Upwardtrails a Christian Activities Organization, Portland,Ore.USA
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Forest Park

November 22nd
About 6 miles*** 4 hikers ***

Cool & cloudy

After driving up a very steep, winding road, we parked at the northern-most trailhead for Forest Park to begin our hike. We walked southeast in the cool, crisp air through a thick carpet of fall leaves surrounded by moss-draped trees. We crossed several wooden bridges over dry creekbeds and a couple of dirt roads used as firelanes. On one of these firelanes, we switched back to the direction we’d been going except now we were on a powerline access road in a much more open area.

At another switchback, there’s a sign commemorating the history of the area. By 1999, all the forestland around here had been purchased for recreational use except for a 73-acre spot in the midst of it, leaving a hole on the map. When this area was threatened with development, the locals began a "fix the hole" campaign, getting donors to purchase the land for Portland, so now the public can enjoy it.

Ruth had told us about a Wild Art Fair in Portland, so we decided to give it a try after the hike. While we were there, she suggested that maybe William "Bill" Sullivan, the author of most of our guidebooks, might be there. When she found his name on the roster, that gave me the idea to check for the name of Joe "The Metal Cowboy" Kirmazski as well. He’s a lesser-known author of a series of books based on his adventures riding literally around the world. More recently, he’s been riding with his young children and writing about that in his books.

After a lunch of hot soup at the art fair, we met Bill and Joe, got our pictures taken with them, and of course,bought some books. We then stayed to explore the rest of the art show. There were some pretty impressive exhibits, so I’m glad we went. I think that was the highlight of the trip.

Previous Trip reports....

  • March 15th:
    Lost Lake..........

    August 16th, 2008
    About 8 moderate miles
    6 people

    Nice day; clear & warm
    After changing a few trips this year due to snowpack, this one was relocated because of forest fire. All the trails on the east side of Mt. Hood were closed this summer due to the Gnarl Ridge fire on that side. For a map of the extent of the fire, check out this website: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/1465/

    I did a last-minute scramble to come up with an alternative in the Mt. Hood area. We had a request for "some place shady with water", so I thought Lost Lake would fit the bill. The road up is so long and winding, we had to stop a time or two, so people wouldn’t get car sick. Once we finally got there, we were told to turn left away from the store to find a parking spot. We didn’t have a map of the campground, so I wasn’t exactly sure where we were when we parked, but I figured we’d find the lake eventually.

    We hiked up a road, turned through someone’s campsite, and down a steep hill to connect with the lake trail. We turned left and walked along several boardwalks, passing several places where the lake could be accessed. Every single one of them was full of people. When we got to the south end of the lake, we turned left to start up the Huckleberry Mt. Trail.

    It was good to leave the crowds behind as we headed up the hill. After a couple of switchbacks, we were able to look back down on the lake which had a few boats on it. Lost Lake Butte loomed high across the lake. As we approached the ridge, we could see the Gnarl Ridge fire to the north of Mt. Hood. The fire was hot enough to give the smoke a red glow thousands of feet in the air. Our destination was the Pacific Crest Trail where

    Dave fixed the sign with his trusty multipliers. On the way down, as we stopped to watch the fire a little more, we said a prayer for the safety of the firefighters.

    Back at the lake, Dave & I crowded in amongst the other people and managed a short swim. At the north end, we found more boardwalks among

    the feeder creeks and wetlands where Seth found a geocache near a bench.

    Another short swim for me as the others explored the store. After 25 years of guiding, it finally happened; I got the group lost. Where? At Lost of course. After leaving the store, we walked back on the boardwalk a ways, then turned up the right trail through the right campsite, but we took a wrong turn at the top of the hill. This is where I was wishing I had a map of the actual campground which the guide books and forest service maps don’t have. As I said earlier, I didn’t exactly know where we were in the parking lot in relation to the store and by now I was too tired to think correctly, but after wandering in the wrong direction awhile, we turned around and went back to the car.

    We stopped for a hot meal at Zig Zag Inn on the way home.

    I’ve since found a map online so I’ll know where we are next time.

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