Dry-side Spring wildflowers are peaking in the east Gorge. Next Adventure Outdoor School was there last weekend to see the plateaus and hillsides covered in color. Balsam root and lupine flowers dominated the scene with fields of sunny-yellow and purple-blue.
The mountains meet the sea for much of Oregon's Pacific coast. Giant headlands jut out to sea, creating isolated beaches for the intrepid hiker to discover. Time it right with low tide, and you can walk around Hug Point, where an old road cut into the rock provides plenty of pools for tidal life. Barnacles encrust almost any durable surface below the high tide mark, while big brightly colored creatures like this orange sea star and giant green anemone (below) can be found in the lower pools.
Being over 6 feet tall and with a few back problems to start with, I’ve found that sleeping in the hammock frequently irritates my back. However, the occasional night off the ground is still welcome when camping or backpacking. In fact, the best times I’ve had in my hammock have been just relaxing on warm afternoons, reading a book or sipping a brew with friends.
Last weekend (Monday and Tuesday) Don and I decided to take advantage of Portland's unusually warm spring weather and head out on a quick overnight bike ride. The trip was impressively convenient and easy, and yet we both had time to take in the beauty of the gorge and empty our minds after a long week of work. This is a trip we'd recommend to anyone who has some basic gear and feels comfortable biking for about 25 miles a day.
Spring has sprung, and wildflowers are blooming. I popped out for a quick "urban" hike with friend Jonathan and and his pooch, Jake, on April Fools Day. We drove to a northern trailhead of Forest Park, and hiked a loop along the Maple Trail and Lief Erickson Drive. We enjoyed a beautiful day, strolling through the fresh green spring growth and seeing the first flowers of the season. The trail can be popular, but we only saw six other humans and two dogs. It only lasted a few hours, but it felt like a world away. You'd never guess that such wildness could be found so close to the city.
Below are photos of some of the flowers we encountered.
Contact Next Adventure Outdoor School if you'd like to learn more about wildflower identification.
The Cascade volcano climbing season is going to be here real quick! The Next Adventure climbing department has everything you need for any route, from an easy snowshoe up Mt. St. Helens, to a technical climb up Mt. Rainier's Ptarmigan Ridge.