Gray Butte

We headed to central Oregon to enjoy the gorgeous fall weather, intending to hike around Smith Rock State Park and then drive south to Tumalo State Park to camp overnight. Unfortunately, Smith Rock was packed full of people (an archeology event and lots of other like-minded hikers/climbers). To avoid the crowds, we thought we’d hike […]

Elk Meadows

We thought we’d try an overnight on the mountain by starting at the Hood River Meadows Trailhead. Before departing, we each weighed our packs and came out pretty even at 27 pounds. In addition to our clothes, sleeping pad and bag and three liters of water, David hauled the tent and I carried the cook […]

Oregon Scenic Byways

On the way back home from Sun Valley, Idaho, we decided to take a different route once we got to Oregon border. We left the interstate (I-84) at Baker City, had lunch and then took Hwy 7 towards Sumpter, which also turns out to be the southern half of the Elkhorn Scenic Byway. This is […]

Pickett Butte Lookout

Somewhat on the spur of a January moment, we made on online reservation at the Pickett Butte fire lookout in Southern Oregon. We’ve stayed at a couple of other Oregon fire lookouts, but this would be our first tower. As in 52 ladder-like steps up into the frosty winter air. After driving several hours, we […]

Gold Butte Lookout

Our second trip to an Oregon fire lookout, took us to Gold Butte at 4618 feet elevation in the Willamette National Forest near Detroit, Oregon. To get there, we drove several hours, taking the beautiful “back way” through Estacada and Breitenbush. The lookout is a steep hike about 3/4 of a mile from where you […]