Deschutes River/Ferry Springs Trail, Oregon – October 14th, 2020

 

Image 10-18-20 at 12.36 PMDeschutes River trail, a smattering of rain, it feels like walking through a purifying mist, and there’s no Covid out here.

DSC04083

Deschutes River

DSC04080

Rabbit brush

DSC04087

Sumac along the trail

DSC04091

Sumac

DSC04110

Raindrops on leaves

DSC04106

Raindrops in the creek

DSC04105

DSC04101

A place to rest

DSC04097

Burned tree from 2017 fire

DSC04096

Golden grasses

I could be wrong, we have passed a few hikers, anglers, a hydrologist; there are boats on the river, workers on the railroad across the river, campgrounds and powerlines nearby.

DSC04111

Looking uphill to the east.

DSC04119

Our trail continues south, upstream.

DSC04122

Columbia Hills to the north.

DSC04123

DSC04125

Rocky cliffs

DSC04128

Seagull in the river

DSC04129

Maybe because in this low desert landscape, with golden light on the black cliffs and the dry grass of late summer, I feel like I can really breathe out here; the scent of the high desert, and a smattering of rain only enhancing the sense of free fresh air.

DSC04132

Climbing up the cliffs..

DSC04133

DSC04134

Golden grasses

DSC04135

Lunch view north.

DSC04138

Looking down at the river from our lunch stop.

DSC04137

DSC04143

Looking down to the river through the rock arch.

Up on the hill now after lunch, golden and desolate views of the rivers, views of the black volcanic rocks that used to enclose cascading waters of Celilo Falls, cascading waters that used to have salmon leaping up them every year, salmon leaping up into the nets of the Celilo people, before the dam.

DSC04146

Ascending the hills.

DSC04150

Closer view of the Deschutes/Columbia Confluence

DSC04152

Windmills on the hills, power transmission lines to the dam, cell towers, highways, train tracks, campgrounds, and yet I feel alone on this golden hillside.

DSC04154

Golden grasses

DSC04157

Dried balsam root will bloom bright gold in spring.

DSC04165

Approaching the upper Ferry Springs crossing.

DSC04166

DSC04169

Ferry Springs

I feel alone even though the powerlines are buzzing above us, the powerlines are transmitting the thoughts and bytes of millions, and yet I feel blessedly alone.

DSC04170

Its all downhill now to the trailhead.

DSC04175

Dry waterfall and power lines humming above.

DSC04181

Back down to river level, with power lines.

I’m not really alone of course – hiking with Dan, in a respite from the city; the desert is a place of wide open freedom – harsh, spiky, dry, rocky, steep, prickly; hidden hazards beyond each cliff, under every rock, yet wide open above, on an autumn day, I am lucky to be here, to be breathing freely.

Bonus content: More River otters! There were six otters playing in the river near the trailhead – 

DSC04183

River otters

DSC04186DSC04192

DSC04195

River otters and ducks

Celilo Falls, Salmon fishing, before the dam:

“Courtesy of the U.S. National Library of Medicine” 

https://www.nlm.nih.gov/nativevoices/timeline/632.html

Fresh Air at the Oregon Coast

September 20 to 23, 2020

We were able to reschedule our planned trip to the central Oregon Coast until after the wildfire smoke cleared out. We stayed in a hotel, brought our own food, and walked on the beaches and trails, following all the covid-safety protocols. Many of the parks and trails along the coast were closed due to the recent windstorms and wildfire smoke event, or due to Covid precautions. But all of the beaches were open for walking.

Screen Shot 2020-10-11 at 2.45.57 PM

Central Oregon Coast, and places we walked on our trip.

Sunday, September 20th

Yachats, Oregon

We arrived in Yachats in the evening, in time to walk along the rocky outcrops near our hotel as the tide was receding, and watch a lovely sunset, with pelicans and gulls.

Yachats sunset

Yachats sunset

Pelican

Pelican

Yachats sunset

Yachats sunset

Pelican peleton

Pelican peleton

Monday, September 21st –

Washburne to Hobbit Beach at low tide – A lovely three mile walk toward Haceta Head.

