Category Archives: hiking

Food, Windsurfing and Hiking

Day 3 of the family visit was a long one!

The first stop was to Oaks Bottom Pub for lunch. I ordered the half roast beef sandwich with a salad. Michael ordered the famous “Totchos” for the whole table to try.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned totchos before. They are nachos but instead of chips, it’s tots. It’s very decadent and sometimes a gut-bomb of food. Luckily, the small plate was split between 6 people so I only had one or two bites.

We sat on the back patio for lunch and it was an absolutely gorgeous day! My lunch was pretty good. I was glad I got the half sandwich. The roast beef was a little on the dry side but the salad was delicious. It came with a lemon, garlic and pepper vinaigrette dressing. Delish.

I ordered a diet coke with lunch. I am much more successful with ordering healthy lunches than I am with dinners. I have no idea why dinner is so much harder for me, but it is. I tend to splurge more, and then of course, get a glass or two of wine AND dessert!

Michael and I thought it would be a good day trip to take our guests to Hood River. The Columbia River Gorge is really scenic and for people who have never been to Oregon, it’s a good introduction to the different types of landscapes in this area. Our guests are from Texas and two of them had never been to Oregon.

We went down to the water once we got to Hood River and showed them the kiteboards and windsurfers. It’s a really cool thing to watch! I really want to try both someday. It just looks like a lot of fun.

Our guests had a great time and thought it was a cool thing to watch. These people at Hood River are serious too. They have all the gear!

It was so windy down in Hood River yesterday! I don’t remember the last time it was that windy. A few times I felt like I was going to get blown away. I lost my footing and almost blew over. That never happened at 250!

After checking out the waterfront, we drove to the Old Highway 30 to go for a hike. If you remember, dear readers, this is the same place Michael and I biked for our anniversary last month.

It’s such a beautiful location, with a view of the whole Gorge!

It was a hot day yesterday and while I loved the bike ride there, it was a bit too hot to be hiking there. The shade was limited and I felt dehydrated. What’s the best thing to do when feeling dehydrated? Drink a bunch of wine!! 🙂

To Be Continued…..



Hiking Tips

Silver Falls

It’s summertime, which means hiking! Before you set out for a hike, read this post about some safety tips so you can enjoy your day.

  1. Have a good pair of hiking boots. There’s nothing worse than getting blisters from your boots and being 10 miles from the car. I also recommend wearing good hiking socks that wick moisture.
  2. Bring a lot of water, even if it’s just for a few hours. Essentially pack “just in case” you have to stay the night in the wilderness. Bring water purifying pills too.
  3. Bring extra food and snacks: protein bars, nuts, trail mix, fruit.
  4. Pack firestarters, matches, a compass and a rain poncho.
  5. Mini First Aid Kits are small and easy to pack.
  6. Sunscreen!
  7. Tell friends and family where you will be hiking and when you plan to return.
  8. Do not go off the trail. As soon as the weather gets nice in Oregon, the news is ripe with missing hikers and people falling to their death. Why? The common reason is almost always that the hiker LEFT THE TRAIL.
  9. Know the weather and be prepared.
  10. If you are new to hiking take frequent rest stops. Drink water, take pictures and rest.
  11. Be careful of ticks, poison ivy, poison oak and nettles.
  12. If you have allergies, bring your medication. Especially if you’re allergic to bees!

Different areas have different dangers. A few key things to be aware of:


  • Avoid peak times when the heat is the highest.
  • Bring extra water.
  • Be aware of quick weather changes. Thunder and lightning storms can come on fast in the desert.
  • Be aware of your surroundings in case there are snakes or other desert critters!

The Painted Hills


  • Be careful of the edge of the trail–especially if there’s a steep drop off on the other side. It’s easy to lose your footing and slip!
  • If you are sensitive to elevation, be aware of that as you hike up and take frequent breaks.
  • Stay on the trail!

Why Hike?

Hiking is one of my favorite summer activities. It’s fun, fairly cheap once you buy your basic gear, and it’s great exercise.

Most of all, have fun and enjoy the gorgeous scenery! You never know what you’ll see. 🙂

QUESTION: Are you a hiker? What are some of your own tips?

Stopping to Smell the Roses

I took my brother and his wife to Washington Park for the afternoon.

