After that first sighting, orange started popping out at me. I could see it from a block away, waving me down, "Look at me! Look at me!" But it's funny how once you start looking for something, you start seeing it all the time.
Usually my feelings about Fall here in the Pacific Northwest are more mixed; excited about cooler mornings, rain in the garden, digging out warm clothes while mourning the end of languid days, sleeveless shirts, warm skin, and thriving gardens. Instead, I was fighting inevitable change, a losing battle.
So many things can make or break a hike. What makes a hike a good hike for you? Here's what I noticed last time I went to the woods.
Basalt cliffs rose up straight up before us, and I imagined the floods advancing and receding repeatedly at the end of the Ice Age, the entire area being underwater, wiping out whatever was here before.
I spent April chasing Oregon's elusive wildflower bounty, hoping to catch the brief moment in time when tight little buds transform into fields of color.
The Coast Starlight train trip from Oakland to Santa Barbara is a beautiful nine hours long. I had frequently traveled up and down the U.S. west coast, but the train was just never as cheap or quick or convenient as flying or driving. But when all you have is time...
An old railroad is given new life, and a reminder to mix life's sweetness with the challenges.
Looking for color in the Dog Days of summer.
The Columbia Gorge hides a wealth of secrets, and I'm unlocking them by getting up close, learning their names, making them mine.
An afternoon hike in Lacamas Park turns into a hike into history, ecology, botany and more. The retired life!