Our first year of monthly hikes is in the books! Now feels like a great time to reflect on all of the beautiful places that we have explored this year…
We started the year in “America’s Premier Urban Forest” (their website says it so it MUST be true), also known as Forest Park. We found ourselves on the Ridge Trail Loop, with a handful of other folks that didn’t mind the somewhat slippery conditions, after quite a rainy couple of weeks.
Our second hike of the year was in Tryon Creek State Park. We made a giant loop around the park and mostly commented about how happy we were to be doing the hike in the winter rather than the spring when everything would have been in bloom and our allergies would have been going bananas.
In March, just before we headed out on vacation, we stopped over at the Smith and Bybee Wetlands in North Portland. There was so much bird-watching to be had, but we didn’t take any binoculars, so we merely enjoyed looking at some water fowl and the sunny day.
Our first day-hiking trip out of the Portland Metro area, for the year. We went to Cape Lookout, which is a small gem of a hike just outside the Netarts area on the coast. It was VERY muddy, but the weather was perfect in the sunshine. Afterwards, we headed into Lincoln City and enjoyed some oysters at our favorite oyster bar, Shuckers.
I L-O-V-E-D our May hike just outside of Salem at Shellburg and Stassel Falls. Honestly, you wouldn’t know these falls were there unless you went looking for them. And, oh man, did we ever. The Shellburg Falls were pretty easy to find, but our trip around the park to find the Stassel Falls led us to the boundary of the Santiam State Forest! On our trek, we went down an old service road that likely hadn’t seen humans in quite some time. It was peaceful and quiet and so enjoyable. We finally found Stassel Falls on our way out, so if you need directions, let us know!
We went camping after our June hike on the Southern Oregon coast. Sunset Bay State Park was absolutely gorgeous and the hike was fabulous! We hadn’t camped in ages, so it was also a nice re-introduction of how to put our tent together and cook over an open flame.
More camping! We had less of a hiking strategy going into July. We spent two nights down on the banks of Lake Selmac in Josephine County Oregon (just outside of Grants Pass). It was the middle of summer, so bugs and people were a-plenty, as was the heat! In an effort to get to cooler weather, we spent the Saturday at Crater Lake National Park–neither one of us had been there before. It was unreal! We drove the loop around the lake and stopped off at the Cleetwood Trail to get down to the water where folks were SWIMMING! Raise your hand if you knew you could swim in Crater Lake…wait, why am I the only one raising my hand?
Bucket-list dreams came true in August as we spent a couple of days in Yosemite National Park. We went on the 4-Mile Trail hike (which is actually more like 10 miles altogether), up to Glacier Point where the views of Half Dome were spectacular. A note about this trip, the road going into Yosemite from the South had just opened after the wildfires had ripped through. Also we were supposed to take a tour of all the sights, including Glacier Point, but that road was still closed, thus we took matters into our own hands and hiked it instead!
In September we finally completed the 4T Trail in Portland, which includes the Train, Trail, Tram, and Trolley. To top it off, we also went over the new Tillikum Bridge and went to a Thorns match. All of the “T’s” that day.
On the most beautiful day in October, we went to Silver Falls State Park. With 10,000 of our closest friends. It was packed full of people, but we still had a wonderful time being out in nature.
I didn’t know what to expect at Willamette Mission State Park, but needless to say, I was blown away by the stunning scenery. We meandered on the bike paths, saw the Wheatland Ferry cross the Willamette River, and then took the footpath to the ghost structure of the old Willamette Mission. It may have been a bit chilly, but it was unexpectedly beautiful.
Our last hike of the year was at Champoeg State Park. It’s easy to forget that something so lovely is not too far away from home-base. We started on the bike path and headed towards the disc golf course, where we cut over to the Townsite Trail, went down to the docks, and then back to our starting point. It was short, sweet, and just what we needed to closeout the year.
That’s a wrap on 2018! Stay tuned for where we go in 2019!
PS. Want to join us for a virtual ride of our hikes? You can subscribe to our YouTube channel: Hikes from Home where we post time-lapse videos of some of our hikes!