Two wildlife refuges, Indian Heaven, and trying to keep up with fall colors, Sept-Oct 2019

It has been a busy couple of weeks – a quilt show, a fiber festival, hikes at two wildlife refuges and Indian Heaven Wilderness. Meanwhile, the Mac hard drive is off at the Genius repair shop. I am learning blog work-arounds via iPad.

Friday, September 27 – I attended the Northwest Quilt Expo, admired all the quilts and photographed many. This vintage Tile Friendship Quilt (circa 1900, maker unknown) from the Latimer Quilt Museum, was very interesting. Seemingly random shapes are appliquéd to a plain background, each signed by a different maker in true Friendship Quilt style. It looks very modern, but it is old and entirely hand stitched!

I bought a few fat eighths to add to a batik quilt in my mental UFO list.

Sunday, September 29 -I visited the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival in Canby, Oregon, just long enough to buy a lighter weight spindle and more fiber to practice drop spinning.

Then we went to the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, our first visit there, and walked around the perimeter. Not many birds have arrived yet, but there are great overlooks and a nice winter trail for future visits. (Hike#44, 3.6 miles)

Great Blue Heron

Hawthorne berries

Looking across the refuge – soon this will be flooded with water and birds.

Great Blue Heron on the return trail.

Saturday, October 5 – We went to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge in Washington during their season closing bird fest. We walked the Kiwa Trail and part of the newly opened Carty Lake trail, and also went inside the Chinook Plankhouse to look around. (Hike#45, 3.2 miles)


Sand Hill Cranes

Sand Hill Cranes in flight.

Great Horned Owl

Carty Lake

Chinook plank house

Inside the plankhouse.

Chinook Salmon trap

Sunday, October 6 – We joined friends for a hike in Indian Heaven Wilderness – from the East Crater trailhead to Junction and Lemei Lakes. Late fall colors, thawed mushrooms and blueberries, very pretty. (Hike#46, 8.8 miles, 1000 feet)

East Crater beyond one of many small lakes along the trail.

Junction Lake

Lemei Rock

Lemei Lake

Neighborhood walks – Meanwhile, in Northeast Portland, the days grow shorter, the light angles lower, the leaves more colorful.

Katsura trees


Neighborhood witches hunting…

More witches…

Ash trees reflected in nearby windows.

Rain chain shadows

Knitting – I am making progress on my Meris cardigan….

Late summer Gentians at Chinidere Mountain, Oregon

8/23/2019  Chinidere Mountain hike

The trail leads down to Wahtum Lake,



Chinidere Mountain, our destination, on the skyline.


Endemic cutleaf bugbane blooming along the lake trail.


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.


Mt Hood to the south,


and Mt Jefferson on the horizon just to the right.


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


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


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.


Explorer’s gentian



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.

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Hike #41, 5 miles, 1200 feet


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.


Signs of Fall in the neighborhood

Revisiting haunted trees on Vista Ridge, and winning the Tour de Fleece

Vista Ridge to Wy’East Basin on Mt Hood, July 25, 2019

We like to hike Vista Ridge on the north side of Mt Hood at least once a year. I posted previous reports from 2017 in June before full snow melt, 2017 in August, and 2018 in August.

Today was hot going through the burned trees, but I found a few old and new ghost friends along the way:

Eventually we made it to the blooming alpine meadows of Wy’East basin.


Barrett Spur and Mt Hood


Looking north toward Mts Rainier and Adams


After lunch we continued hiking above the basin to a remnant snowfield, and a view over to the other side of the mountain.



Snow surface covered with debris


Looking over the lip of the moraine to Mt Hood and MacNeil Point.


View north from our high point – Wy’East Basin, Dollar Lake Fire scar, Washington Cascade peaks.

Hike #33, 7.7 miles, 1700 feet.

Flowers of note:


Fleabane just beginning to bloom.



Pasque flowers – an all-time favorite!


Tour de Fleece Podium

I finished spinning, plying and setting the brown fiber:

I have made headway on this white fluff:

Version 2I spun while cheering on the superhuman athletes who propel themselves on bicycles for 21 days! So many ways to win in Le Tour de France – jerseys, stages, sprints, mountain tops, combatitiveness, even a red lantern for the last place finisher, and I feel I have won too, by spindling every day. I am looking forward to adding more spinning to my crafting time.