DSC02869

Tidal pools and sand bars on the beach as we walk south toward Haceta Head.

DSC02893

Rocky outcrop with tide pools.

DSC02900

Sea anemones, barnacles, and mussels.

DSC02909

Blue sky, blue sand.

DSC02915

Ripples.

DSC02928

Return walk north.

DSC02953

A skittering of sand plovers.

DSC02954

Sand plovers, doubled.

Darlingtonia Wayside

After our beach walk we continued south along the coast looking for more adventures. Our next stop was to see a swath of carnivorous plants.DSC03030DSC03026

North Jetty

We followed the north side of the Siuslaw River to it’s mouth and took a walk along the North Jetty, where we again saw pelicans and plovers.

DSC03039

Entry to the North Jetty.

DSC03041

Walking seaward on the North Jetty – those shadows in the distance are birds!

DSC03055

Another skittering of sand plovers! It makes me so happy just to watch them!

DSC03056

Plovers.

DSC03060

Pelicans and other sea birds far out on the jetty.

DSC03074

Pelican in flight!

DSC03087

I spotted one seal nearby.

DSC03091

The dunes and lifeguard tower near the North Jetty entrance.

DSC03102

A line of rocks in the estuary make perfect perches for the seabirds.

DSC03104

Pelicans and gulls on their perches.

Exploding Whale park

As we drove back toward Florence, this park caught our attention. It is named for the infamous attempt to dispose of a washed up dead whale with dynamite, on a nearby beach, about 50 years ago.

DSC03115

Local citizens voted for the park name.

DSC03118

DSC03119

A short walk here reveals nice views of the highway bridge, and the dunes to the south.

DSC03117

Haceta Light House

We stopped briefly south of Haceta Head in the early afternoon to see the lighthouse through the fog. On our return trip north in later in the day, the view was much clearer.

DSC03001

Haceta Head Lighthouse from the beach, through the fog.

DSC03012

Lighthouse from the highway viewpoint, early afternoon.

DSC03126

Lighthouse from the highway viewpoint, late afternoon.

Monday, September 22nd

Wax Myrtle Trail and Lagoon Trail, Siltcoos River

Campgrounds in this area were closed, and the trails were particularly empty on this beautiful September day.

DSC03131

The walk to Wax Myrtle Beach follows the Siltcoos River.

DSC03146

We spotted a heron in the estuary as we got closer to the beach.

DSC03148

Heron.

DSC03224

We followed the Siltcoos River to the sea.

DSC03156

A line of sand dunes border Wax Myrtle Beach.

DSC03158

Dunes and beach.

DSC03170

We walked north to the mouth of the Siltcoos River, where birds were out on the low tide sandbars.

DSC03187

Pelican.

DSC03218

More plovers in the foreground!

As we walked back upriver on our return hike, another hiker pointed out three river otters who were swimming upstream and eating fish along the way. We followed along with them until they disappeared upriver. This is my first time seeing them in the wild!

DSC03225DSC03230

DSC03242

All three otters in this photo – the third one in the upper left corner. They are very fast and hard to photograph!

DSC03253

We walked partway around the nearby lagoon, where these beautiful plants floated on the surface.

DSC03260

DSC03262DSC03274

South Jetty, Siuslaw River

We drove back north toward Florence, and decided to drive out to the South Jetty of the Siuslaw River, just across from where we had walked on the North Jetty the previous day. There were plenty of people out there, also plenty of room to walk on beaches and in the dunes. 

DSC03276

DSC03278

Looking seaward between the jetties. The North Jetty lifeguard tower is on the horizon.

DSC03288

Waves crashing against the South Jetty. Not as many pelicans on the outer jetty.

DSC03282

South Jetty beach from South Jetty.

DSC03294

Seaweed on South Jetty beach.

DSC03302

Swash zone.

DSC03317

Looking south.

DSC03331

Sand dunes to the east all along the beach for miles.

