Amid a lot of literal and figurative cloudy weather, I found the perfect golden window other day for a walk. Nothing like leg stretching and photography experiments in the sun to make me feel better about the world. Okay, a mountain top would beat it, but hey. Rocks, moss, leaves, a passing seaplane, wings of a dove, er, seagull, and my boy Jackie Chan. Seeing him cut loose on a beach would prompt a smile from the biggest curmudgeon. All is right with the world. Well, mostly.
It has been far too long since I wrote a significant post. I could have posted about this hike or that, yet my life isn’t that simple. I work more than 40 hour a week, and I have other interests besides hiking. Shocking, I know. I learned today that I won a juried photography contest (a shot from a local hike), I have been working on a collection of poetry, and I am trying to attend musical events when I have the energy for local heroes and national stars alike. An ingrown toenail is also a big reason I have put off big hikes. I know, excuses, excuses. Enough about that. Let’s go somewhere!
This morning, I helped hang an art show which will benefit Alzheimer’s research, then caught a lunchtime concert by Franco Paletta and the Stingers, a summertime series of outdoor shows in the park by our neighborhood library. An outdoor adventure seemed like great way to top the day. I decided on the kayak, and went for a jaunt upstream on the Willamette, paddling solo past Elk Rock Island, taking in a view of scrubby cliffs, including what in the winter is a sizeable waterfall but is now little more than a trickle bound in slimy green verge.
Then I met Mr. Heron. He eludes me much of the time. When I’ve walked along the bank to capture his image, he spooks and flies away in that dinosaur way. In the kayak, however, I got within thirty feet from two directions. He seemed curious but never left the spot behind a giant log in the rocky shallows.
The shoreline crags of Elk Rock Island were teeming with swimmers and fisherfolk, and I was glad to have a view of that rocky world rather than be among them. The river itself had occasional wakeboarders and tubing boats, yet it still seemed serene. A new perspective is almost always a good thing. Look for more water adventures in the future. Happy summer.
Too lazy to drive to a serious hiking destination, I went out for a day and hit two trails along riverbanks. The first was a mere paved path along the Clackamas river in Gladstone, relatively near its confluence with the Willamette. It’s definitely an urban hike (the DMV is a block away from one end of it), but there is still plenty of beauty. Multiple people were fishing in a short stretch downstream from the popular High Rocks area. I found some unique human interest points, too, like a park dedicated to a volunteer fire department chief. As a former firefighter for 11 years, I found that very touching. Nearby, there was a public Christmas tree, still fully bedazzled with decorations. The pretty path ends shortly, so I doubled back, and made my mind up to check out a park along the Willamette.
I’d heard of a small nature preserve in West Linn, but didn’t know its name. I took a quick look at a digital map, and drove less than ten minutes to a trail there. It began in a heritage property that abuts a park. Nobody was walking on the trail but me, although I did see one mountain biker at the far end, in what is called Burnside Park. In the end, I realized this was not the nature preserve, but the walking was rewarding anyway. It was a beautiful, if chilly afternoon, and taking two walks for the price of one was just the ticket to recharge my personal batteries.