OLD SALMON RIVER TRAIL
Mount Hood National Forest, Oregon
~5 miles, ~100 feet elevation gain
The last day of spring and the first day of summer. It's one of the first, really warm (for Portland) days of the year. I was supposed to be out of town this week, but plans didn't align quite right, so I ended up on a 'stay-cation' during the break between spring and summer quarters. It's turned out for the best as I have gotten an enormous amount accomplished this week and some quiet time to reflect upon things I have neglected- I have felt very much like being alone this week and simplifying the mental chaos in my life.
|what old dogs do|
With the mercury poised to hit eighty degrees, I was looking for a cool hike with plentiful water that was also short on mileage- at ten years old, my loyal boxer boy and trail companion, Rocky, is starting to show his age. I haven't visited the Old (Lower) Salmon River trail in many, many years, but it's always a beautiful choice, especially midweek or off-season. The trail is very quiet, the silence broken only by the sound of the rushing mountain creek nearby, and it's also a flat stroll on soft earth through ancient, mossy, forest. Although I would have preferred more mileage, I knew Rocky needed to get out as much as I did- I've been leaving him at home more often lately in concern for his feet and overall health (he still bounces around like a jumping bean whenever I get out the hiking gear though).
On this afternoon the trail was a verdant explosion of dynamic light ranges, a contrast of deepest shadows and brightest sunlight filtering through the canopy. There is a feel to old growth forest: the ground has a spongy, hollow quality to the loam, ferns and oxalis dominant the understory, and moss is everywhere.
|Old Salmon River trail|
I took my time on the walk, letting Rocky sniff and cavort, meander and wade, the walk as much for him as myself. I played with some macro photography and felt calmness settle over me, as the woods always blanket me in both forgetfulness and repose.
|many, many idyllic places like this one along the trail|
|I had no idea this guy was even there until I looked through my macro lens|