Sunset in Yachats

We had a lovely colorful sky outside our hotel.

DSC03381DSC03388

Wednesday, September 23rd Yachats

We woke up to wind, and predictions of a storm coming in. We walked a short way on the beach in the wind before heading north toward home.

DSC03403DSC03404DSC03415

Seal Rock and Ona Beach

On our drive north, we stopped to look at the Seal Rocks, in the wind. 

DSC03426

Seal Rocks to the south.

DSC03419

Seal Rocks to the north.

We stopped at Ona Beach, just to the north of Seal Rocks, and walked out to the beach.

DSC03430

Crossing Beaver Creek on our way to the beach.

DSC03432

Beaver Creek estuary

DSC03434

Squirrel getting ready for winter.

DSC03436

Ona Beach.

DSC03449

Windblown sand across the tidal flats.

DSC03441

Sand ripples, birds on the low tide bars.

DSC03442

These might be our last pelican sightings for the year.

DSC03447DSC03446DSC03463

DSC03460

Ona Beach, looking south toward Seal Rocks. Too windy to explore today – we will have to come back another time.

Rain started as we headed back to the car. I felt so refreshed from our few days in the fresh air and wide open spaces of the Oregon coast, and thankful that I could be there during this difficult year of pandemic, climate and political crises. 

Another couple of pandemic weeks with a birthday, two hikes on Mt Hood, and knitting…

8/17/2020 – I’ve had a birthday, which we celebrated with a hike and a socially distanced takeout Thai dinner with our two sons. Despite the palpable pandemic/political chaos tension in the world I have much to be grateful for. Although I am missing having our usual summer get togethers with extended family, so is everyone in the world right now. I am especially grateful that we saw almost every relation last year, between two weddings and a graduation trip to the east coast. My latest acromegaly lab tests all look good, and, we are eating homegrown tomatoes and basil almost every day.

Birthday cake, flowers from my daughter,
and a few lovely presents.

I have been knitting, knitting, knitting away on a few projects, fingers keeping the anxiety away.

My neighborhood walks continue to reveal signs of encouragement and solidarity.

Also in the neighborhood, late summer flowers, shadow play, interesting architectural elements, and tinges of the autumn ahead….

Two hikes on opposite sides of Mt Hood  –

Burnt Lake August 5, 2020

My birthday hike on the west side of Mt Hood was mostly through shady forest, on a hot day, with a few stream crossings, and late season flowers. The other time we hiked here the mountain was under a cloud, so today we were very glad to see the beautiful reflections of Mt Hood in the lake. Hike #55, 8.5 miles, 1500 feet.

DSC02347

The shady forest

DSC02424

Tree scorched in the early 1900’s.

DSC02383

Mt Hood, Burnt Lake

DSC02375

Mountain close up

DSC02374

Reflection

Notable flowers and plants:

Newton Creek to Timberline Trail,  August 10, 2020

We started from the Elk Meadows trailhead, then walked uphill along the Newton Creek Trail, stopping for lunch near the Timberline Trail junction where we enjoyed lovely views of Mt Hood and Gnarl Ridge. We then walked south on the Timberline Trail toward Mt Hood Meadows for a short distance before turning back. Hike #56, 7.7 miles, 1600 feet.

DSC02428

Moon over Clark Creek

DSC02482

Newton Creek trail

DSC02432

Ghost tree in the forest

DSC02434

Gnarl Ridge beyond Newton Creek

DSC02436

Upstream

DSC02438

Downstream, fireweed

DSC02442

Mt Hood ahead

DSC02444

Lunch view of Gnarl Ridge

DSC02445

Gnarl Ridge closeup

DSC02453

We saw a few tiny hikers crossing Newton Creek on the Timberline Trail.

DSC02459

Glacier closeup

DSC02472

The peak

DSC02471

Backside of pea gravel ridge, which we walked along as far as the descent into Clark Creek.

DSC02464

Return hike down Newton Creek.

