columbia river

ALONG THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL -- September Section Hikes in Oregon and Washington --

Pacific Crest Trail Washington Mt Adams thru hiker
We had a genuine Northwest September this year.  The first fall rains came the first week, bringing out mushrooms like we haven't seen in years.  Then a return to warm and summery weather to remind us how friendly our climate can be.  There were some showery days with sun-breaks mixed in there, and now the snow has returned to the mountains, blanketing them white.  

Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Oregon & Washington Sections

Hikers near the PCT on Mt Hood

Hike a section of the PCT and meet some hardy thru-hikers!
By mile 2,155, when thru-hikers reach the Bridge of the Gods over the Columbia River, after 120 days and nights on the trail, those tenacious souls have traversed dry deserts, scrambled over snowy Sierra passes, meandered through alpine meadows on the Cascade Crest, and covered the entire lengths of California and Oregon.
Only another 500 miles through the State of Washington to go.

I try to get out on the PCT as much as I can this time of year.  That's when the northbound PCT thru-hikers are coming through my neck of the woods.  I enjoy talking to them and learning from them.  It's always amazing to hear how, after four months steady, they have adapted to life on the trail.

PCT Thru-Hikers at Wapinitia Pass

Thru Hiker at Wapanitia Pass Trail Magic
We were just hauling our load of trail magic goodies and swag to the trailhead when the first thru-hiker came by.  Andrew had to call out to him to tell him to stop.  His name was Hike A While, from Spokane, WA, and he carried a ULA CDT pack, which weighed in a smidge under twenty pounds. (note: All weight estimates my own, made by lifting the packs.)  
Hike A While was eager to chow down on hot dogs, donuts, watermelon, pineapple, chips, crackers and anything else edible we brought.  Thru-hikers are notoriously ravenenously hungry - their bodies go through a metabolic shift after four months and two thousand miles on the trail.  They can eat anything, and lots of it.

TRIP REPORT: Hawk Mountain Backpack

Next Adventure Hawk Mountain Backpack beargrass and mt jeff
It was a gorgeous summer weekend on Mt. Hood National Forest, and everyone was out enjoying it.  The campgrounds were full, and parked cars lined the side of the highway winding through the Clackamas basin.  We kept driving, and the crowds thinned out.  Just one car sat at the Hawk Mountain trail head.  Two hikers came out while we were picknicking in the shade.  They drove off in their car, and we were alone in the woods on a beautiful summer day.

National Get Outdoors Day 2013 - Ft. Vancouver National Park


Next Adventure was thrilled to participate in the 5th Annual National Get Outdoors Day event in Vancouver, WA, last weekend.  It was a blue-sky, gorgeous day on either side of the Columbia, and people did not need much incentive to get out, but the event opened minds to new ideas of what to do in the great outdoors.

National Get Outdoors Day

National Get Outdoors Day Fort Vancouver Washington

Next Adventure again made the Columbia River crossing to Washington to participate in the National Get Outdoors Day Event at Fort Vancouver.  And a fine day it was to be outdoors!

Kayak Camping in the Columbia

Sunny days and warm weather are quickly making this May the perfect month to get outside and play. That's why my boyfriend, Don, and I decided to head out in the Columbia River Monday afternoon for a one-night camping trip. The goal was to find something easy to paddle, with a beginning and an end (we didn't want to make a loop or go there and back), and close to Portland so we could take advantage of this hard-earned sunshine. 

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