Goblins and Horses

We don’t usually make reservations in advance, but after stopping on a whim at Goblin Valley State Park on Halloween a year ago, we suspected that if we ever wanted to stay at this small and quirky campground, we’d better plan ahead and book some dates (October 25 – 27, 2016). A year ago, there […]

Grinnell Glacier

The 5.5 mile (one way) hike up to Grinnell Glacier is one of the most popular in the Glacier National Park. Indeed, the parking lot at the Swiftcurrent trailhead was just about full when we arrived at 10:30 am. Just cars though, no humans. Earlier that morning, I’d been reading online reports about grizzly bear […]

Mazama Trail

It’s been a while since we hiked in our own backyard, which in our case is Mount Hood. One of our favorite trails was up to Cairn Basin on the northeast flank so we thought we’d approach it from a different trailhead, a little further up Lolo Pass, instead of from Top Spur. We arrived […]

Angel’s Rest Redux

With five days of rain headed our way, we decided to get a hike in while the weather held. We decided to try Angel’s Rest again which is less than a half hour away from our house. The temperature hovered around 50 degrees with overcast skies.  About half the parking lot was full when we […]

Chiricahua National Monument

We’d been waiting for a month for road construction at the Chiricahua National Monument to be completed before visiting. With time running out, we took a chance that a spot would be open at Bonita Canyon, the monument’s campground. Arriving at 8:30 am Monday morning did the trick, and we scored the only open spot […]

Natural Bridges National Monument

We arrived at Natural Bridges National Monument by mid-afternoon on Sunday and checked in at the Visitor’s Center to flash our colorful America The Beautiful Pass at the peculiar rangers on duty. (We’ve noticed that each set of rangers is unique to each national park, and Natural Bridges did not disappoint). We were interested in […]

Fiery Furnace

We signed up for the last ranger-led hike of the season in Fiery Furnace, one of the permit-only areas inside Arches National Park. This complex sandstone labyrinth is unmarked and can be difficult to navigate both logistically (GPS signals do not work in there) and physically. Many National Park rangers are furloughed for the winter […]

Devil’s Garden

Devil’s Garden Trail is the longest of the maintained trails in the Arches National Park. It leads to seven impressive arches, with several more visible from the trail. We chose a day with perfect hiking weather— 55 degrees at the start, warming up to 65 by the time we were finished. The initial mile to […]

Moab Rim

We packed up early Sunday morning intending to check out some other potential camping and hiking destinations on the west and southeast sides of Moab. But first, we stopped for another cuppa Joe and a pastry at the Eclectic Cafe. Sufficiently fueled for the morning, we drove up Sand Flats Road which switchbacked up to […]

Jeep Arch

We spent a second night at Granstaff Campground, only three miles from Moab along Utah 128. In the morning we were delayed a bit while we watched fellow campers take off, fly around, and land their powered parachutes from the parking lot a few hundred feet away. They swirled and curled high above the Colorado […]

Negro Bill Canyon

After an all-to-brief exploration of Arches National Park on Thursday (see previous post), we spent our third and likely final night up at Fisher Towers Campground, savoring our amazing spot. A deluge had just come through the canyon prior to our 7:30 pm arrival in the pitch dark. David drove gingerly through the water and […]

Fisher Towers

Monday was spent as a “going to town day”. We took $4 showers at the beautiful new Moab Aquatic & Recreation Center, then spent a few hours at one of the nicest libraries we’ve ever been in. It was also new and very much set up for out of town visitors who may be in […]

Bryce Canyon

When our Tucson friends Lisa and Dan said they were planning a camping trip to Bryce Canyon in October, we invited ourselves along. I’d been to Bryce for two brief hours exactly 14 years ago when my siblings took our dad to Zion National Park to commemorate his seventieth birthday. This time, we had six […]

Flaming Rock

The City of Rocks has over 22 miles of trails. We put our own together by combining several, winding up with a more than seven mile “figure eight” loop. We departed at the Flaming Rock trailhead near our campsite (#22) and ended at the Box Top trailhead. The Bumble Trail was our first leg which […]

Palisade Point

Wow! This first part of our hike, Lookout Mountain Loop is a keeper, featuring the most dramatic views in the shortest distance for the least effort. True to form, our arrival at the High Prairie trailhead was straight up noon. On the dot. That left less than six hours to get back to the car […]

Owl Point

Since both the school year and the rainy season started three weeks ago, our weekly hikes have been on hiatus. September set records for rainfall throughout much of Oregon. When the clouds cleared over Mount Hood in early October, we were surprised to see it completely blanketed in white. Saturday dawned bright and clear so […]

Indian Point

We thought we’d switch it up from our recent Mt. Hood hikes so we focused on the Columbia River Gorge, settling on the Herman Creek Trail to Indian Point. The trailhead is a few miles east of Cascade Locks and, being relatively early on a Monday, parking was readily available. The trail immediately starts climbing […]

Umbrella Falls Loop

After camping overnight at Elk Meadows, we got an early start on the day and returned to the Hood River Meadows Trailhead where we ditched our packs. We thought we’d travel light to checkout the Umbrella Falls after not quite making it that far last week when we hiked from Timberline Lodge over to Mt. Hood […]

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 […]

Timberline to Meadows

In typical fashion, we got a late noon start from Timberline Lodge. This time, our goal was to head east on the Timberline Trail #600 from the lodge and get over to Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Area where Umbrella Falls is located. To do so, we’d have to drop about 1300 feet down to the […]

Trekking Poles

When we first started to hike in earnest, the thought of using trekking poles seemed dorky and best left to the elderly. We just didn’t encounter many people using them, either. A year later, we’re solid converts. Almost all the hikers we pass this summer seem to be using them now. Here’s what we discovered: […]

Timberline to Zigzag

We vowed to get an early start for Sunday morning’s hike from Timberline Lodge. Which means 10-ish. Expecting the parking lot at Timberline Lodge to be sparsely populated at that hour, we were surprised to see it nearly as full as during a prime winter skiing day. Apparently for many, July 14 is also a […]

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 […]

Pup Creek Falls Redux

We finally found Pup Creek Falls, after two unsuccessful attempts earlier this year. Once, we ran out of time when approaching from the west via the Fish Creek trail head. On the next attempt, we started from the east at Indian Henry trail head, but the water was too high to make the final 1/3 […]

Wilson Ranches

The forecast for the Memorial Day weekend was nothing but rain so we headed to central Oregon for a spur-of-the-moment excuse for a meeting with David’s client, Kara Wilson Anglin of Wilson Ranches Retreat in Fossil. The bed and breakfast was full up, so she graciously offered us the use of an unfurnished house on […]

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 […]

Toketee Falls

On the way back from two nights at the Pickett Butte Lookout, we took the scenic route home via the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway. One of the features along this three hour road detour was the dramatic Toketee Falls which is invisible from the highway. It flows out of a graceful columnar basalt formation that frames […]

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 […]