Category Archives: Pictures and photo galleries

picture-posts, photo-dumps, and other galleries of images that I figure people will enjoy

The Start of the Summer – Hiking, dining, and sleeping on Mt. Hood

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Friday and Saturday, 19 & 20-June-2020

 

Well.

2020 has been a year, hasn’t it?

 

It started in Scotland, then dove into a global pandemic, then protests across the United States. Now, when COVID cases are starting to rise again, Oregon has decided to re-open itself.

Well, I can’t do anything about that. I can’t really do anything about any of those things… but what I can do is keep distancing myself, keep wearing a mask, and keep active. And maybe take advantage of the re-opening as best I can.

Today, I went hiking on Hood for the first time in recent memory.

From the Timberline Lodge, the Timberline Trail circumnavigates the whole mountain – to the West, there’s ZigZag Canyon and the beautiful paradise park. Perfect day-hike destinations. So I went East instead, where no one else generally goes. I saw not a single person on the trail, but had what seemed like the entire side of the mountain to myself.

It.

Was.

Perfect.

Warm weather, a good breeze, and bright sunlight. The mountain was in full glory, peaking above the treeline at almost every turn of the trail.

I went all the way down to the White River – not far, by any means, but something like a 5mile round trip. I felt good… for a starter hike, trying to regain my legs after nearly three months of COVID-related staying at home, I felt strong. I felt tired, but I’m proud of myself for pushing through and hiking at a fairly strong pace the whole time.

After the trail dropped me back off at my car, I treated myself. I’ve been trying to eat a bit healthier, after the stressful and sedentary recent months, but today I’d hiked at altitude, and had skipped lunch. And, I’d parked at the Timberline Lodge, which was still open for dinner.

I walked in 10 minutes before they closed – I was going to head back to the car to cook up a mountain house, but the waiter insisted that I should sit down anyways. We chatted a bit, I ordered, and that’s how I found myself sitting by the window, watching the sun set on the Southern face of Mt. Hood, with a pastrami sandwich, two cups of hot cocoa, and a full cup of whipped cream topped with chocolate and caramel.

The crazy thing is – I only ordered the sandwich. The cocoa? I saw the waiter walking by with them, and asked what they were. See, I love the cocoa at Timberline, but I hadn’t noticed it on the menu… so when I saw him carrying them, I needed to find out more. It turns out that they were mistakes – and he was carrying them back to the kitchen to be thrown out. Well, he offered, and I couldn’t say no! When he brought over the cup of toppings, I lost it.

I’ve had a bad year. It’s been unpleasant, challenging, and just simply a not good year. I recognize that many people have had it far, far worse than I have, and I’m infinitely thankful for everything I have in life. But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been hard.

The gift of two cups of cocoa, after my first hike, right before camping out on my own, was exactly what I needed.

Now, as I sit in my camp chair typing this up, I feel good. I’m tired, but it’s a good tired. A well-earned tired.

I can’t say I’m doing great. But sitting here, looking at the mountain, I can say that I’m doing well.

Pictures of Portland – Spring, 2020

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Throughout the first half of 2020

 

So… 2020 is a challenging year.  Things haven’t gone super well, overarchingly.

But you know what?  Flowers still bloom, and the world turns.  There’s beauty everywhere, if you slow down to look for it.  So sit back, and enjoy a gallery of a few pieces of that beauty.

I took a week off in June, and didn’t do much. It was great.

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First week of June – 29-May through 07-June

 

2020 hasn’t been a pleasant year. 2019 wasn’t great either, but it wasn’t quite as bad, all told. 2020 though…

Thanks to COVID, we weren’t going on our spring trip. I was hoping to take Sarah and myself to France, or maybe Colorado, to take a real climbing trip. A chance to escape a bit, and explore the world together.

Instead, we were stuck in the house, with almost every trailhead closed, the gym’s doors barred, and very little positivity going on.

It wasn’t a great time, but I’d already booked the vacation time with my manager, so I figured that at least I could get a bit of relaxation in. Stay-cations aren’t a bad thing, and even though it wasn’t exactly what I’d been planning on, I was actually quite excited for it.

I had a video game I was enjoying, the yard had a few projects that I’d been waiting for a chance to work on, and I needed the chance to catch up on sleep if nothing else.

So what did we do?

  • Hiked the Wildwood trail with Ollie!
  • Worked in the garden, and enjoyed the flowers!
  • Took walks around the city!
  • Mowed the lawn and perfectly edged the patio! (I think I did this after the week off, but it’s not big enough to warrant its own post)
  • Relaxed!

It was a solidly good week off.