Category Archives: Hiking

Stories about simple dayhikes that I’ve been on

Camping and hiking up on Rainier!


Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – 21-July-2023, 22-July-2023, and 23-July-2023

I’ve never really been up to Mt. Rainier.

I think I know why – but at the end of the day, it was just a confluence of circumstance that had kept Rainier out of my target-list for places to go adventuring. When Jess asked if I’d be interested in car camping and doing some day hikes around the Rainier National Forest… well, no time like the present to explore a new spot, right?

I had Friday off, while Jess didn’t, so I spent some time packing up and relaxing. Blueberry bacon pancakes, coffee, more bacon… yeah, it wasn’t a bad start to the day.

After Jess was off work, we packed up her truck and headed North. Through the highway, into the woods, and onto the back roads we went, braving the challenges of finding a good dispersed camping spot. More of a challenge than we were expecting, interestingly, as the area that’d been recommended to us… was actually houses. In the woods. Banjo noises thankfully not included.

We found a good spot, though, and soon enough camp was set and stars were being gazed upon.

In the morning – bacon and veggies and coffee!

Then – A hike up to Noble Knob.

Yuip. Yup Yuip. I may have picked the hike based on that name alone, but you can’t prove it so it’s fine.

It was a nice hike. Long, but not too steep. Dusty and warm, but not too exposed or brightly sunburnt. We found a lake, we swam, and I even flew the drone around a bit. We chatted, spent some good woods time together, and even met a couple with their two Malinois who were heading in to watch the sunset. Watching the pups play was definitely a nice bonus to the evening!

Dinner, more stargazing, and a beautiful sunset… What more could I ask for?

The next day brought with it another quick breakfast, a medium-length hike out to the Rainier viewpoint (on the aptly-named “Rainier View trail”, along with another drone flight and some good reading on top of the hillside. Then a drive home, some excellent burgers and onion rings from a roadside fry-shop, and a quick stop to grab some equally excellent roadside flowers.

Yay adventures up to Rainier!

A jaunt up toward Elk Meadows


Saturday, 15-July-2023

The original plan for the weekend was a light and chill backpacking trip up to Elk Meadows – nothing heavy, but nothing too light either… that’s the joy of Elk Meadows, yeah? Simple and short backpack, but then if you’re still energetic there’s the whole meadow, on top of that trail around the ridgeline with all the fallen trees! Stages and levels to the hike galore!

But… we didn’t quite make it that far.

See, it turns out I’m not the only one prone to injury. Maybe that’s one reason Jess and I get along so well – we both break various bits of ourselves with concerning regularity.

This weekend was, unfortunately, Jess’s turn. An injured back, combined with an injured hip, made carrying a pack not the greatest plan out there. At least for Jess – I’d already packed my bag, and… well, no reason to leave it in the car, right?

The plan was simple and clean – we grabbed my traditional brunch at Pine State Biscuits, then headed to Elk Meadows.

“But Ben, didn’t you just say that wasn’t a good idea?” Quite right… quite right. But bear with me.

Then, instead of doing the full ascent, we did the simple part – the flat section up to the steep bit! A little over a mile each way, with basically no elevation change to speak of. Enough to get some healthy motion into the limbs (and some good training for me with the full pack), but not so much that it risks exacerbating any pre-existing injuries.

We hiked, we spent some lazy time relaxing by the rushing river, and I even flew the drone around a bit. Then, we headed back – made a nice dinner, relaxed, and… flew the drone around a bit! Nothing huge, mind you, just straight up far enough to get a nice view of the Portland Skyline, and even a few of the Cascades nearby!

A good day, and a lovely light hike.

(Pancakes from the next days breakfast included!!!)

A hike out to Paradise Park – Finally!


Friday, 07-July-2023

I’ve wanted to hike to Paradise Park for a long time.

I don’t know exactly when I first heard about it, but let’s just all agree that it’s been quite a while. I mean, I legitimately can’t count the number of times that I’ve hiked out the Timberline trail toward the park, but I’ve never quite made it all the way there… always turning around ahead of time, the furthest I’ve been was out to the bottom of ZigZag canyon once or twice.

I couldn’t tell you why I decided to hike out on this specific Friday, but… it felt right, you know? I’d made the decision as a snap judgement on Wednesday evening, and fortuitously mentioned it to a friend / coworker on Thursday – turns out, he’d been really wanting to get out of town but didn’t have a strong thought on where to go… perfect chance, we felt.

I met him in the morning, after grabbing a quick pair of bagel sandwiches for breakfast and lunch. We started onto the trail sometime a little bit before mid-day, and trucked pretty quickly through the first part of the trail.

It was lovely – great conversation, good quiet interludes, and amazing views. Unsurprisingly, quite a few of Mt. Hood itself… but aside from that, we had a ton of great wildflower views too – the meadow wasn’t quite into full bloom yet, but it was definitely well on its way.

Sunshine, soaking in the river for a bit, and continuing on… it was a really great day. Quite a few miles in total, and quite a good time had.

Dinner was ordering in from a slider restaurant near my friend’s house, with delivery arriving literally as we pulled in. Can’t ask for much better, let me tell you.