July 30, 2012

Extensive views on the ridgeline between Mt. Hood and Badger Creek Wilderness

Little stands between you and the east side of Mt. Hood when hiking along this ridge top trail, which offers views of the Cascades from Three Sisters to Mt. Rainier. In fact, the only thing obscuring your view along this trail are trees that occasionally give way to scattered rock outcroppings, which afford grand views of a broad spectrum of Cascade peaks.

Oregon's Olallie Lake Scenic Area - an outdoor lover's paradise

Ollalie Butte with Mt. Hood in the distance and Olallie and Monon lakes behind trees to the left
High atop Oregon's Cascade Mountains is a magical area where lava and ice have sculpted a landscape filled with high buttes and shallow basins. Ripples along the surface of over 200 lakes and tarns dance at the feet of high cliffs and cinder cones. Plump huckleberries flourish beneath lodgepole pines adorned with lichen, and colorful meadows sweep away the forest, giving breathtaking views of nearby Mt. Jefferson and Olallie Butte. One of the most accessible high lake regions along the crest of the Oregon Cascades, this place, known as the Olallie Lake Scenic Area, is truly an outdoor lover's paradise.

July 21, 2012

Hike to Crane Prairie offers tall timber and small meadows filled with flowers

Boulder Creek
So many of Oregon's trails wind through forests made up of old growth, second growth, Douglas fir, hemlock, pine, cedar and spruce trees. I hiked one of those trails this morning for the first time, paralleling Boulder Creek and ending at Crane Prairie just outside Badger Creek Wilderness.

July 18, 2012

A place not yet discovered by many Oregonians

One of the many reasons Oregonians love their state is because of the short distances between them and the many destinations heaped with outdoor recreational opportunities. And while many Portlanders travel to recreational havens along Oregon’s coast and in Central Oregon, an area even closer to Oregon’s big city awaits those seeking a vast array of outdoor recreation opportunities. You could call it the place Portland forgot, but it is also an area many Oregonians have yet to discover.

July 15, 2012

Bonney Meadows to Boulder Lake a great way to spend the morning

Thick clouds whip through the forest canopy
Situated on the east side of Mt. Hood for the week, I decided to get up early this morning and do some hiking near the Badger Creek Wilderness - destination Bonney Meadows.

July 13, 2012

Has Paul Allen's wealth really brought anything to the Portland Trailblazers?

Trailblazer fans are once again infatuated with the team's most recent draft picks. Meanwhile, the front office is spending the offseason trying to piece together the rest of another ragtag team to surround Lamarcus Aldridge.

Do you ever get the feeling that all the front office wants to put together is a competitive enough team to fill the seats of the Rose Garden?

July 11, 2012

Yearning for the days of Jeannie and Ginger Grant

Pressing the remote buttons like a braniac does that hand held stick on Jeopardy, I quickly changed the television channel from coitus to a comedy. It was one of those rare times when my daughter, then 13, actually sat down to watch TV with me. “Dad,” she said, “I’ve already seen that movie at my friend’s house.”

What the heck!

July 10, 2012

Mt. Hood loop hike proves more of a challenge than promised

I have to pull one out from the past, a hike taken several years ago that felt like it swiped a few years from my life. If you do a lot of hiking, it is inevitable you will someday get into a pickle. This hike, the loop around Mt. Hood in Oregon, was one of those times.

July 9, 2012

Even if she doesn't become a Rockette, it will still have been well worth it

"I may end up living down by the river in a van, but, she WILL STILL DANCE AND SING!" That is my newest maxim regarding my teenage daughter's commitment to the arts.

July 8, 2012

Switching from coffee to tea was not only a healthy choice, but also easy

My bride of 25 years told me about an article she read in one of her "woman's magazines" about losing weight and living healthier. What the "diet" requires is simply drinking specific kinds of tea each day, which supposedly prompts weight loss and antioxidation. I decided to give it a try.

July 7, 2012

Is there any such thing as "the perfect vacation?" (final part)

Lucky Lake with South Sister and Broken Top in background
Driven away from beautiful Waldo Lake by deep snow, I woke up near Lucky Lake the next morning. Not having eaten much the day prior, I pulled some oatmeal out of my backpack, gathered some water from the lake and cooked breakfast. A beer can stove, made after watching a few instructional YouTube videos, was used, along with a few ounces of denatured alcohol as a fuel source. Lightweight, the beer or pop can stove is not bad for backpacking, although overall, it did use more fuel than I had hoped. There are several different beer can stove designs. Here is one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2p9bnOGmSk&feature=related

July 6, 2012

Is there any such thing as "the perfect vacation?" (Part 1)

Oregon's Waldo Lake from the South shoreline

I should have known before I left the house at the end of June my vacation was probably doomed. Making my final preparations to head out into the wilds of the Oregon Cascades, I locked my office door (a studio office located in my backyard) from the inside without knowing where the key was hiding. I searched high and low for that key inside my house, but it was nowhere to be found. Figuring it was locked in my desk drawer inside the office, I loaded my backpack and suit and a few other items and headed down the road. I knew a locksmith would have to visit my office before I would get in again.