Pale. Pasty. Rainy. Birkenstocks. Dreadlocks. Coffee- everywhere. Bridges. The Max. Downtown. Homeless. REI. Vegan. Vegetarian. Liberal. Biking. These are just a few of the things that make Portland what it is- a city so diverse and full of adventurs around every corner!!
I have been so fortunate as to be able to spend a lot of my time the last couple of years wandering through the Columbia River Gorge. It is AMAZING!! There is something about being surrounded by trees, rain or shine, out in God’s creation that brings peace and joy to my soul. I love getting lost in the beauty and majesty of towering peaks, sheer cliffs, rocky ridges and crumbling rock slides. This, to me, is a little bit of heaven on earth.
If you have never hiked before, I cannot encourage you enough to go! It doens’t have to be the toughest hike in the Gorge (Mt. Defiance trail). It can be starting with the smaller waterfall trails like La Tourelle or Horsetail Falls. Here’s some tips for some of you novice hikers-to-be:
-Always make sure you have enough time to finish before dark (bring a flashlight- it is darker under the trees)
– Bring a snack (the longer the hike, the more snacks you will need). Trail mix, Cliff Bars and bananas make excellent fuel to keep you going. You want a high carbohydrate snack to help raise your blood sugar and energy.
– Have good shoes. REI and Dicks are too good places to look for hiking shoes. You want something with a solid sole, waterproof and good ankle support. Make sure they are about a size bigger than you normally wear so you can wear wool socks in winter and to allow for foot swelling in the summer.
– Bring a backpack/hydropack with a first aid kit, mace (you can never be too safe), moleskins for blisters, sunscreen a flashlight, matches, map, camera and cell phone.
– Lastly, make sure someone knows 1) Where you are hiking, 2) when you start and when you will be done and 3) the number of the Forest Park Ranger in that county. It’s nice to have someone to check in with (I text my husband every hour so he knows I am ok).
Hiking is incredible and we here in the Pacific Northwest are incredibly blessed to have places to hike all over the place!! For a great list of hikes, check out NWhiker.com or google NW Hikes.