Editing note – This is my first post with the New WordPress Editor, so there are lots of formatting inconsistencies. Not loving it, but I suppose I will get used to it as I continue hurling forward into the future, keeping my synapses sharp by constant novelty….

Posting from my peaceful Portland neighborhood –

A trifecta of crises descends on my town –

I have been distracted from posting by current events. All I have been able to think about is how my community has been attacked by our own government. Federal gestapo-like forces have invaded Portland’s mostly peaceful Black Lives Matter protests and demonstrations, and created a war zone in the four downtown blocks around the federal building. Click-bait and spot news entertainment have focused on the four square blocks of federally-incited violence that occurs after most demonstrators have gone home. The leadership void in DC is trying to distract from inept pandemic management and interrupt local progress toward ending white supremacy. The ‘stormtroopers’ sent by a failed president are causing the violence. Today there is an announcement of an agreement to withdraw the troops. Our state and city have serious antiracist/police reform legislation proposals underway. I am cautiously optimistic.

I am speaking from a condition of white, middle class privilege. I myself have not been downtown, although I know people who have. I am of an age and health situation that I  think the best thing I can do to help is to stay home, not contribute to spreading Covid-19. I stay aware of what is going on, donate money, and hope that the trifecta of political, economic, and public health crises our country is experiencing will begin to resolve after November elections.

I honor the Black Lives Matter protesters. I appreciate the wall of moms, the dads with leaf (teargas) blowers, the wall of vets, the volunteer medics, street cleaners, and cooks, all the folks who have put themselves on the line to keep the conversation about systemic racism and police reform going.

IMG_0652IMG_1209

Meanwhile, in my neighborhood…

The quiet and calm in my neighborhood are uninterrupted. I see signs of support and blooming flowers on my walks.

We have been eating sungold tomatoes and basil from our garden, and we’ve celebrated another family birthday.

I seem to be obsessed with knitting dishcloths and have also cast on a new sweater.

IMG_1214IMG_1215

We have been out hiking in the past two weeks to places we have been before.

Lookout Mountain, July 22, 2020

Wildflower meadows and views of nine Cascade volcanoes, from Mt Rainier to Broken Top. Hike #53, 3.5 miles, 650 feet.

DSC02240

Mt Adams beyond the wildflower meadows of High Prairie.

DSC02155

Mt Hood from the volcanic spire overlook.

DSC02168

Glacier close up.

DSC02218

Mt Adams from the summit approach trail.

DSC02229

Mt Hood from the summit approach trail.

DSC02183

Washington Cascades from the summit.

DSC02189

Oregon Cascades from the summit.

Notable wildflowers:

 

Salmon River, July 28, 2020

A mostly shaded trail on a hot day along the Wild and Scenic Salmon River through old growth forest on the slopes of Mt Hood. Hike #54, 4.5 miles, 300 feet.

DSC02344DSC02322

Peaceful lunch spot along the river…

IMG_1205

DSC02304

arnica

DSC02302

monkey flower

DSC02287

Notable flowers…

DSC02326

Ghost pipe

DSC02337

Clarkia and blue gillia on a sunny cliff

Finding some peace in the old growth forest…

116161295_3650036398357670_598020101229165957_o

 

 

 

 

 

Two trails on Mt Hood –

7/6/2020 – Cloud Cap/Timberline Trail high point –

A favorite hike on the Timberline Trail along the high east edge of the mountain.

DSC01959

Washington Cascades from the crest of the East Eliot Moraine.

DSC01948

Eliot Glacier, Mt Hood under clouds.

DSC01967

Cloud Cap shelter.

DSC01987

 The clouds lifted while we walked south on the Timberline Trail.

DSC01999

Crossing snow fields –

DSC01998

with a view of the mountains.

DSC02020

Timberline trail high point – 7350 feet.

DSC02025

Hiking back north on the Timberline Trail along the edge of the sky.

