Hiking Elk Mountain… or attempting to, at least

Hiking Elk Mountain… or attempting to, at least

Tuesday, 05-Sept-2017


Daniel came to visit!

We’d come up with a whole adventure plan for his time here in Portland – we’d warm up on Gorge climbing at Rooster, then climb the Beacon, then hike, then explore the city.  Great plans, right?  WRONG.  FIRE.

As in, there were fires.  Some kids, hiking at the Eagle Creek trail, decided that what that area needed were some explosions.  So they threw fireworks into the brush.  Which, funny story, caught fire.  Which then, totally unexpectedly, caused a monsterous conflagration burning over 48,000 acres.  Yup.  Because some [swear words here] people wanted to play with fireworks.




Since we couldn’t go climbing thanks to the fire, we spent the morning doing some research at a rather excellent breakfast spot that Sarah and I like taking Ollie to.  Advantages of Portland: there are a ton of dog-friendly spots nearby.  After perusing six or so guidebooks, we settled in on a solid hike – trekking up Elk Mountain, out toward the coast.  It wasn’t too long, wasn’t too high elevation, and more importantly it was out of the smoke from the fires.

So we thought, at least.

A few hours later, Daniel and I are sitting at our high point, staring off into the hazy distance, wondering how we’d gotten so winded by such a short hike.  Ollie wasn’t fairing much better… the poor puppy had burnt through her own water, and I’d started giving her mine.

We weren’t at the top yet, and actually still had something along the lines of 800ft still to go, but the time had come and we made the call to head back to the car.  Still a beautiful hike, no doubt, but it probably would have been a bit more beautiful with… you know… breathable air.

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