound.

dsc00226.jpg

Monument at the top of East Rock.

DSC00215

Looking down on the winter sledding hill, East Rock.

Lighthouse Point was a favorite childhood summer beach, but nobody was selling lemon ice today.

dsc00232.jpg

Walking toward the Lighthouse.

DSC00247

Lighthouse

DSC00245

Lighthouse Point Carousel

DSC00236

Branford – A beautiful old church near our dinner stop.

DSC00208

Branford, CT

Old Town Essex – The town and waterfront are steeped in early American history.

DSC00287DSC00268DSC00273DSC00275DSC00276DSC00282

Many of the buildings in town date back to the late seventeen and early eighteen hundreds, and are very well preserved. I loved looking at all the architectural details, especially the half-circle windows.

West Rock State Park – We took a 2 mile walk with a friend around Wintergreen Lake and saw ladyslippers in bloom!

DSC00192

Woods along the trail

DSC00173

Wintergreen Lake

DSC00187

Lady slipper! My first time seeing them!

Hamden – We met a baby grandniece for the first time. We also got to see the damage from the tornado that knocked down 30 trees at the family home about a year ago (actually a lowlight).

DSC00303

The trees along the fence line are gone! They were not able to see the neighboring houses before the tornado.

DSC00301

Newish puppy Bear, with some of the fallen trees piled beyond.

DSC00300

Maya

IMG_2181

Niece and grandniece.

DSC00099

My only crafting in this post: I used one of my daughter’s favorite childhood fabrics to make a gift bag for some  books for the little one.

NEW YORK

We took the Metro North train to Grand Central Station. A lot has changed since my only previous visit in 1982. My husband’s cousins met us at Grand Central Station, then drove us to their home in Brooklyn. The next morning they rode with us on the subway from Brooklyn to Penn Station – seasoned New Yorkers and very gracious hosts!

DSC00318

View from the train, somewhere in Connecticut.

DSC00331

Grand Central Station

Highlights:  Cityscapes, wandering around near the Brooklyn Bridge, seeing the Freedom Tower from a distance (we had been to the top of the World Trade Center on my only other visit), a lovely meal and enjoying our cousin’s garden in Brooklyn.

DSC08106

Chrysler Building in Manhattan

DSC00337

Chrysler Building detail

DSC00340

United Nations flags

DSC00358

Sunroof view on the Brooklyn Bridge

Walking around the waterfront in Brooklyn:

DSC00361

Manhattan skyline beyond the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges

DSC00372

Freedom Tower in the distance.

DSC08140

Closer view of the Freedom Tower and Brooklyn Bridge

DSC00383

A ‘beach’ under the Manhattan Bridge

DSC08113

Gothic arches of the Brooklyn Bridge

Old buildings, bridge supports and massive amounts of noise dwarfed us as we walked around. It was a bit overwhelming. I was glad to see it, but cannot imagine dealing with it on a daily basis, especially the noise levels!

DSC00380DSC00397DSC00402

It was more peaceful in our cousin’s back garden.

IMG_2200

Tree and cat in Brooklyn.

MARYLAND

We rode Amtrak from New York to Baltimore.

DSC00432

Philadelphia skyline from the train.

DSC00475

Baltimore Union Station

Baltimore Highlights: The highest light was spending time with my husband’s cousins, and enjoying their family stories, good company and hospitality. We spent a day in Annapolis, a bit crazy because it was grad week at the Naval Academy.

dsc00500.jpg

Naval Academy

DSC00498

Old bricks in the Naval Academy grounds full of bivalve shells.

We took a short boat tour of the harbor.

dsc00538.jpg

Annapolis from the harbor.

We watched a Blue Angels performance.

img_2211.jpg

My best photo of the Blue Angels.

My husband was able to take some excellent telephotos:

 

The next day we admired the natural beauty at Loch Raven Reservoir, north of Baltimore,

DSC00584

then had lunch at Ladew Gardens.  

DSC00598

This old estate includes a beautiful manor house and gardens

 

and is renowned for topiary:

DSC00624

Swans on the hedge.

DSC00625

Pointed hedges.

Topiary foxhunt:

DSC00659

DSC00662

Horseman

DSC00663

hounds

DSC00658

and fox!

We ate plenty of free delicious ice cream, compliments of a family connection to this business:

 

May 31, 2019

We rented a car to drive from Baltimore to Ohio for the main attraction of this trip – our daughter’s college graduation. Along the way, we stopped at Washington Monument State Park in Maryland for a picnic lunch, then walked a short way on the Appalachian Trail.

DSC00695

Inset picture shows what the first Washington Monument looks like

DSC00683

when it is not being repaired.

DSC00686

Views to the south into Virginia from the monument site.

DSC00693

Appalachian Trail – near the halfway point, with about 1200 miles to go to the northern terminus.

On we drove, into

PENNSYLVANIA

DSC00700

dsc00709.jpg

We passed through miles of farm land.