We met this bird along the way:

DSC02038DSC02029

And lots of alpine flowers:

(Hike #51, 6 miles, 1650 feet)

7/10/2020 – Barlow Pass to Timberline on the PCT

A new trail for us on the south side of Mt Hood. The first three miles ascend steadily through lovely shaded forest on the gently graded Pacific Crest Trail. As we reached the junction with the Timberline Trail, blooming beargrass with Mt Hood beyond gave us a  breath taking trail moment – both stunning and unexpected! (Hike #52 for 2020!, 11 miles, 1750 feet)

DSC02069

Barlow Pass Trailhead

DSC02075

A new Wilderness Area for me.

DSC02074

Beargrass in the forest.

DSC02082

Beargrass in the upper meadows.

DSC02084

Beargrass, and Mt Hood!

DSC02096

Mt Jefferson and a faint glimpse of the Three Sisters to the south.

Zooming in on Mt Hood:

DSC02099

Timberline Ski area on the left.

DSC02092

Top of the mountain.

DSC02105

Glaciers and crevasses.

DSC02106

Tiny people walking around up there!

We walked along the Timberline Trail to where we could see Timberline Lodge from an overlook above the Salmon River.

DSC02109

On our way back, we noticed a waterfall in the White River drainage.

DSC02112DSC02114

Knitting

IMG_1156

I finished a Rafa Hat to be gifted (Joji Locatelli, Malabrigo Arroyo Piedras).

Quilting!

IMG_1129

I actually pieced a quilt block, for a Local Quilt Shop raffle quilt.

Garden

IMG_0616

My husband finished making a table for the yard so he can eat breakfast in the garden.

4th of July moonrise

IMG_1100

From Camas, Washington – Columbia River, and alpenglow on Mt Hood.

 

Sisters hiking interlude…

June 28 to July 1, 2020 –

We escaped to Sisters, Oregon, about a three hour drive from home, for a few days of hiking. Our motel room was self contained, we brought all of our own food, and chose uncrowded trails during the week to satisfy pandemic safety concerns for ourselves and others. The trip was successful! It was wonderful to get out of our neighborhood and into the mountains we love so dearly, to see so many wildflowers and mountain views, and to hike both new and familiar trails.

Screen Shot 2020-07-11 at 8.23.32 PM

Cone Peak Meadows June 29, 2020

Famous for wildflowers! We hiked in the fog most of the day – few views, lots of flowers, including some new to me. We didn’t go up to the Iron Mountain Lookout because of the fog, but did hike the entire loop for the first time. (Hike #48, 6.6 mile, 1300 feet)

IMG_1043

Trail map

DSC01642

Rocky outcrops above the forest slopes were covered with blooming larkspur, Oregon sunshine and blue gillia.

DSC01663

Lower Cone Peak meadows in the fog.

DSC01673

Lunch view.

DSC01687

Fog rising, Cone Peak almost visible.

DSC01689

Upper Cone Peak Meadows – death camus, larkspur, paintbrush and more.

DSC01694

Crossing the upper meadows.

DSC01715

Forested section just north of Iron Mountain.

DSC01733

Foggy glimpse of Iron Mountain, which we decided not to climb.

Prolific wildflowers in the meadows and forests!

Tam McArthur Rim, June 30, 2020

A favorite hike, often very crowded, was pleasantly unpeopled today. Also, not as windy as expected, and the views of the Three Sisters and Broken Top were stunning from our endpoint – the 7950′ red cinder ridge that leads to Broken Top. We lost the trail briefly in some of the snow patches, but the wide open volcanic landscape made it hard to actually get lost.  Hike #49, 8 miles, 1500 feet.

DSC01747

Ascending above Three Creeks Lake. That sharp prow on the left  is the overlook.

DSC01773

Enjoying our lunch view of Broken Top and the Three Sisters from the overlook, while not feeding the chipmunk.

DSC01783

All the chipmunk got were some close up photos.

DSC01791

Three Creek Lakes from the overlook.

DSC01796

We hiked on across the high plateau to the ridge, crossing a few snow patches along the way.

DSC01799

View from the saddle of the red cinder ridge.

