Hiking the Columbia Gorge is always a thrill, and finding a big rock to climb lets me to take the long view.
The Columbia River spills into the Pacific in Astoria, a confluence of legendary currents, tides, waves and winds, plus frequent fog and rain. I mean, who wouldn't want to visit the place known as The Graveyard of the Pacific?
A road trip to see more of the Columbia River turned into a discovery of history, economy, ecology, geography, and as always, beauty.
Note to self: Skip the isolated trails between the river and abandoned railroad tracks when you're alone, especially if no one knows where you are. Note to self: Just because it's sunny don't assume it's warm. It's February for goodness sake. More layers. Note to self: Carry a hankie when it's cold. Powers Marine Park … Continue reading Hanging Out Under a Bridge
Many years ago, when I began hormone replacement therapy, my practitioner promised that I would once again "hear the music play." I thought, what a great metaphor for enjoying life. I knew that sensation of hair raising, goose bumpy, tear inducing awe. When retirement came along, I wanted to likewise recapture the music, and rekindle … Continue reading Hearing the Music Again
Driving west out of Portland on route 26, Sunset Highway, farmlands taper off, and forests grow dense, expanding into the open space. I feel an inexorable draw toward the coast while on this road - continuing straight you arrive at Seaside. Veer southwest on highway 6, there's Tillamook. Or head northwest on 47, Nehalem Highway, … Continue reading River’s Sweet Songs
Here's the thing about retirement. I look at the weather forecast, I look at the calendar, conclude that nothing can't be postponed, and look for a new place to explore. If it's hot I look for a shady hike, and if it's cold I look for one in the open. If it's been pouring I … Continue reading Bottom’s Up
Big city driving is confusing, and if you don't know where you're going, you end up somewhere else. The complicated, unfamiliar choices come at you fast. Just trying to navigate along one side of the river, you somehow end up on a bridge to the other side. At which point there's no turning around. "Wait, why … Continue reading Over the River and Through the Woods: A Tale of Two Bridges
No matter where you look, no matter how urban, how run down, or how ugly, when fall is in its prime the red, orange, and yellow is everywhere, making anything look 100% better. And if you are in a gorgeous state park, as I was recently, then the beauty on top of beauty is sublime. … Continue reading Champoeg State Park
I've been an ocean girl all my life, and now I'm learning to love rivers. It's not hard. Oregon offers endless, varied shorelines to hike, watery air to breathe, and beaches of mud, rocks, reeds or berry brambles. I am new to these river nuances, and delight in discovering the seasonal changes, flora and fauna, … Continue reading Confluence