Day One: Portland to Williams, Oregon

My alarm goes off at 7:50, but like most days lately, no matter what time it’s set for, it takes me about thirty minutes to get up. I lay in bed and check email as Brie continues to sleep undisturbed. I have a pingback awaiting approval from a website I’m not familiar with. Pingbacks are these notifications on WordPress, my webhost, telling you when someone has linked a page from your website to theirs. I check what’s been linked and a random woman has written an entire article grossly misinterpreting a piece I wrote, Fat Woman Falling. It’s fake sympathetic, off-the-mark about everything I actually wrote, focusing on what she perceives as my body shame and it accompanies no less than a dozen truly awkward photos of her thin, socially-acceptably attractive self working out. Whatever horror I was feeling evaporates as I look at a couple more things on her website: more of the same weird articles about what she incorrectly deems “body-positivity” and weird selfies accompanied by fat-positive hashtags. No comments or likes on any it. I can’t really get it up to give a shit, which is refreshing because lately I care too much about everything.

I get out of bed, finally waking Brie, and put on my beloved camping dress. Yes, I have a camping dress. It’s nothing special, just a black, stretch cotton, two-strap, mid-thigh length dress with an empire waist. It’s super comfortable, passes for cute and I’ve worn it on pretty much every camping trip for the last three or four years. We have a goal to be out the door by nine AM, which is lofty for us and our night job lifestyle, but we actually do it. I mean, we still have to go grocery shopping for the weekend, which almost always sends me into an anxious, agoraphobia spiral, but as I carry all of the stuff down the four flights of stairs to my car, I notice that my normally pain-bogged body feels kind of… not terrible. Grocery shopping is quick and easy, Brie and I are on the same page despite our still uncaffeinated, early morning selves. Our camping trip bodes well! Continue reading “Day One: Portland to Williams, Oregon”

Day Trip: Rattlesnake Falls

  • Location: Husum, Washington
  • Google map: don’t bother. From the Hood River Bridge, head west for 1.5 miles then make a right on SR 141. After 6 miles, just past Wet Planet, turn right onto Oak Ridge Rd. for 0.8-mile. Turn Right on Rattlesnake Rd and set your odometer. At the nine mile mark (most of this is unpaved, but fine for 2-wheel drive in drier weather), stay right and soon you’ll see the R1800 junction just after a tree with a “6” on it. Ignore any other trees with “6” on them, just pay attention to the mileage (I saw at least one other “6” tree).  Turn right for another 0.8 until it dead ends.
  • Drive time from Portland: 1h45m
  • Permit: n/a
  • Intensity: Easy (Beginner Level: Doable, but there is a creek crossing). 0.5 mile, little to no elevation gain
  • Open: mid April through July? Depends on the rain, I imagine it completely dries up in hotter months.
  • Pair with: Coyote Wall, Panther Creek Falls, a visit to White Salmon or Hood River

Continue reading “Day Trip: Rattlesnake Falls”

“Unlikely Hikers: An Invitation to the Outdoors”

Tagg Magazine is a magazine for “everything lesbian, queer and under the rainbow,” and they graciously interviewed me for a piece about @UnlikelyHikers. This came out weeks ago, but my head has been too up my butt to share it. I was in a deep grief brain fog when they interviewed me, but they skillfully made me sound good. Thanks, Tagg Magazine!

https://taggmagazine.com/unlikely-hikers-portland/

(Also, a correction, I started Unlikely Hikers in 2016. A year ago this month!)

Linnton Loop

  • Level: moderate
  • Length: 5.2 miles
  • Elevation: 930 ft. elevation gain
  • Type: loop
  • Open: all year
  • Permit: n/a
  • Drive time from Portland: +/-15m
  • Google map: “Linnton Loop Hike Trailhead”

This is my current favorite in-town hike. There are ridiculously gorgeous parts and annoying parts and difficult parts and old growth trees and all kinds of turns and changes to keep me on my toes, sometimes literally. There are downhill pitches where I basically tip-toe. It was the first tougher trail I did while rehabbing my knee and I’m hooked on it. Continue reading “Linnton Loop”

Wapato Access Trail

  • Level: easy (Beginner level: doable)
  • Length: 2.4 miles
  • Elevation: less than 40 feet gain
  • Type: loop
  • Open: all year
  • Permit: n/a
  • Drive time from Portland: 20m
  • Google map: “wapato access greenway”

I have a deep attachment to this not-so-spectacular trail. I did it many times and never posted about it on social media like I usually do. I felt like I was keeping it a secret which is kind of dramatic, but honestly, it was. It’s the place I rehabbed my shitty knee injury that took me down from hiking for about three months. Continue reading “Wapato Access Trail”

Forest Park via Germantown Rd. (revisited)

You’ll find me on various parts of the Wildwood Trail at least once a week, so it feels weird to “revisit” it. However, spring in Forest Park is popping off right now and I have a new favorite loop that deserves a little attention. Continue reading “Forest Park via Germantown Rd. (revisited)”

Latourell Falls

  • Level: easy (Beginner level: challenging)
  • Length: 2.3 miles
  • Elevation: 600 ft. gain
  • Type: loop
  • Open: all year
  • Permit: n/a
  • Drive time from Portland: 35m
  • Google map: “latourell falls”
  • Features: Columbia River Gorge, waterfalls, views

The only good thing about my stupid meniscus tear is getting reacquainted with the shorter, less difficult trails I haven’t done in years. Although, this one was plenty difficult for where I’m at right now. I didn’t quite have to take any breaks, but I was moving up those inclines at a snail’s pace. I mean absolutely nothing disparaging by this, it was perfect. Continue reading “Latourell Falls”