There’s no time like mid-October to wrap up the summer, right? I’ve reached the point where I am so far behind on life documentation that I’m afraid I’ll forget everything we did this summer. But it’s kind of nice to stay in solidarity with these seasonal blog posts, yes? (Check out winter and spring, if you’d like.)
It was a bit of a wild summer in Oregon, with weeks of 100+ degree temperatures (we don’t have air conditioning, and that is as miserable as it sounds) and wildfires ravaging the Gorge, leading to some scary smoke-filled days in the city.
After finishing grad school and playing in the Canadian Rockies, I still had plenty of funemployment to enjoy (by the way, does anyone need a nutritionist?), so I tried to soak up some good Oregon summertime before the rains arrived (which they have, with gusto).
Without further ado, let’s hit those summer highlights.
If there’s an easy hike with a great payoff, this is it.
It’s kind of a long drive from Portland (around 2 hours) for such a short hike, but the views are insane, and the crowds are virtually nonexistent. Karlie and I had the whole place to ourselves.
From what I’ve read, this is one of the steeper hikes in Oregon’s Coastal Mountain Range, and my legs will agree. With 2500 feet of elevation gain in the 2.5 miles to the top, it’s definitely not an easy hike. Courtney, Karlie, and I did this hike on one of the million degree, smoky wildfire days in Portland, and were able to mostly escape the misery. It was still sweaty.
Camping at Lost Lake
Eric and I camped at Lost Lake a few years ago during an April heatwave, and I’ve been itching to return ever since. Karlie and I took advantage of weekday freedom (#funemployment) to camp our little hearts out.
I have to give Courtney a little shoutout for letting us borrow her inner tubes for the trip (Courtney, you are the best!). Just a little tip for anyone hoping to have a relaxing float at the lake: It’s helpful to have something with paddles when starting your float from the shore. That would probably allow you to avoid getting your entire body soaked (we were wearing clothes over our swimsuits because mountain lakes are cold) as you attempt to swim yourself out far enough to get past the current. Karlie and I had quite the struggle, which I’m fairly certain entertained everyone watching from the shore. But once we made it, it was delightful.
Campfire dinner by nutritionists:
We woke up super early the next morning to see the sunrise. We bundled up and ran around the lake to get to the good mountain views (which made us very sweaty and forced us to remove all of those layers as soon as we stopped the hustle). The clouds were insane and rewarded us with quite the sunrise show.
Seeing all the fog in the trees made me super excited for cooler, moodier weather.
After our Lost Lake camping trip, Karlie and I headed to Vista Ridge for a hike. We got a little lost and didn’t find the actual trailhead (thanks to using a map in a hiking book and hoping for the best), but the trail we found connected to the right trail (victory!), and it turned into a beautiful hike! Thank you, Karlie, for your willingness to follow me into the woods.
The trail wanders through a section of the mountain that was destroyed in a wildfire in 2011, leaving a bunch of white trees that are now surrounded by wildflowers. It was overwhelmingly beautiful, especially with views of the mountain peeking through.
It was a beautiful, restful, life-giving summer!