After meeting a friend for a yummy lunch at Mehri’s Bakery and Deli the other day, my wife and I went for hike at a small wilderness park near Clackamas. What started as a brief nature walk turned into a real hike on an overcast day. We just kept going, creating a nice loop I’d done in reverse before. One curious note was the white powder we saw at regular intervals on the switchbacks climbing out of the parking area. I was careful not to let our pup sniff it. Terrorism! Anthrax! Poison! My mind goes into overdrive with worry on occasion. At the first major junction, a giant X and an arrow showed the powder was simply marking the way for a race or organized walk/run. Relief ensued, and we enjoyed our paces through a pretty mixed forest. The so called summit was a tease, with no significant views.
On the way down, we saw a deer but weren’t quick enough to get a decent shot. One trailside tree seemed to have its own little watering trough. Ferns grew on tree branches. Crazy foliage. Light was fading fast as we returned to the trailhead. I have to admit that I can’t wait for the days to start getting longer. On this day of giving thanks, however, I am thankful for many things, among them the personal health and opportunity to take a hike with my bride. I hope my readers also have reason for gratitude.
The sky was blue and cold this morning. I wanted to hike but wasn’t quite motivated enough to gear up for more extreme conditions found on Mount Hood area or the Columbia Gorge. I’m not in winter mode yet, despite this week’s recent cold snap in Portland. A casual walk at nearby Mount Talbert seemed like a worthy and safe option. I had been there months earlier when shorts and t-shirt sufficed. Not today.
I accessed Mount Talbert’s trail system from the north, off Sunnyside Road, rather than the Mather Road trailhead. Originally, that location was supposed to be the main trailhead, but plans changed. There are five parking spots across from a gravel path descending to a creek where a sturdy steel bridge lets people cross.
Sections of the Park Loop, West Ridge, and Summit trails made for a nice hour of walking through various forest types. As I finished up in the sun, I realized that the Gorge might have been warm enough, although ice has been an issue in recent days. There is a twinge of regret that I didn’t go for a bigger adventure, but then I move on. Time to gear up so I don’t hesitate to get out in burlier conditions again. Happy hiking.