Tag Archives: Portland

An annual(ish) trip up to Green Lakes!


Saturday and Sunday, 29-Oct-2022 and 30-Oct-2022

It’s Halloween already, isn’t it? How did I miss that it’s already Halloween?

It had been a year. A busy, adventure-filled, amazing, challenging, ridiculous year. Full of evolution, change, growth, and movement forward toward the future.

But October found me back somewhere I’ve been quite a few times before… reflecting on how much has changed since the last time I was there. To an extent… but, frankly, also appreciating the calm moment to just not think about everything. To relax, to unwind, and to appreciate the cold wind and clear skies.

I’ve been to Green lakes… Ohh, probably at least seven times. Once a year, give or take, and probably a few more times that I’m not quite remembering. It’s calm, beautiful, and I’ve gotten to know the area pretty well at this point. It’s comforting, and I’m always thankful for the weekends that I can make it up.

This year, I went out a bit later than normal – Or so I thought. In retrospect, looking back at previous photos and such, it seems that mid to late October is pretty normal of a time for me to go out… interesting. I don’t quite recall there being this much so any other time, so… Hmm. interesting, in any respect.

I got out fairly early in the day, with the goal of getting to camp before sunset – Shorter days, less hiking time, the usual. I was aiming to arrive and make camp with maybe half an hour of daylight left… and instead, I got there with nearly two hours of daylight to enjoy! I was happily surprised – I’ve been hiking and working out a lot more these last few years, but haven’t been seeing too much progress, and I freely admit that it’s been a bit draining on my psyche. After absolutely crushing this, and my last, hike… I’m starting to see why I haven’t seen much progress.

I’ve been continually moving forward, and doing harder and harder hikes. Middle Sister was exceptionally challenging… but that’s because it’s a challenging hike. It’s not even really a hike – it’s a technical ascent! Of course it should be hard!

Anyways, I made it with tons of time to explore, relax, and enjoy myself… and then, to sleep. Like, so early. I legitimately was tucked into my sleeping bag drifting off by 8:00, I think.

The next morning I woke up late.

That’s right. Asleep by 8:00, and still asleep at 10:30. Awwww yeah, be amazed at that sleep debt I carry. Or… just at how much I enjoy being curled up in a sleeping bag in the freezing woods? It was exceptionally windy that night… Windy enough that I had woken up and actually got out of the tent to better secure my cooking gear and hiking poles!

Regardless of how long I slept, I got up. I broke fast, I supped upon coffee, and I enjoyed the cold. I took some time to boil off water for myself to bring home. I thought… a bit. But mostly, I simply let myself enjoy the cold world around me, either through my own eyes or through the lens of a camera.




The drive home found me a bit hungry… and the random pizza place that I’d spotted along the drive in was closed by the time I made it by. A quick stop for gas gave me time to do a quick websearch, and soon enough I had found a small neighborhood bar and grill to slack my need for a huge bacon burger… and a chance to read some interesting roadside signs!

A fitting end, if I do say to myself.

Backpacking Elk Meadows in September


Saturday and Sunday, 24-Sept-2022 & 25-Sept-2022

Wow… I can’t believe it’s been this long since I’ve gone backpacking up at Elk Meadows. It’s been… what? Since at least 2021… So over a year, from my records. 13 months.

For this being my go-to hike, that’s kind of a long time.

I mean, okay. Granted, I’ve hiked Elk Meadows a ton of times since then. Let’s see… three other times? More than any other hike, by a good margin, so it still counts as a go-to. Just… less backpacking this year, I think. Yeah – four times this year, vs. six last year. But there’s still time, I have faith I’ll get another few in this year.

Anyways I went backpacking at Elk Meadows

It was a lovely weekend – I started off by having brunch at Timberline Lodge, getting a chance to sit down at the Cascade Dining room for their buffet and snacking on some excellent fancy restaurant fare. It was… good… but not great, frankly. COVID’s hit everyone hard, especially the tourism industry, and it felt like the Lodge was still severely understaffed. I was patient though, snacked as I could, and soon enough was parked and heading up the trail to Elk.

The hike was lovely – I went pretty much non-stop, working on my endurance a bit, and pushing to hike a little bit more quickly than I normally would. Not being in a rush, mind you, just… pushing my body a little bit. Exulting in my strength and endurance, and seeing how far I could push those limits.

I made camp in a new campsite for me, since there were folks in my normal ones, and set about exploring the meadow. It was interesting – the meadow was more crowded than I think I’ve ever seen it before, with a grand total of maybe half a dozen people camped around various spots. It was almost loud… not significantly so, of course, and not enough to overwhelm the sounds of nature, but… still. Loud enough that it was noticeable and memorable.

I relaxed.

I ate dinner, read my book, and stargazed.

I slept gloriously, and woke up excellently refreshed.

I explored the meadows again in the morning. Stretching out, warming up the muscles, and appreciating the cool and sunny day.

I finished my book, packed up, and walked back to the car.

It was a good day.

Ohh! One interesting thing of note – My campstove had given me trouble on Middle Sister, if you recall, so I pulled it apart before heading out to Elk Meadows… dissassembled the whole thing, cleaned and rinsed it, and made sure everything was back in its proper place. Works like a charm, now!

Just a reminder to people – You’re always capable of troubleshooting stuff!

An Impromptu drive into Portland


Friday and Saturday, 26-Aug and 27-Aug-2022

It’d been a long week. Grad school applications, work tomfoolery, all of it. I’d hit the gym, ordered a pizza, and was about to pour a glass of whiskey and watch a movie while gorging on more food than is probably recommended by good sense.

My friend called – she was at the animal hospital, waiting to be seen. Her cat’d been kind of sick, and had taken a turn for the worst. The kitty was unhappy, and the friend hadn’t had dinner.

Whiskey was put back on the shelf, pizza was wrapped in a cloak to stay warm, and I was on the highway heading to Portland within 5min.

Not the Friday evening I’d planned (or the very early on Saturday morning, when she was finally seen by the Vet… almost four hours later), but you know what? Easily a better time. I’ll take the opportunity to bring surprise-pizza to a friend over watching a movie at home, any time and any day.