This was my first time driving across the eastern US and seeing for myself some of the geology I had studied in college. I had highway views of the folded strata of the Valley and Ridge province of the Alleghenian orogeny as I followed along on the map.

img_2235.jpg

Folded stratigraphy on the Google terrain map.

DSC00706

Stratigraphy at highway speed.

DSC00719

Allegheny River

That afternoon we took a 4.5 mile hike along Slippery Rock Creek with a picnic dinner at McConnells Mill State Park near Butler, PA.

DSC00749

Slippery Rock Creek

DSC00814

McConnell’s Mill and Bridge:

DSC00784

We saw rafters and kayakers on Slippery Rock Creek.

DSC00802

Spring wildflowers along the trail:

 

The next day we drove on to-

OHIO

We spent a lot of time with our daughter, and met her friends, roommates, and their families, all in town for commencement. Despite rain and thunderstorms on the days before and after, graduation day was sunny but not too hot, and all went as planned. We are very proud of her, and excited for her next adventure – moving to Washington DC where she will begin a good job as a Research Assistant.

But first, we drove her to Pennsylvania so she could join a bicycle trip with friends who were already en route. We visited many places in the eastern US on this trip, as indicated by my camera GPS map.

Image 7-3-19 at 11.03 AM

Time to head west again, but only as far as

COLORADO

We were met at the Denver airport by my husband’s cousin, his only family member we didn’t think we would see, but who was unexpectedly in town – a great surprise, and one of the best moments of the trip!  Highlights– Visiting with family, including my husband’s 99.5 year old uncle, and spending part of a day in real mountains!

img_2269.jpg

The mountains are calling and we must go!

LOVELAND PASS

DSC00937

May 31, 2019

DSC04077

Comparison to when we were here in June of 2013.

The air was crisp, thin, pure. We walked about 2 miles on the trails above the pass – we were not equipped for snow hiking.

DSC00946DSC00942DSC00964

DSC00967

bird, granite, snow

Precambrian rocks – I don’t get to see these where I live!

DSC00972DSC00945DSC00939DSC00973

We stopped for views at Lookout Mountain near Golden:

DSC00985

View to the north along the Front Range

DSC00986

Northeast

DSC00998

East to Denver and the Great Plains beyond…

DSC00999

Buffalo Bill Museum and grave on Lookout Mountain.

We flew back to Portland on June 1st, after two and a half wonderful weeks of reconnecting with family, seeing new geography, and launching our daughter into post-college life. America is an amazing country, and we have nebulous plans to see more of it, but for now, there’s no place like home! Tap, tap, tap…

DSC01007

From the high plains of Colorado

DSC01016

to the Cascade Mountains and Columbia River Gorge.

Back in Portland, June 5, 2019

We returned last weekend from two and a half weeks visiting in Connecticut, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Colorado. There were planes, trains, subways, busses, automobiles, a boat, and bicycles; a baby, dogs, cats and the Blue Angels; tornado damage, lakes, rivers, mountains, wildflowers, poison oak, and topiary; a birthday, a graduation, ice cream, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Appalachian Trail!  I will report on all that later. Meanwhile, back in Oregon, the weeds have grown and new flowers are blooming.

 

Knitting

I made a bit of progress on my travel socks

DSC01040

and started a new project at a knit-in at my local yarn shop.

DSC01043

Weldon Wagon Road, WA

5/10/2019

We walked Weldon Wagon Trail on a hot day in May. Balsamroot beginning to fade in the heat. I craved the shade, wished for a breeze in the still air, unlike the windblown walk last week at The Dalles Mountain Ranch. Lupine, clarkia, manroot, various parsleys, cutleaf violets, no sasquatch sighting this year. An enjoyable walk with friends. This will likely be my last of the balsamroot hikes this year! (Hike #22, 5.5 miles, 1300 feet).

DSC00039

Lupine along the trail in the lower woodlands.

DSC00041

First view of the open flowered slope.

DSC00044

Our trail ahead across the balsamroot slope,

DSC00047

and a view of Mt Hood across the valley.

DSC00056

Friends ahead.

DSC00057

Balsamroot

DSC00062

Looking straight up at the steep slope above.

DSC00066

DSC00078

Turnaround point

DSC00084

And back the way we came,

DSC00089

Back into the shade on a hot day.

New or notable flowers:

Neighborhood and Garden

DSC00011

Birthday bouquet

DSC00020

Our rhododendron in bloom,

DSC00026

And our native irises.

IMG_2162

Giant camas in a neighborhood garden.

IMG_2163

Local fairy garden.

Knitting

I finished the Frost Slippers. The fit is a bit tight, but they should fit someone! Interesting construction, including stranding, steeking, and seaming, and I used up a lot of the leftover Dr Who Scarf yarn.

DSC00095DSC00097

Yarn for travel knitting!

IMG_0205

((This post has the first photos using my new camera (Sony HX90V).)