DSC01821

Our endpoint – the top of the red cinder ridge. Broken Hand and Broken top seem just a few steps further…

DSC01820

Broken Top and South Sister.

DSC01819

Three Sisters

DSC01815

Middle and North Sisters, and the clouds sitting on the Cascade peaks to the north.

DSC01806

Our trail across the high plateau, back to the lookout.

DSC01823

We stopped again at the lookout before heading down.

DSC01828

Western pasque flowers and heather near the lookout.

McKenzie Pass and Clear Lake, July 1, 2020

We drove up to the Dee Wright Observatory at McKenzie Pass, one of my favorite places on the planet, to look at the volcanic landscape and hope for some views. The clouds wafted away from some of the peaks briefly, though the bitter wind was not hospitable to hanging around.

DSC01853

Black Crater from the observatory.

DSC01860

The Belknap Craters

IMG_1056

North and Middle Sisters appeared briefly.

We also stopped at Clear Lake, hoping to see the submerged fossil forest under the turquoise clear waters we have heard so much about. We could not see it from the trail. We did find the Great Spring, from which the McKenzie River is born, and a few new flower sightings. We will have to come back and rent a boat to see the underwater forest. (Hike #50, 5 miles, 200 feet).

DSC01917

Turquoise blue Clear Lake from the trail

DSC01906

The ripples near the bank are where the water emerges as a spring from under the lava flows.

DSC01907

Another view of the Great Spring.

DSC01924

My first time seeing candystick, one of the more unusual flowers in the western Cascades forests.

DSC01922

Candystick

DSC01883

Twinflower

DSC01934

Pink pyrola

Knitting

I brought my latest traveling socks on the trip, and they are finished!

IMG_1125

Hermione’s Everyday Socks, pattern by Erica Lueder, made from Red Heart – Heart and Sole yarn in the Bayou colorway.

Everything that is happening right now-

I keep hearing this expression on the airwaves, to describe the intersection of pandemic, political chaos and antiracist activism. I have been reading the book Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad, journaling about the prompts, and discussing the ideas with my family. I feel not exactly guilty, but impatient, with myself and the world for having accepted a racist society as status quo for so long.

Wildflower Rainbows along the trails during Pride month; some knitting, and neighborhood views –

Friday, June 19, 2020, Grassy Knoll, Washington

Wildflower meadows filled the open slopes near the trailhead.

White dogwood, lilies and anemones led us through the shady forest up the steep trail to the ridge crest.

More flowers all the way to the top of Grassy Knoll, and beyond.

DSC01387

Pink cliff penstemons along the rocky ridge, Mt Adams beyond.

DSC01418

Grassy Knoll looks green from here,

DSC01421

but the green slopes are full of flowers!

DSC01426

Summit view toward Mt Hood.

DSC01428

Summit view toward Mt Adams.

DSC01478

Continuing up the ridge, Mt Hood, the Columbia River, and more wildflower meadows.

DSC01453

And more blooming meadows near our turnaround point.

Every color of wildflower was in bloom today!

It was a great day in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. (Hike #46, 6.2 miles, 1350 feet.)

Image 6-25-20 at 3.59 PM

Tuesday, June 23, 2020, Chinidere Mountain, Oregon

We saw many of the same flowers that we saw at Grassy Knoll, though we were a thousand feet higher in altitude, so earlier in the bloom season. (Hike #47, 7.5 miles, 1450 feet.)

DSC01518

Wahtum Lake, near the trailhead.

A few early season flowers still in bloom here:

DSC01540

Ascending into the rainbow meadows on Chinidere Mountain.

DSC01545

DSC01561

Mt St Helens, Mt Rainier, and Mt Adams from the summit.

DSC01564

Mt Hood and Mt Jefferson from the summit.

DSC01566

Wahtum Lake and Mt Hood.

A highlight was walking north of Chinidere Mountain on the Pacific Crest Trail, into the upper margin of the 2017 burn zone. Beargrass blooms sparkled in the recovering forest.

