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Outdoors

August 13, 2014

Crabtree Lake lies high in a glacial cirque in the Old Cascades among ancient and massive old-growth Douglas fir. 

July 9, 2014

Old-growth Western hemlock, Douglas fir and Alaska cedar blanket all slopes of the Browder Ridge near the junction of Hwy. 126 and Hwy. 20. You can hike this trail from west to east, east to west or arrange a shuttle. In my opinion, this hike is best done from the eastern trailhead at Gate Creek. 

As we set out up the trail I was quickly reminded how steep this section of the trail is, covering nearly 1,400 feet in just less than 2 miles. The impressive and ever-changing forest gives you the sense of being far from any roads and helps dull the pain in your calves. 

November 21, 2013

Combining history and outstanding hiking, the Santiam Wagon Road from Mountain House to House Rock passes through impressive old-growth Douglas fir forest and passes a waterfall and a large boulder that both Native Americans and American settlers used for shelter.

May 30, 2013

The Willamette River is the lifeblood of the valley that bears its name — though by the time it reaches major population centers it has been dammed and otherwise mutilated by humans. Thankfully not far from Eugene one can hike or bike along the banks of the Middle Fork of this mighty river. 

April 25, 2013

The Menagerie Wilderness is relatively unknown to those who aren’t rock climbers or from nearby, and the Trout Creek Trail showcases a good taste of what the Menagerie Wilderness outside of Sweet Home has to offer. This area was protected primarily because of the plentiful rock pinnacles, which are favorites of climbers and threatened birds. Even if you aren’t a rock climber, the unique forest that blankets the area is reason enough to visit. Towering Douglas fir, western hemlock, Western redcedar and Pacific madrone all surround the trail.

February 21, 2013

Silver Falls State Park is Oregon’s largest state park, with more than 9,000 acres to explore. The early American history of the area included private ownership of South Falls. The owner pushed old cars into the canyon and charged 10 cents to see the falls. Thankfully that insane use of such a fantastic area has ended. Early logging removed much of the massive trees that once surrounded the incredible falls in the area. American activity around Silver Falls in the early years of settlement was based primarily on exploitation.

December 27, 2012

Recently I’ve had the craving to hike around Oakridge. I’m not sure if it is the incredible forest or the food and beer at Brewers Union Local 180 after the hike. Regardless of the reasoning, I’ve been twice in the last week. The first hike was a lower portion of the Middle Fork Willamette Trail and the second was the Larison Creek Trail. For those who don’t know, Oakridge is a mecca for both hiking and mountain bike riding. I like to do both, but prefer hiking.

May 9, 2012

After surviving a winter of being hailed on and harassed by the seemingly schizophrenic weather Gods of the Pacific Northwest, it’s finally about time to get outdoors. And what better way to celebrate the coming of sun (and very large full moons) than to go on an adventure of the wild kind. 

May 9, 2012

Adventures demand persistence, and the best ones are worth the sweat, mosquito bites and boot-blisters that come along with them. These are thoughts one tries to keep in mind step-for-step when the weight of a 50-pound pack and half a 60-pound canoe hinders a three-mile hike through thick Oregon wilderness as darkness begins to set in. 

May 9, 2012

Some weekend during spring term of my sophomore year at college, a group of us decided to go rafting down the Columbia. An old, old friend of mine, Scott, organized the trip, with promises that he’d take care of everything. All I was to do was grab three or four of my college buddies, and provide a second car for setting out.

Scott’s purportedly well-nigh professional preparations consisted of: A raft, four mismatched paddles, two fifths of whiskey and six waterlogged life preservers that looked to be circa 1953 or so.

May 9, 2012

I went to the mild as the wild because I wished to deliberately expose only the essential facts of life and see if I could not uncover some truth in it. This was not to affiliate myself with known outdoorsy visionaries (see nudehiker.blogspot.com for a Northwest example), those arbiters and champions of dignity and expressively non-sexual physical freedom.

May 9, 2012

In a crowd of writhing bodies that slip, splash, squirm and somersault through nearly 4 miles of muck, it won’t take long before you find yourself face down in a mud puddle the size of a small pond. Sound like fun? Welcome to Eugene’s First Annual Dirty Dash!

March 14, 2012

Oregon’s only National Park is a summertime favorite for locals and tourists alike. Whether it’s a boat ride to majestic Wizard Island or a scenic tour around the caldera on Rim Drive, Crater Lake has plenty to offer in the warm season. But America’s deepest lake is by no means off-limits when the snow falls in winter. The southern entrance to the park remains open, and the road to Rim Village is plowed for vehicle access.