Category Archives: fantasy literature

Along the Sandy to Sundial Beach

Jackie Chan, my faithful canine hiking pal, has been sick for some time, so a hike the other day was the first time he’d joined me on a real hike since his megaesophagus diagnosis.   I opted for a casual hike to Sundial Beach near the mouth of the Sandy River which I’d found online.  It’s directly across the river from the delta where I had walked multiple time before, but Sundial Beach has considerably fewer hikers.  The trailhead is along Graham Road across from the Troutdale Airport.   The paved path heads onto a long dike, apparently guarding the airport and nearby industrial concerns from flooding.  It is also one section of the Portland area’s 40 mile loop trail, a clear dividing line between the urban world and the natural world, a line on which I enjoy walking.


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Unsigned side trails drop off the dike and give access to the banks of the Sandy River.  I followed a few in search of beauty, which I found, along with other walkers and swimmers. Plenty of dogs played in the water and on the sand.   I continued on, seeking the Columbia River.  The dike and parallel trails curve north and west, and high energy power lines dominate the scenery at points– both practical necessity and visual disappointment, like so many things in our world.  For a while, the towers reminded me of the Tripods in the dystopian fantasy series The White Mountains (highly recommended for tweens).

It was pretty hot for much walking, but Jackie and I made the best of it.  Finally we reached the real beach on the Columbia, which seemed mammoth due to low water levels.   This would be a great spot for a picnic.  A kayaker came down the Sandy, wondering if he’d reached confluence.  I suppose it was a bit hard to tell with many sandbars and such in the low water.  On the return leg, I saw a raptor guarding its nest atop a “tripod”.  I think it was an osprey but could not be sure.  The paved path started feeling like an oven, and Jackie started slowing down, so I was glad to get back to my car with its air conditioning.  Besides, the tripods could not follow us there.