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More Oregon Hike recommendations

More Oregon Hike recommendations

  1. No Name Lake and Bend Glacier via Broken Top Trail – considered one of the best hikes in the state.
  2. Tamanawas Falls – Mt Hood
  3. Tom, Dick, and Harry – Mt Hood
  4. Hamilton Mountain Trail – Gorge
  5. Maxwell Lake – Wallowas
  6. God’s Thumb via The Knoll – Oregon coast near Lincoln City
  7. Clatsop Loop Trail – Ecola Park – easy but good views. Great intro trail.
  8. John Dellenback Dunes Trail – Oregon coast near Reedsport
  9. Natural Bridges Viewpoint Trail – South Oregon Coast – probably most amazing views of multiple natural rock bridges and coastal rock formations.
  10. Trail of Ten Falls – Silver Creek State Park
  11. Misery Ridge Hike – Central Oregon
  12. Tumalo Falls Trail – Bend
  13. Green Lakes/Soda Creek trail – Bend –
  14. Cleetwood Cove Trail – from rim to water at Crater Lake

Major multi-day hikes:

  1. Three Sister’s Loop – 46 miles
  2. Steens Mountain Gorges Loop – 28 miles
  3. Paulina Peak trail – gorgeous sunrises, rent a snowmobile in winter
  4. South Sister Trail to summit – 12 miles

More information and some of them taken from here.

Tools for wildflower season in the Gorge

Tools for wildflower season in the Gorge

Purple and golden wildflowers cover a landscape

It’s springtime, and that means wildflowers are blooming in the gorge! Knowing when to go and what trails you want to take can be overwhelming. Here’s two good resources.

  •  Oregonwildflowers.org, is created and maintained by flower superfan and photographer Greg Lief. The exhaustive site collates recent trip reports from wildflower wanderers. Follow links to discussion groups and “up to the minute bloom conditions” as well as links to further information including handy wildflower databases and local plant lists.
  • ReadySetGOrge.com, a clearinghouse maintained by local partner agencies. ReadySetGOrge offers complete information — maps and directions; trail lengths, elevations and difficulty levels; facilities and required passes — for all 181 recreation sites in the Gorge.
  • OregonLive list of some popular trails (where I stole most of the above info from)

With the increased popularity of the gorge, you now need permits more than ever before to hike trails and see the flowers. Here’s some links for that:

Fr Stu

Fr Stu

Stu Long was a classmate of mine during seminary days at Mt Angel. His story was like the story of many of other seminarians – people that you might never have expected being calling to discern the priesthood. His story, however, was more unique than most – and his path certainly more twisty. His life has now become a movie by Mark Wahlberg.

After having seen the movie, I can say that it’s about as accurate as one could fit in 2 hours. They combined a lot of real life people into a few characters for simplicity – but I remember almost all these stories in the movie. I highly recommend going to see it. It’s the very kind of person that God often calls and you might find discerning a call to religious life.

If you’d like to read more about Fr Stu, check out these links:

Here’s a news clip on the movie from a local Helena Montana news report:

And this clip exactly matches a lot of the stories Stu had and as I remembered him

Mailbox Peak Trail

Mailbox Peak Trail

You may have heard Mailbox Peak Trail mentioned in hushed tones, the kind reserved for stories about some legendary storm or a bad accident. What inspires such reverence?

The original trail proceeds more or less straight up a ridgeline to the summit, gaining a jaw dropping 3,800 feet in two and a half miles. After a short flatter section, there is nary a switchback in sight as it climbs and crosses an open talus field. Until the Department of Natural Resources built a new, much gentler trail to the summit, accidents and rescues of wayward hikers were a fairly regular occurrence. Most of the old trail remains, marked for much of its length by a string of white reflectors nailed to trees – an earlier step DNR undertook to keep the uninitiated from losing their way in the most confusing parts of the trail.

While it might not be the most scenic of trails, it is definitely one of legends. It reminds me a lot of the Heartbreak Ridge trail on Table Mountain. It is so steep as to be a near scramble up, or requires using the trees to descend without tumbling. Heartbreak climbs 1650ft in 1.2 miles – which is almost the same pitch, but only half as long.

Story behind the Forest Park Drive-in

Story behind the Forest Park Drive-in

Perhaps you’ve seen this little drive in located on NW Skyline Blvd. These days it sits empty except for Christmas time when it has a Christmas tree in it.

It turns out this little landmark has an amazing back story. It was run by a WW II veteran called Old Ben (Benjamin Pachkofsky) that built the drive-in himself and also created a zip-line and a gigantic A-frame swing in the woods behind the building. It became a spot for people to come hang out and enjoy his creations and his food. Unfortunately, Ben seemed to suffer from the effects of the war via PTSD. His marriage ended in divorce and his son said he was a generous man that unfortunately needed help. Help that really wasn’t around back then.

The place now belongs to Scott Posey. Ben sold it to Posey for a song when he reached his 80’s. Posey has been approached countless times about people wanting to turn it into a 7-11, bikini baristas, and everything else you can imagine. Posey denied all the requests and hopes somehow to open it back up for it’s original style, but only time will tell.

Portland’s Daily Stolen Car Count

Portland’s Daily Stolen Car Count

Property crime – including car thefts and break-ins – have become the new pandemic in Portland. For 2021 we reached a 25 year high with many months now have over 1000 cars stolen. 2022 is shaping up to be the same or worse.

It’s not uncommon to see vehicles without license plates driving around city streets and even randomly crashed into buildings. Since last year, Portland police can no longer pull cars over for traffic infractions, missing tags, expired registration, etc. It may soon be Oregon state law that police cannot pull anyone over for minor infractions.

Much like the old Portland Stabtown counter, there is now a new PDXStolenCars.com that keeps tally on the location and stolen vehicle count each day. They also list the most common open-air chop shops and dumping locations for boosted cars since local police no longer pursue such cases.

Funhouse Die Hard

Funhouse Die Hard

Time to celebrate one of the best Christmas movies around – Die Hard.

Funhouse Lounge here in Portland has done a Die Hard musical parody show for several years now. This year is no different and all the shows almost immediately sold out. However, given the COVID situation, they also graciously provided a streaming option. I gave it a watch, and recommend you do too – but hurry – there are only a few streaming opportunities left.