Last year I couldn’t wait for winter to end so I could get outside and do some hiking in this beautiful state of mine. After all, hiking provided me with the basis to write my first novels, and it remains one of my most favorite outdoor activities (second only to paddle boarding).
In the dreary months of winter last year, I would glance ahead in my planner, longing for spring, knowing that sunshine would arrive and my weekends would open up and before I knew it, I would be trekking through the Oregon wilderness.
And soon enough May arrived, and with it some sunshine and warmer temperatures. I bought my NW Forest Pass and started searching online for new hikes. I looked at Instagram and AllTrails and blew the dust off the hiking books I keep on my bookshelf. I inventoried my backpack and first aid kit and brought my trail running shoes out of storage.
I vowed to be ready come June.
And then June did come.
And with June came the end of school for my kids. And with the end of school came graduation parties and field trips and concerts and programs and the start of beach volleyball.
And the start of a seriously booked calendar.
By the end of June my seasonal allergies were in full force and I knew I wouldn’t be able to be outside for more than 20 minutes anyway. I flipped the calendar page and glanced at July with love in my eyes.
And July roared in so fast I barely had time to celebrate my birthday and it was time for beach volleyball tournaments on the weekends, a family vacation, and the start of training for high school volleyball. We planned to hike while on vacation but each day the aquamarine pool curled it’s perfectly manicured finger at me and beckoned, “come over and relax a little, oh, and what’s that? Poolside drink service? Well, helloooo gin and tonic…how I’ve missed you.”
So that was July.
And then August came in and holy $hit it was hot. Too hot to hike. Too hot think about anything except staying in the AC and thanking my lucky stars our gym has an outdoor pool because did I mention our AC went out?
Yeah. So that was August.
By the time things cooled down it was time for high school ball to start (news to me: high school Fall sports actually begin games before school even starts!) and that includes weekend tournaments. And when a weekend did finally open up, guess what…it was Labor Day and did you know Oregon has a population of 600 thousand million quadrillion in the summer? You can’t drive to the gas station, let alone a trailhead.
So now it’s January 1 and I’m bringing out my planner for this brand spanking new year. I’m full of hope and armed with new pens. And the first thing I’m putting down in RED ink is a weekend, every month, dedicated for hiking. There’s no getting around it this year, folks. If I have to pull a planes, trains and automobiles escapade to get to a mountain, I’m doing it.
And I’ve got a list. And here it is:
Oregon Hikes for 2019
- Trail of Ten Falls
- Mirror Lake
- Black Butte
- Tamolitch Blue Pool
- Misery Ridge & Summit
- Cascade Head
- Pamelia Lake & Grizzly Peak
That’s a good enough start for me. The first three hikes are well known to me and really I just want to use them for warm ups. The last four are new and sound interesting, especially the last one. I’ve been dying to get up to Mt. Jefferson.
Are you planning any hikes this year? Where to? What are some of your favorites? Are there any you would never do again?
[My Answer:] Yes! I will never, EVER hike Munra Point in the Columbia Gorge again. I was scared to death and couldn’t complete the hike. Knifepoint edge mountain top with death on either side of me? Uh, no thanks!
Hey, here’s to hiking in the new year! Get out there! You never know when you might find something outside that inspires you.
See you in the PNW!