Tag Archives: hiking

back to the wilderness

When making the decision to move back to the States, one of influencing factors was the beautiful nature of Oregon. I have traveled to many countries, but am still astounded by the beauty of my homestate. There is an amazing variety here: mountains, forests, beaches, deserts, peaceful lakes, roaring rivers, and waterfalls. Marcus and I have been taking full advantage of our proximity to nature since our arrival three weeks ago.

Little North Santiam
In our first week here, we went on a hike with my sister Alyssa and our dog Tauri to the Little North Fork, along the winding Santiam River and through the thick forest. It’s an easy hike with clear pools and waterfalls.

Shellburg Falls
On the first weekend, we hiked with my parents and Tauri around Shellburg Falls. It’s an easy 2.8 mile hike past two impressive waterfalls.

Maxwell Butte Snow Park in the Willamette National Forest
On the second weekend, Marcus and I drove to the┬áCascade Mountain Range to go snowshoeing at Maxwell Butte in the Willamette National Forest. It was our first time snowshoeing and it took some time to get used to walking a bit off kilter. Next time I will definitely start with fewer layers – you get warm fast! – and go on a day with a denser snowpack.

Hoyt Arboretum
After brunch with friends last Sunday, we met Alyssa and went to Hoyt Arboretum, a forested area in Portland’s Washington Park. I have always loved the Wildwood Trail, but this time we also explored the Magnolia Trail, lined with the namesake trees, which were about ready to bloom. Definitely a reason to return in the coming weeks.

Oregon Coast: Pacific City and Neskowin
On Monday, Marcus and I went to the Oregon Coast with Tauri. Our destination was Haystack Rock at Pacific City. We were greeted with blue skies and warm winds. We hiked down the beach, Tauri and Marcus running through the waves, and had a picnic in a remote dune area. We returned and treated ourselves to a pint on the terrace of the Pelican Pub & Brewery. Then we headed to Neskowin, a quiet beach area with a view on Proposal Rock.

Climbing Mount Snowdon

During our visit to North Wales, we climbed Mount Snowdon, the highest point in the British Isles outside Scotland at 1,085 meters (3,560 feet). My hiking boots were quite dusty from years of living in the Netherlands, one of the world’s flattest countries, but we planned to take one of the easier trails past the lakes and waterfalls.

Due to a series of circumstances, we ended up taking the Watkins trail, deemed the most difficult route to the summit. It was very difficult. The first part of the trail had a moderate incline and an abundance of beauty. Most of the photos are from the first 1.5 hours of the hike. About the point where I took the photo of the cairn, the incline steepened and clouds rolled in. I put away the camera and we focused on the summit. There were moments I felt daunted, when the wind whipped and the fog was so dense that you could only see several meters ahead. Not to mention the 45 degree incline. Reaching the summit made it all worth it though and we basked in the glory before beginning the descent.