Tag Archives: Sunset

A quick walk down to Ecola Point

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Friday, 05-Feb-2021


Sometimes, I just need to get out of the house… Usually, I’ll head toward the snow and the cold, but thanks to a whole issue with the Mustang being in the shop for repairs, I wasn’t quite feeling confident enough to brave the snow and ice. As strange as it may sound to some, I trust the rear-wheel drive Mustang in the snow implicitly… partially because I’m used to driving it in Bostonian winters, and partially because it has all my emergency gear in the trunk – chains, self-jumpers, extra food, that sort of thing.

Without that safety net, I didn’t feel up to an artic adventure.

Instead, the coast called out to me. Clean, cool air, salt spray, sunsets, clouds, rain and wind.

The drive out was long… and frankly, pretty boring. The little EcoBoost that the shop had given me did fine, but the drive out to the coast has few views aside from some interesting forest scenes. Thankfully the drive went by fairly quickly with a liberal application of loud singalong music, and soon enough I was scrambling down the muddle slope toward the sea.


I’d never been to Ecola point, and it was actually my second choice for a destination – I was originally targetting Indian Beach, but unfortunately the recent wind storms (I think?) had closed the parking lot off… Or COVID restrictions had closed that parking lot? Or… possibly it’s seasonal?

Meh, doesn’t matter in the end. These days, there’s a thousand and one reasons a place may be closed. After parking, my only concern became how to best descend the slope; soon enough I was scrambling down the muddy trail, hand-over-hand down a climbing rope toward the rocky shore. It was amazing – the views were second to none, and the descent itself was worth the entire drive out there.

There was a trail, of course, but I use the term “trail” very loosely in this regard – it was more of a series of braided pathways leading in the same general direction, with a few trail markers strewn liberally about… possibly by rangers, but also possibly by the sea breeze. I… honestly couldn’t quite tell if they were intentionally place, or just detritus blown in on a storm.

The rope helped things, giving me a singular descent point (and peace of mind that, yes, this was an actual trail) to trend toward, and one place to keep an eye on as the tide came in.

I didn’t go too far offshore on the rocks, but I did spend quite a while sitting on the beach. I read, I watched the sun fly toward the horizon, and I just enjoyed the misty rain and the sound of the surf. It’s amazing and beautifully calming, and I was taken a little aback when I realized just how late in the day it had gotten.

A good day, by any metric.

Going home early to read in a kayak

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Monday, 18-January-2021


Some days, I’m just not productive. My brain isn’t working, I’m distracted, or things just… somehow don’t ever work out right. Monday was one of those days.

But you know what? That’s the whole advantage of being a salaried employee with flex-time – if I can’t seem to get anything done one day… I can always just stay late on a day that I can get things done. And on the day that I can’t get things done, I can go home a bit early.

Today, I chose that option.

Granted, it was only an hour early. But when the sun sets right when I normally leave work, that hour makes all the difference. I escaped, drove home, and immediately tossed my little inflatable dinghy into my pack before stepping out the door.

It was glorious.

Beautiful views, excellent river-sounds, and basically nobody around since it was barely above freezing. I stayed close to the shore, because of the mentioned temperatures, but ended up tying up to a nearby dock and just… floating.

The river rushed by, swollen by the recent rain, and I just stared at the sky, caught up on messages from friends, and read my book until I couldn’t quite feel my hands.

A Thanksgiving adventure – Hiking Elk Meadows

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A Thanksgiving adventure – Hiking Elk Meadows

Thanksgiving is going to be different this year. This is my first year being single in half a decade, and thanks to the COVID Pandemic it’s also the first year that I can’t travel, and don’t have any friends still in town. I’m flying solo, have a ton of vacation to burn, and am feeling energetic...


Saturday, 21-Nov-2020


My first adventure of the week was low-key, just a quick hike in the snow up to Elk meadows, on the flanks of Mt. Hood. Somehow, Elk Meadows has become my go-to hike this year… it’s straightforward, a medium-length drive, not too difficult. Something about it just speaks to me, and I’ve embraced this unexpected friendship.

Today’s hike was an out-and-back, not staying overnight and not packing too much gear. It also wasn’t particularly rushed… which is to say, I didn’t leave the house until somewhere around noon thirty or one o’clock. Which… could have been a problem, when the sun sets around four-thirty. But it wasn’t any concern – this is a relaxed week, not a time to stress out. If then sun sets on me as I hike out… so what? I’ve got warm gear, I’ve got headlamps, and I’ve got crampons for when the trail ices over.

It’s all good.

If the sun sets while I’m up, that just means that I’ll get pretty sunset pictures.


By the time I parked at the snowy trailhead, I was pretty confident that I’d be getting those sunset pictures. Parking itself was interesting, but not particularly challenging thankfully. The road in was snow-covered, but the Mustang performed just as well as I knew it would, easily getting me parked nice and close to the trailhead itself.

The hike in?

Beautiful. Simply beautiful.

The trail was heavily snowed in, of course, but had been nicely packed down by the days traffic, so I was able to make quite good time, only post-holing a couple of times. I appreciated those instances though, since they served to remind me just how deep the snow was – hiking, it’d be easy to make the mistake of thinking that the snow was only four or five inches deep… but that was just the difference between the trail and the top layer. Below the packed trail was a solid two or threw feet of snow before you actually made it to ground level.

That snow-cover gave the whole forest a beautiful feeling. “Winter Wonderland” comes closest to describing it, and I enjoyed every minute of the hike up to the Meadow. And when I got to the meadow itself? Wonderland overload.

Seriously – Elk Meadows in the winter is amazing.

The snow was untouched, except for a faint trail etched through the snow heading off into the distance toward Mt. Hood. Mt Hood itself stood proud in the afternoon light like a sentinel, and the trees slowly swayed in their winter coats. It was beautiful, and I’d timed it perfectly to see the first rays of the sunset start hitting the mountain.

I spent quite a while just enjoying the sights and sounds. I had the meadow compleely to myself, as seems to be the norm these days, and I took the time to appreciate the solitude and rustle of the wind before heading out into the meadow itself.

I love walking in the snow – it’s not easy, of course, and breaking trail absolutely builds up a sweat surprisingly quickly… but I still love the feeling of forging into the wilderness. There’s something about it that makes me feel like an intrepid explorer, breaking trail and forging onward to unseen glories.


I forged onward, explored the meadow, and enjoyed the crisp air as the sun dipped down below the horizon. My headlamp came out, snacks were snacked upon, and I was careful to keep sipping water so that my camelback wouldn’t freeze.

In short? Perfect. Simply, absolutely, perfect.

Getting back to the car was no problem at all, and thankfully nor was pulling out from the snow-covered trailhead. The Mustang once again proved its worth… or at least the combination of car & driver proved their worth, and soon enough I was cruising through the mountain roads back toward home. Slowly and carefully, thanks to the slowly icing conditions… but consistently just the same.

That would be the theme to the week – and a good one, to be sure. Slowly but consistently, moving forward and onward.