I do love to watch the world wake up, all those transitions between winter and spring and summer, to falling back asleep again in autumn, the wind down before winter.
|still winter and a spectacular sunset on I84, the Columbia to the north|
(On a random note, I do need to get back into taking the big camera with me, now that Dory-the-destroyer has finally settled in and is less of a holy terror to keep up with. She still requires a substantial amount of exercise, but her impulse control and listening abilities are far better than they used to be.)
Deschutes River Trail
I think, technically, this was the first day of spring. One truth about desert landscapes is that they rebound quickly. This area was a blackened mess after the Substation fire burned over 80,000 acres in 2018. The bones of the landscape and the river canyon is what always makes the Deschutes a beautiful winter hike to me.
|still just the barest traces of snow on the upper hills|
|the bestest girls|
|Andy and Dory, making their way down to the river|
|looking down from the road walk, all the sage burned|
Such a charming city park, surrounded on all sides by suburbia. It feels like a deep forest hike on the edge of waking up from winter. I’ve been putting in lots of winter miles here, in the rain, with my girls.
|lily fields are still sleeping|
|cutest little shrooms ever|
Catherine Creek/Coyote Wall
Much like the Deschutes River trail, the eastern portion of the Columbia River gorge is always the first to embrace spring. The Catherine Creek/Coyote Wall complex has seen an explosion of increased visitation since I first started hiking it in 2010. It remains one of my favorite areas. Word to the wise though- the entire area is riddled with poison oak and ticks…the early season flowers are beautiful though.
|Hood from Tracy Hill on a spectacular spring day|
|just a few basalm starting|
|Catherine Creek is well-known for its flowers|
|my favorite, lupine|
|following old road down towards the Arch|
It’s been a few years since I last hiked the Trapper Creek trail, and my legs forgot how steep it is in places. The trees are still enormous and humbling, and the entire area feels very, very old. I did manage to get a little creeped out again, which is unusual for me. However, when the woods are perfectly silent, with no insect or birdsong, they can feel foreboding.
Now, for the high country to open up….