Washington Park

Did I mention that it was GORGEOUS in Portland on Thursday? It’s really summer! We walked around the Rose Gardens and smelled all the flowers.

Some had no scents.

Some were so aromatic I felt intoxicated by them. I didn’t want to stop smelling the beautiful rose.

We did a lot of walking amongst the roses. It seemed like everyone else in Portland decided to come out and enjoy the gardens too.

Rose Garden

There were some fantastic views of downtown Portland and also Mt. Hood. I wish I could have gotten some photos of that!

It was actually pretty hot on Thursday! I was wearing shorts and tank top, flip flops, and was sweating. It’s a nice change from the rainy, cold winter we’ve had.

Next to the Rose Garden was the Shakespeare Garden: “Dedicated in 1945, the Shakespeare Garden, donated by the LaBarre Shakespeare Club, was originally designed to include only herbs, trees, and flowers mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays. The garden continues to honor the Bard with roses named after characters in his plays.”

It looked like the perfect place to have a wedding. The Rose Garden is a very popular wedding place in Portland and there’s a very long wait-list! I think the Shakespeare Garden is the perfect location. It was beautiful.

After exploring the Rose Garden, we went up to the Hoyt Arboretum and walked around the trails there for a bit.

Hoyt Arboretum

We saw a deer on the trail! He was too fast for me to get a picture! I was so surprised to see a deer in the middle of a very popular part of Washington Park–and in the middle of the day, too!

I’m standing on a hill in that picture above. 🙂

After the hike, I dropped them off at the train station.

Train Station

It was a sad goodbye for me. They live in Philadelphia now and I only get to see them once –maybe twice a year. I wish I had the money to visit them back East.They are up in Seattle for the next few days visiting family and then they head back to Philly.

On another note, I went swimming on Thursday morning before they arrived. I felt okay in the pool. I felt even better in the hot tub. I didn’t have too much hip or butt pain. Really, the only pain or discomfort I had throughout the day was whenever I went up or down stairs. Clearly, the stairs are what did me in, so I need to stop that.

Time Travel Post #1

Around this time last year, Michael and I went to Stevenson, Washington to celebrate our 1 year anniversary together. We stayed at a super cute cabin within walking distance of the Walking Man Brewery.

*Not My Photo

The cabin was super cute. And super cheap. The downside? It was right by some train tracks. LOL

Romantic Cabin

Uh…yeah…I don’t think we got much sleep that weekend. The tracks were literally in front of the cabin. Oh well! It was an experience. There was aromatic jasmine growing by the front porch and we ate breakfast outside next to that jasmine all weekend. Lovely.

We ate good food.

Sampled some yummy beer.

Took goofy pictures:

And did a LOT of hiking! I wish I could remember the name of the hike we did out by Maryhill. The Maryhill area has some cool things to do and see. One of the hikes we did was near the Petroglyphs.


The weather was fantastic. It was sunny and hot out. I hadn’t packed appropriately so I had to go to a thrift store to buy a pair of shorts to get me through the weekend. 🙂

Desert Hike

We saw some rock climbers. That’s something I really don’t have interest in trying. Scary!

Rock Climbers

After the hike, we headed to Maryhill Winery for some excellent wine tasting. Maryhill is an awesome winery! I’ve actually been there for a concert too. I saw Crosby, Stills and Nash there and it was amazing!


The wine at Maryhill is one of my favorites. It’s a shame it’s such a long drive from Portland.


We also spent a lot of time in Hood River.

Hood River

I thought the kiteboarders looked AWESOME! That I definitely want to try someday!



How fun. In Hood River, we did a bunch of wine tasting (there’s so many options there). Heading back to Portland, we stopped at a hike near Eagle Creek to get one last hike in.


This was the same hike I wrote about in my Favorite Hikes. We saw a deer on the trail!

At the Top

Only a few more weeks and we are taking another weekend getaway for our anniversary! I can’t wait!

QUESTION: What were you doing this time last year?

A Rainy Hike

This morning’s breakfast was scrambled eggs, bacon and bagel thins with cream cheese. It was delicious!