DSC01601

Wahtum ‘Express’ back to the parking area.

Knitting

IMG_0980

Finished mitts.

IMG_0981

A nearly finished Meris cardigan – still have to sew on the buttons.

IMG_1029

Sock progress.

Around the neighborhood:

Black Lives Matter signs blooming everywhere, along with summer flowers.

And more action nationally…

IMG_0965IMG_0526IMG_0537

First Columbia River Gorge hike in a while, another hike on the Wildwood Trail, some knitting, and neighborhood views

June 2, 2020 – Phlox Point, Beacon Rock State Park, WA

A quiet Tuesday. We met only a few other hikers on trails that are mostly wide equestrian trails until they switchback up Hardy Ridge. Lower slopes are shady forest, with shady forest blooms. We passed a few sunny open areas before reaching the rocky ridge crest with the wide angle view of the Columbia River Gorge that we have been missing these last few months of pandemic-closed trails. A mile north along the ridge are the rocky ledges of Phlox Point. I was very tired by the return, but happy to be able to hike here again. Hike #44, 8.5 miles, 2200 feet.

DSC01246

The wide angle view – Mt Adams, Table Mountain, Columbia River Gorge, Bonneville Dam, Hamilton Mountain, Mt Hood.

DSC01206

Hardy Ridge Crest intersection

DSC01220

Lunch view of a raven and Mt Hood.

DSC01231

Heading north along the ridge to Phlox Point.

DSC01242

Phlox, paintbrush, and parsley on the way up Phlox Point.

DSC01254

Hamilton Mountain, Mt Hood

DSC01250

Mt Adams

DSC01258

Northern Phlox Point ridges and view.

DSC01256

Some of the wildflowers:

June 10, Wildwood Trail again…

Today we hiked from the Springville/Trillium Trailhead on the Wildwood Trail, east to the detour at the Cleator Trail, and then back. We will have to skip the next mile of Wildwood Trail that is closed for repair. We have now completed approximately half of the 30 mile trail on our five pandemic Wildwood hikes. – Hike #45, 7.6 miles, 615 feet.

DSC01300

On the Wildwood Trail…

DSC01297

Salmon berries getting ripe…

DSC01316

A bridge

DSC01320

Green!

Knitting

Mitts and a new sock:

DSC01336IMG_0962

Neighborhood

IMG_0943

Another tethered horse.

IMG_0944

Interesting concrete

IMG_0941

Low light

IMG_0950

A colorful garden

A Black Lives Matter march appeared in our neighborhood. We were able to catch the tail end and join for a short distance, masked and separated, of course.

IMG_0956IMG_0957

 

Two hikes as our trails reopen…

Boundary Trail, Mt St Helens, Washington –

May 27, 2020 – Trails and parks in Oregon and Washington are slowly reopening for careful, “social distance” hiking. We chose a sunny Wednesday to hike at Mt St Helens. The road to the Visitor Center is still closed, so we began our hike on the Hummocks Trail, and continued on to the Boundary Trail. (Hike #42, 8 miles, 1625 feet)

DSC01046

Red marks our route.

The trail crosses through the hummocks, which are debris avalanche and landslide deposits from the violent May 18, 1980 eruption. Though once a barren moonscape, the hummocks are now lush and green, covered with plants and shady alder groves, and surrounded by ponds and wetlands.

DSC01156

Alder groves and ponds near the trailhead.

DSC01052DSC01055

The trail comes out into open landscape at the junction with the Boundary Trail, then heads off into lowlands along the Toutle River, before climbing steeply up the flanks of Johnston Ridge. From here on we almost always had a full on view of the mountain.

DSC01061

Boundary Trail Junction

DSC01065

Zooming in…

DSC01074

Crossing the Toutle River lowlands.

DSC01086

Heading up, Indian paintbrush and Mt St Helens.

Once high enough, we can see north to the west end of Coldwater Lake, and back to the ponds in the hummocks, our starting point.

DSC01096

DSC01095

Closer view of Coldwater Lake.

