Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Wandering west

Well, it figures, the one day I forget my camera, and there are some amazing views. I went to a meeting south of where I live in the farmlands and had some amazing scenery on the drive. I also learned all about the vast amount of agriculture here. It seems that you get a break on the price of your home if you have a farm and raise/grow things. Within 30 minutes of my house there are fields of blueberries, strawberries, marionberries, LAVENDER!, and farms with Buffalo, Alpaca, cows, sheep, horses and who knows what else. I got to cut my own lavender and could have picked my own berries, but alas, was wearing a white shirt and don't trust myself. I'll have to return and get some pics.

The photos I do have are from a not too exciting hike on Lake Hagg. The trails were full of scratchy things and since it was 90 degrees on Sunday, everyone was at the lake grilling and making noise. The trail was also hard to follow. I enjoyed reading in the shade more than hiking that day! Too hot. The picture of the farm, if you look VERY closely, has the outline of Mt. Hood behind it. Cool.
Can you see Mt. Hood behind the barn?!

Does anyone know what these furry weed/herbs are?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Columbia Gorge-ous!

View from the top!
Trees at and mist at Angel's Rest
Wahclella Falls
Stones in the River
(below) Angel's Rest as seen from a viewing tower
Well, you have to indulge me posting quite a few pictures this week! On Sunday, I headed to Columbia Gorge, a beautiful spot 30 minutes east of Portland with tons of hiking trails. At the suggestion of Steve, my tourguide, I hiked Wahclella falls, an easy 1 mile hike to an amazing cascade of water known as the falls! It was again...incredibly green and lush. I even stopped for a picnic lunch by the river nearby to read and eat for awhile.

After this short jaunt, I decided to hit the second suggested stop. However, I had read too many guidebooks and got confused! I intended to do another short hike full of waterfalls, but ended up doing a 4 mile round trip hike up a very steep mountain! The view was amazing (the bottom picture is actually of the mountain from a roadside viewpoint.) I was almost hiking in the clouds as they wafted in and out that day. It was drizzly but it felt good! My knees may not forgive me any time soon, but it was a great hike.

Monday, July 04, 2005

The coast

Wow. This place just keeps getting better! At the recommendation of a friend and the potential to see puffins, I headed to the coast Sunday. The Oregon coast is gorgeous. It was a picture perfect day. I got there too late to see many puffins, though we saw a few in flight. Apparently, they nap in the afternoon! I did see a Kormorant nesting in the rock through a seriously high-powered scope. No photos...

Cannon Beach

The beaches are amazingly clean and quiet. No blaring radios, no food vendors, just people and dogs (hearty people who apparently think 65-70 degrees is beach weather). The coldest 4th I've spent on the beach, but possibly the most picturesque! The big rock you see is called haystack rock and was created by a lava flow 17 million? years ago. There are 'fingers' of rock along the coast from this event, this is the biggest one on the coast and it houses many gulls and migrating birds.

For the record, these photos are barely retouched, if at all. The colors of the sky were just amazing that day.
Manzanita from the road
Exploring the tidal pools
Haystack rock at sunset

Saturday, July 02, 2005

City and country

These pictures are mostly from the woods, about 30 minutes west of where I live. The ground and trees are so very lush. Deep emerald greens, lots of little streams and tall, beautiful pines and birch trees with ferns covering the ground. I took an after work hike so didn't go too far, but enjoyed the scenery just the same.

Friday night, I attended the Portland Blues Fest on the riverfront. We heard Chicago legend Buddy Guy!! The crowds at any event are eternally mellow. We are convinced Buddy didn't come on for an encore because the crowd wasn't rowdy enough! It was crowded, but manageable. This picture was from the Zydeco stage on the opposite side. I may try to get to the coast for a "puffin watch" tomorrow, stay tuned!