Jefferson Park

A Blessed Life

There really aren’t a ton of luxuries I look for in life: third wave coffee, immediate and unfettered access to all 202 episodes of The X-Files, and nice sunglasses come to mind. Mountainous public lands within a few hours also make the list. While my residency in Oregon does not grant me immediate and unfettered access to all 202 episodes of The X-Files or nice sunglasses, it does make accessing mountainous public lands (and third wave coffee, for real though) very easy, easier than it is for most people.

In fact, access is so easy that I can think to myself on a Thursday afternoon, “I would like to go backpacking,” then on Friday afternoon, go backpacking.



Wallowa River Loop

Wallowa River Loop Title

What’s the Point?

In a hypothetical college classroom—one where sounding Intellectual with a capital ‘i’ is beneficial (or at least you think it is at nineteen years of age), one at a liberal arts school like my alma mater (where We Teach You How To Think, Not What To Think)—if I was asked to describe the primary reason I enjoy hiking in the wilderness, I think I’d answer with something to the effect of, “The sense of being in a place.” I really, truly value the feeling of being removed from my day-to-day environments and being wholly in another, starkly different one. Not for “escape” or “therapy” or whatever, I mean I quite like my routine in Portland. Truthfully I’m not sure I could come back with a concise explanation/reasoning if you gave me a week. But there is without doubt a tremendous joy I get from the overwhelming presence of being in the mountains or woods or desert, alone or in a small group (I’ll get to this in a minute or two) and with little to do but wander around.

With so little going on in-brain the sensory experience can be next-level, and out of that comes said sense of being a place, of being totally cognizant and actively aware of your surroundings, and that’s cool.



McNeil Ridge


Sub-24 Hour Trips as a Necessity

I didn’t have a full day off from the 28th of June until the 31st of July due to the running of the Tour de France and the daily publishing requirements that come with us covering a race. My one window was from the afternoon of the 21st until the late morning of the 22nd, and I took it. As with pretty much all of my short trips, I researched/planned/shopped/packed in the space of a few hours the night before. I haven’t done much on the north side of Hood, so I headed for the Top Spur Trailhead with the intention of spending a night in Wy’East Basin.