Synopsis of Summer: Splendid

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With one of the hottest summers on record, I found myself extra incentivized to find ways to cool down and enjoy outdoor time. Hiking is a standard practice for me, but I also expanded my horizons and added mountain biking (a first!), stand up paddleboarding and a Wildlife Safari to my summertime activity.

Write ups are still in the works for some of these adventures, so in the meantime, enjoy this little gallery of my hiking, biking, and paddling over the past three months.

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The Unparalleled Cascade Views from Tom Dick and Harry

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If you’re searching for an iconic view of Oregon’s tallest mountain, Tom Dick and Harry must be added to your “must hike” list. A mere hour from downtown Portland, the Mirror Lake trailhead will take you from trafficked Highway 26 to an impressive overlook granting views of Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, Mt. Saint Helens, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, and even Mr. Rainier on very clear days.

I have twice hiked the Mirror Lake trail during the winter months when the lake is coated in beautiful white, but this was my first excursion in the summer time and first ever to the upper division of Tom Dick and Harry. Surprisingly, when you’re not trudging through snow, this hike goes quickly to the lake, but is absolutely worth the added jaunt to the top.

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Trekking to Hardy Falls and Hamilton Mountain

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The Columbia River Gorge is chock full of hikes at various skill levels, and one of the harder ascents I’ve just added under my belt¬†is on Washington’s south side of the Bridge of the Gods. Seven miles from the bridge is the more famous Beacon Rock – a towering boulder with striking views of the Gorge (and a portion of the distance you will usually have to hike to get the same views). Directly across from the Beacon parking lot is a sign for campgrounds and access to Hamilton Mountain. Luckily this hike could easily be split into three lengths and difficulty levels: 3.2 miles (medium), 6 miles (difficult), 9 miles (more difficult). Having done the whole thing, I might opt for the 6 miler next time, but it’s still worth all the work.

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Boise’s hidden outdoor treasure: Bob’s Trail

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Boise’s outdoor scene might be best known for its prolific mountain biking trails scattered across the city’s many hillsides, but the hiking trails are equally spectacular. During a recent visit to Boise, a friend introduced me to a trailhead tucked into a neighborhood close to the Crane Creek Country Club. I believe the area is one of those “you don’t know about it unless someone tells you about it” kind of places. Bob’s Trail is short (just over 3 miles), but the scenery is both calming and much less populated than trails in the vicinity. Continue reading

Exploring Muir Woods

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Many years ago, I used to write twitter content for the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau, and one of the sites I would often recommend to tourists was Muir Woods in Marin County (ironic considering I had not been myself). Since my parents moved to Marin last year, I have wanted to see the Woods Рa national park created by conservationist, John Muir at the turn of the 20th Century. There are redwoods in Oregon, but none as famous as those in Northern California, so upon visiting at Easter, I declared my #1 tourist attraction would be the Park. It was well worth the wait. Continue reading

Project: Oneonta Gorge

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I had the privilege of working with Travel Oregon many years ago for their summer awareness campaign, and was delighted to see this year’s focus¬†is¬†on the “7 Wonders of Oregon“. The Coast, the Gorge, the Mountain, the Hills, the Rock, the Wallowas and the Lake all¬†have stunning¬†highlights in this series, but the feature on Oneonta Gorge was particularly moving for me. I’m looking forward to experiencing Oneonta first hand when the weather reaches its peak heat wave, and will make sure to tell you all about it.

P.S. If this video doesn’t motivate you to “get out there”, then I can’t help you.

 

Hiking to The Wall

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I love the Columbia River Gorge. It’s incredibly beautiful and only a short drive from Portland. On weekends like two weeks ago, I just want to get away from the city and breathe in the cool, clean air and vistas. Most of my hikes have been on the Oregon side of the river, like Angel’s Rest and Wahkeena Falls, but this edition takes place just east of White Salmon, Washington at Coyote Wall.

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