Blog Archives

Good Golly, Geese are Everywhere

Good Golly, Geese are Everywhere

In my new neighborhood, I see Canada geese daily. I have to watch where I walk, if you know what I mean. The adults are rather boring up close and personal, but the goslings are cute. It’s worth a trip to the nearby pond to see them, so we often walk in the area. There are also what I believe are wood ducks nearby. I will try to get a photo of them soon.

Remembering Salmon River Canyon


For some reason I found myself poring over old photos tonight.  Flashback to two  summers ago.  I hiked up the Salmon River Trail with my friend Steve, who toted his infant daughter on his back. There are couple great lookout points on the trail including this one. After hiking a bit over an hour to get there, we sat and enjoyed the views and each other’s company. Glorious day.

Walking by an Olympic Tribute in Portland

Walking by an Olympic Tribute in Portland

Significant snowfall can make an adventure out of any neighborhood walk. So it was this afternoon in the Rose City. I loved seeing the Olympic Rings in the snow nearby. Jackie liked it too. We’re not as excited about the freezing rain that is coming….  Stay warm, everybody.

Beaver as Seahawk Fan

Beaver as Seahawk Fan

I found this bronze beaver yesterday on a walk along the Willamette River in Portland. Note the double scarves with which Benny the Beaver is bedecked. The one on top (I swear!) is a Seattle Seahawks’ scarf. The team logo is visible. I must have missed a pre Super Bowl tailgate party in the area. This is not quite as clever to post after the Seahawks win, but I still find it amusing. The west side walkway is great, too. You can walk or bike from the Sellwood Bridge all the way up the river to downtown on a very safe paved path, and the views of the river are great.

Soothing Spot on Swan Island

Shhh... Beautiful Spot in Industrial Land

Can you spot Jackie Chan? He’s pulling a ninja dog photobomb.

This afternoon, the wife and I found a great spot to walk in one of the least likely spots in Portland–Swan Island, known for its shipping and industrial businesses. It is also the place where I ran the fastest 10K of my life, about 37 minutes, more than a few cheeseburgers and gray hairs ago.  Today, I’d be lucky to remain upright.

We’d heard about a nice walking path along the river behind the businesses and easily found it beyond the Daimler office. There were multiple spots to access sandy and rocky beaches, which our pup loved.  The flat concrete walkway had pine trees and benches alongside it and boasted views of the Willamette and the hills of Forest Park.  Not bad at all. It’s just another surprise Portland offers its residents. Heck, it almost made me want to break out the rollerblades. Almost.

Columbia Slough Jaunt

Columbia Slough Jaunt

Early this gray afternoon, Jackie Chan and I had an hour to venture out before I had a meeting. I found a path along the Columbia Slough I hadn’t walked before. I recently learned there is another section of paved path in the area. I will look for it soon. Today, this was enough.

Happy New Year, Outdoor Lovers

Happy New Year

Amazing crystals forming on grass and twigs along the Sandy River

Happy New Year, everyone! May you spend plenty of time outdoors enjoying the wonders of nature, keeping your body healthy with exercise, and balancing that with some intellectual pursuits and good meals (preferably with some curry or cayenne).

I do not usually make New Year’s resolutions, but I hope to climb some mountains, visit new destinations, and publish more writing in 2014. Cheers!

Wallowas View of Needle Point

Wallowas View of Needle Point

Ah, memories. Here is a look toward Needle Point from the backside of Eagle Cap in the Wallowa Mountains from a trip a few years ago. While not a spectacular photo, it’s a spectacular location. The hike from my camp in the gorgeous Lakes Basin was not too challenging, although this would be a fairly difficult one day hike.  I debated going off trail further toward Glacier Peak, but the weather was a bit iffy. I hope to revisit the Wallowas next summer. It is a prime hiking and scrambling area.

Flashback: A View from Mount Osceola

Flashback:  A View from Mount Osceola

I needed some inspiration amidst a sedentary time, and found this shot from a trip to the White Mountains in 2010. We’d come from Montreal to visit my mother in New Hampshire. This was a great moderate hike except for my sister ripping her achilles tendon on the way down when she wrenched her ankle on the rocky trail. Yep. There was some hobbling, some leaning on each other, and perhaps a few choice words. (She has since run a marathon). Osceola had views into the heart of the Whites up north. I hope I get back there some day to hit the Presidential Range.

A Short Hike to Wind Rock, Virginia

Wind Rock, Virginia

While enjoying a getaway with my mother and sisters at Mountain Lake in Virginia, we solicited advice about casual hikes. A helpful young woman in the recreation office at Mountain Lake Hotel told us about trails to War Spur and Wind Rock, both of which are located north of Mountain Lake off a gravel road. We chose Wind Rock, both for its easy access and its tremendous views. Besides, it’s on the Appalachian Trail. So my mom hiked on the AT on her 80th birthday. Not bad.

The trail climbs through a deciduous forest full of colorful leaves to a viewpoint about .4 miles from the road. Once we got there, we scrambled out on the rocks, which drop off precipitously, and enjoyed the vistas of long ridges and deep valleys. On our descent, we met a man from Michigan section hiking the AT.  I was a tad jealous. I commented that it seemed like a good time of year to hike, with cooler temps, but he said that water was harder to come by, so he had to hike further each day to ensure a new supply. Food for thought.

I would recommend the Wind Rock hike to any people in the area who want maximum payoff for minimal effort.