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.


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


It is berry time at the farmer’s market,

and we have more blooms in the garden.

32. Trillium Lake Snowshoe, Mt Hood

Trillium Lake Snowshoe  November 18, 2017    (#55)

We walked the loop around Trillium Lake from the Trillium Lake snowpark. It was a beautiful blue sky day with plenty of fresh snow.


View to Mt Hood from the snowpark


Access road from snowpark to the lake

We stopped near the dam for lunch.


The lake has a thin ice layer.


Ice layer


Snowy lake shore


Lunch view


Ski runs above Timberline Lodge on Mt Hood

Continuing around the lake:


Lake view from the southern trail


Mt Hood ahead

Summit meadows


5.5 miles/500′

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A summer view of Trillium Lake and Mt Hood:


June 2013

Looking back toward Trillium Lake and Mt Jefferson from the slopes of Mt Hood:


February 2015



Two more washcloths, 2 small skeins of handspun yarn.

30. Coyote Wall, WA

Little Moab trail on a misty day.   Nov 6, 2017  (#53)


Monday was supposed to be clear in the eastern gorge after a rainy weekend, but the clouds did not move out until afternoon.  Fortunately, the misting rain at the Coyote Wall trailhead dried up about the time we got our boots on.  We walked the old road section, admiring the remains of fall colors, then wound our way up the cliffs of the Little Moab trail.


Dried flower seed heads in the grass,


lichen and moss on the rocks,


fog on the top of the wall,


all the views across the windless glassy Columbia River to the Mosier/Lyle/Rowena viewpoints.


‘Twas a good hike at Coyote Wall, with only a few other hikers and bikers sprinkled through our day.


4.6 miles/1300’

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We have hiked here many times – to see the first grass widows in February,


February 2015

the brilliant balsamroot in April,


April 2017


April 2017

the autumnal colors of fall, as we saw today, and snow in winter:


December 2015


December 2015

I am hoping someday the trail below the wall will reopen to hikers – it would be a lovely loop.

Knitting, spinning, quilting:

I have spun more singles and plied, skeined and washed my first practice yarn.


I cast on a Sonic Six hat with the tubular 1×1 rib cast on in Total Eclipse yarn and am enjoying knitting the slip stitch pattern.


I finished the fourth of the blue and purple washcloths.


I have sewn the first two rows of the Atmospheric River clamshell quilt – so far, so good.


29. Palmateer Point and Drop Spinning

Palmateer Point, Mt Hood       October 27, 2017      (#52)

When we were at Frog Lake Buttes in September, we saw the view of Mt Hood included a closer viewpoint at Palmateer Point.  We put that on our list for a future hike, and this late October fall day was perfect.  The hike starts at Barlow Pass, then proceeds south on the Pacific Crest Trail for 1.3 miles before heading east across Palmateer Creek to the rocky bald that is Palmateer Point.  There were landscape views that included the bright yellow triangular larches. Huckleberry and vine maple provide the reds and gold of autumn.   DSC09580DSC09583DSC09571DSC09626From the lunch spot at the top of Palmateer Point we identified the bright orange of Barlow Butte as another spot to put on our future hike list.


Approaching the top of Palmateer Point, with Mt Hood coming into view


Mt Hood and Barlow Butte


Mt Hood


Barlow Butte


Looking back toward Frog Lake Buttes

We circled around to the meadow called Devil’s Half Acre on our return trip.  The descent to the meadow on a steep hillside crossed by several small streams was really lovely and secluded. We will be back in spring to see the wildflowers in this meadow.



Devil’s Half Acre

Total mileage for the day – about 6.5 miles, 800 feet.

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Jonsrud Viewpoint, Sandy, Oregon

We stopped on the way home to take in the view back to Mt Hood:


Drop Spinning

I took a drop spindle class at my local yarn shop, Twisted. I have long been fascinated with how it works as it looks like magic.  I’m glad to have a chance to try it – it is not that hard, but must take lots of practice to make a smooth, even yarn.  I don’t think I will take it up as an obsessive hobby, but I can see the appeal.


My first spinning