The plan was to go golfing for an hour or two and then head out for a hike. We got to the golf course and the rain came. 😦 We came home and checked the report. It seemed like the Gorge was rain-free so we drove for about 40 minutes into the Gorge to go for a hike at Wahclella Falls. Here’s the website:

Wahclella Falls

The sun was out for the first part of our hike. It was very quiet and remote, even though it was right off the highway.

The path was pretty muddy but we trucked along. It was quite worth it too, the waterfall at the end of the trail was beautiful!

The falls were so close, we got very wet!

Getting Wet!

The rain REALLY came down hard at this point. We found shelter in a cave for a few minutes.

Trying to Stay Dry

The scenery really was magical looking. I thought it looked like something out of Lord of the Rings!

Gorgeous Scenery


We realized there wasn’t going to be a break in the rain so we decided to just go for it. Of course, our rain gear was in the trunk of the car!

If you look at the right side of the bridge in the next picture, you can kind of see the cave we huddled in.

Rainy Bridge

We made it back to the car and dried off the best we could. Since we were in the area, we swung by IKEA to do a little shopping and get hot dogs for lunch. 🙂

Lunch at IKEA

This what the drive home was like:

Once we got back to Portland, the rain was gone. Of course! We headed to the golf course and Michael golfed 9 holes. I was his caddy. 🙂 There was also a wedding going on at the golf course. We tried to stay out of the pictures. Especially since we looked homeless and were covered in mud.

Favorite Hiking Memories


Last summer, Michael and I drove to Central Oregon to camp for the weekend near John Day, Oregon. It was quite the drive from Portland. Through Mt. Hood Forest, through countryside and finally the desert.

Driving to the Painted Hills

The Painted Hills

I loved the campground we stayed at. It was very rustic. And that weekend was quite the adventure. We tried to bike the remote road leading to the Painted Hills and were shot at!! But that’s a story for another day.

Painted Hills


Multnomah Falls is a gorgeous hike right off the highway. The Gorge is pretty picturesque anyways, but this spot is pretty amazing. No wonder is super popular! Year round, tourists visit Multnomah Falls–rain or shine or snow or sleet they visit. It’s a short hike, about 1 mile, but it’s STRAIGHT UP. It is a fantastic workout.

Multnomah Falls

Michael and I were hiking this pretty regularly because it’s short and intense. We improved on our time and perfected the correct breakfast to eat beforehand. 🙂 It’s NOT pancakes!


Silverfalls State Park is South of Portland, near Mt. Angel. It’s a pretty drive, but somewhat long because it’s so winding. There are tons of trails, mountain biking trails, hikes, campgrounds, and cool things to see. Check it out here:


Silverfalls From the Bottom


Eagle Creek is a wonderful hike in the Gorge (near Bridge of the Gods).

Eagle Creek

It’s very beautiful hiking along the river, then heading into the woods. There are a few scary parts where the trail narrows a LOT and the cliffs are scary!

Eagle Creek

Eagle Creek Trail

We’ve done this hike several times. It’s a great, long hike and good exercise. The elevation is slow but it’s there. Last time we hiked it, we packed a picnic lunch. It was fun (and romantic :)).


I wish I could remember the name of this hike. It’s right next to Eagle Creek. Park at the same lot and just walk in the opposite direction over a bridge. This hike was nice because there was no one else on it. The elevation was more intense but doable.

Lonely Trail


We saw a snake! And then, we turned a corner on the trail and suddenly there was a deer!


She was quite curious about us and got REALLY close to use. We shared the trail with her for several minutes. We weren’t sure what to do so we waited until she decided to scamper off.

That was pretty exciting!

QUESTION: What is your favorite hiking memory?

Heading Home

Sunday we woke up fairly early and went out to breakfast. Again, I forgot to take a picture! I got 2 fried eggs, an English Muffin, and 2 strips of bacon. Instead of the hash browns, I asked to substitute fruit instead.

Breakfast was really big so we skipped lunch (even though we had planned on getting lunch at Dick’s!–next time!) and left Seattle behind us.

When we got home, Michael hopped on his bike trainer to do his workout and I headed to the pool. It felt really nice to stretch my legs after yesterday’s hike.

After swimming I decided to walk to the grocery store to get a few things. 45 minutes later, I had burned another 200 calories! Dinner tonight was leftover bratwursts.