At the beginning of the year I set a walking goal for myself to finish 1 mile of walking every day for the month of January. Towards the beginning of this week I passed that goal, and currently stand at an avg of 2.475 miles per day. I also set a goal for myself to hike at least once a week for the entire year – that goal is progressing as planned.
I have decided that I’m going to up my walking game and set a new goal of 75 miles for the month of January, and a total of 1000 miles walked and hiked for the year (~2.75 miles per day). Currently I’m 4.24 miles behind the new goal (yes, I even used my budding Matlab programming skills to write code that will tell me how far ahead/behind I am on any given day!). I’ll check in again at the end of the month and tell you how the walking is progressing, but for now lets catch up on the hiking.
HIKE #1: Tryon Creek State Natural Area, Portland, OR – 2.03 Miles
Tryon creek is Oregons only state park within a metropolitan area. Because of its proximity to the city, and its quiet nature preserve type setting it’s a super popular oasis from the hustle and bustle just over the hill. There are hiker and horseback riding trails within the park, and a 3 mile paved bicycle path parallels SW Terwillager along the parks eastern edge. The park seems to attract a fair number of trail runners, but there are paths for all levels, and even a bouncy suspension bridge! We’ve been there a few times now, and always seem to take a different route through the park. Our route for this short jaunt was Old Main Trail to Red Fox Trail to Cedar Trail to Middle Creek Trail back to Old Main. A light fog and winter greenery lent a broody atmosphere to the hike, and a recent dry spell meant some of the smaller trails weren’t too muddy. It was a great intro to the 2015 hiking season.
Tryon Creek Naturalist Notes
Hike #2: Whipple Creek Regional Park, Clark County, WA – 3.5 miles
Whipple Creek Park is < 20 miles north of downtown Portland. Google maps will lead you to a false entrance, so make sure you turn off 21st Ave where a small parking area is located at the end of the road. The trail is open to hikers, bikers, and horseback riders, and I saw all three out there taking advantage of this semi-secret patch of native forest. The larger trails were graded very well, but the smaller trails were slick with mud from recent rains. Everything was hushed in a typical foggy winter PNW day with light drizzle. I spotted one marginally hidden geocache tucked away on a side trail, so if you’re into that, you’ll have fun traversing the trails to find it. I could hardly believe this patch of heavily wooded forest was so close to the city, it felt so good breathing in fresh tree oxygen for an hour.
Whipple Creek Loop Hike
Hike #3: Sandy River Delta, Troutdale, OR – 2.67 miles
We originally intended on hiking out at Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge in Wa, but the traffic on I-5 was bad, so we decided to drive out Marine Drive and walk by the river. We ended up at Sandy River Delta park (after seeing 3 cranes, and a coyote along the way). This is the second time we’ve hiked out there, and once you get past the road noise from I-84 it’s a peaceful wetland area filled with bird song, mud, and blackberry bushes. It would be more peaceful except for the fact that as an off-leash dog park its popularity has EXPLODED, and it’s literally overrun with dogs: diggerdy dogs, fetching dogs, lazy dogs, yapping dogs, smiley dogs. If you don’t like dogs, do not hike here. I love dogs, but I think in the future I’ll brave the traffic to go to Ridgefield rather than coming out here again to hike. It is a great park if you need to get a quick walk in without it being too strenuous, or if you are a die-hard birder that doesn’t want to travel too far from home for a bit of nature.
Sandy River Delta Hike
All in all a great start to the 2015 hiking season. I’m looking forward to exploring new areas in the coming weeks, upping the mileage, and most importantly snowshoeing!
2015 – Current Mileage: 39.6 miles