IMG_0905

Lovely view from our lunch stop.

DSC01100

Red current in bloom as we continue eastward.

We reached our farthest view point, not quite to the Loowit Turnout on the road.

DSC01104

DSC01111

Coldwater Peak

DSC01110

Mt Adams and a glimpse of Spirit Lake

DSC01112

Mt St Helens

I felt a bit out of shape on this hike, so we only went as far as a viewpoint where Mt  Adams comes into view, before we reached the Loowit Viewpoint. It was fairly hot, and once out of the hummock zone, there is no shade. What is amazing is how much shade there is in the hummocks area, because everything in sight has regrown since the eruption 40 years ago.

A last look back at the mountain on our return hike:

DSC01128

40 year old stumps, with younger trees in the foreground.

DSC01138

Sheep sorrel, Toutle River

Wildflowers are beginning to bloom – in a couple of weeks it will be very colorful here.

We stopped at the Castle Lake Viewpoint on our drive home for a last look today, with plans to return in the not too distant future.

DSC01159

Castle Lake Viewpoint

Wildwood Trail Hike 4

Friday, May 29, 2020 – In continuation of a pandemic goal to hike all of the 30 mile Wildwood Trail in Forest Park, we walked another section, from Springville Road to the Wildwood Trail, to the Trillium Trail and back to our trailhead on Fire Road 7. This section of the Wildwood Trail is cut into the sides of steep forested slopes. It was dry and warm today, but well shaded. We saw a few flowers, a few birds, a lot of trail runners, and a few hiking groups. Most of the hikers pulled masks up when passing. Trail runners mostly did not. We did our best to give them a wide space. We all need the fresh air! (Hike #43, 5.2 miles, 460 feet)

DSC01162

Trailhead

DSC01163

Springville Road

DSC01172

The first wild roses I have seen this year.

DSC01176

Fern shadows

DSC01180

Ferns

DSC01182

DSC01184

Our return trail is all uphill!

Knitting

I am getting ready to start new projects, so I have been hand winding yarn, knitting a gauge swatch, and spending lots of time searching the glorious Ravelry pattern library, which in my opinion is the very best place in all of the internet. I also cast on a gift knit – fingerless mitts.

IMG_0924

A note on the times we are living in  I support the Black Lives Matter protests going on this weekend. It may be a long time before the “all are created equal” spirit of our nation is realized, but I try to live my life in support of it. On a more positive note, I was happy to see the successful SpaceX launch this weekend, furthering work my father participated in as rocket scientist.

Forest Park again…

May 15, 2020 – Wildwood Trail: Newberry Road/BPA Road Loop

We returned to the Wildwood Trail in Forest Park on the west side of Portland for another pandemic hike. It had been raining off and on all week, and the forest was a little drippy. Clouds blocked the view of mountains we saw from the BPA Road last week, but there were lots of new wildflowers this week. (Hike #40, 6.5 miles, 1250 feet)

DSC00944

Newberry Road trailhead

DSC00947

Fern-lined trail

DSC00959

Forest

DSC00983

Powerline cut – no mountains this week.

In other good news, nearby forests and state parks are gradually reopening, so we will soon have a wider geography available.

Knitting

IMG_0868

A finish!  Patons Kroy Celestial Purple traveling socks.

Neighborhood walks-

IMG_0856

nasturtium

IMG_0851

dogwood

IMG_0853

Porch parade

IMG_0852

Porch pig

IMG_0855

Tethered horse

IMG_0844

More words of encouragement!

Addendum – Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge, May 5, 2020

When Washington State reopened some public lands, we went to the driving loop at Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge. The wintering birds – swans, geese, and sandhill cranes – had flown on. Today we saw turtles, redwing blackbirds, egrets and herons. This was our first foray out of our neighborhood in two months, and it was great just to see some wide open spaces from the safe space of our car!

DSC00842

Egret in the distance.

DSC00844

Turtles

DSC00854

DSC00868

Red wing blackbirds in the meadows.

DSC00855DSC00875DSC00879