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 […]

Mt. Defiance

We had made plans to climb Mount Saint Helens in Washington and reserved climbing permits months ago. With the climb less than a week away, we double-checked our equipment and did more online research in preparation. Recent reports included words such as “ice ax”, “crampons”, “snow field” which really got our attention. We read that […]

Clackamas River

We started out the day intending to hike up McIntyre Ridge to Wildcat Mountain, but encountered the true meaning of “snow line” 5 miles before the trail head. Stymied by sudden deep snow on the road, we changed direction and headed to a lower elevation to try the east end of the Clackamas River Trail […]

White River

We headed up to Mt. Hood for some Valentine’s Day snowshoeing and were the first ones to arrive at the White River Junction Sno-park even though it was late morning. Dramatic clouds formed all around us, with patches of blue sky. The snow was un-tracked with two inches of fresh powder as we followed the river […]

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 […]

Pup Creek Falls

We began our hike at the Fish Creek Trailhead to get on the Clackamas River Trail which would take us to Pup Creek Falls. The trail roughly follows the south shore of the river for miles and miles. It’s a beautiful 7 mile out-and-back hike, with many opportunities for a swim in the warmer months. […]

Trillium Lake

We tried out our new Atlas snowshoes on the trail, but pretty quickly discovered that they were unnecessary for the conditions (packed snow, not slippery). The view was limited by the tree-lined road. Mt. Hood was visible from a meadow and again at the lake, but that’s about it. Met a handful of cross-country skiers […]

Cape Lookout

We arrived at Cape Lookout just before dark and checked in with the camp host. We had reserved the “Nestucca” Deluxe Cabin online a few days before, a steal at $56 a night. The path from the parking lot to the cabin was lined with small lights mounted on wooden posts. The cabin itself was […]

Drift Creek Falls

Portland’s been under an inversion this week with dull gray skies, very cold freezing fog and and high of 30 degrees if we’re lucky. So David and I decided to follow the sun and head to the coast where it was bright and sunny with temperatures in the 60s. We found brand new “deluxe cabins” […]

White River

We’ve been looking for ways to get outside during the winter months here in Oregon. We don’t get much snow at our elevation (1000 feet). Instead it’s an unrelenting cold rain which isn’t much fun for hiking or cycling. But, we do have easy access to snow with Mount Hood basically in our back yard […]

Oxbow Park

This trail is one of our favorites because it’s only a couple of miles away from our house, and we rarely see other people during our monthly hikes. The footing is soft and well-maintained. This particular post documents our Christmas Eve hike down to the river. We follow the equestrian trail, which starts out at […]

Smith Rock

Central Oregon offers landscapes that contrast greatly to what we’re used to in the Portland area. Smith Rock reminds me of Arizona in so many ways— from the smell of the stunted Junipers to the wind-carved sandstone pillars. While it’s known around the world as a destination for rock climbers, it also has some challenging […]

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 […]

ZigZag Ridge

Originally, we headed to Bend for a hike around Smith Rock, but changed our minds as we drove through Sandy. Instead, we decided to check out a more local destination, and if we could make it to the trail head (the guides say the road was ‘difficult’), we’d do the Burnt Lake hike instead. The […]

Muddy Fork to Ramona Falls

Another one of our favorite hikes on Mount Hood. We started at the crowded Top Spur Trailhead off of Lolo Pass Road. We’ve done parts of this hike before which included Bald Mountain. This time, though, we decided to extend the hike by adding a loop on the Timberline Trail down to Ramona Falls which […]

Timber Butte Lookout

Timber Butte Lookout is about 20 miles from Lowell, Oregon and sits at 3650 feet elevation. This Willamette National Forest lookout features a picturesque little cabin that is at ground level. We were able to drive to within several hundred feet below the lookout and park at near the vault toilet. The warm days promoted […]

Tamanawas Falls

We needed to escape the heat of the valley so we headed up to the east side of Mount Hood, where it was still hot, but bearable in the forest. It was our first time hiking out to Tamanawas Falls. The first part of the trail parallels the highway. The view wasn’t bad, but the […]