May 5th, 2013
Weather: Mid 80s, sunny, breezy, warm
Hikers: Ian, Court, Greg, Cat
Drove to Cannon Beach from Portland and arrived at noon. The original intent was to hike the Clatsop Loop, but this trail was great. It wound through the forest, out to overlooks, along the cliff faces, and finally down to Indian Beach, with many changes in elevation. The views of the Pacific were amazing. We could see the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, aka “Terrible Tilly” in the distance, along with various other rock formations. Total distance covered round trip was about 3.5 miles, but the terrain was somewhat challenging at points.
The beach was amazing, albeit somewhat crowded. There was a freshwater stream about 15 feet wide that came down from the forest and cut across the beach straight into the ocean. The sand was fine and gray. Around the rocks were many tide pools fed by the very cold water of the Pacific. Our feet were numb after a few minutes wading. In the tide pools were many creatures: purple and orange starfish as big as your hand, anemones (blue and green), urchins, mussels (Court was amazed at the size of some), and tons of barnacles, all clinging to the dark black rocks. The beach was very wide, probably 200 yards from water to the forest cliffs.
We made our way back using a slight shortcut we found further down the beach. The temperature change within the forest compared to the beach was awesome. We didn’t encounter much wildlife, but I saw a small centipede of some kind and also got a great (and lucky) photo of a white butterfly in mid-flight.
Once back to the car, we headed into town for supplies and went further down Cannon Beach for a picnic and views of Haystack Rock and surrounding area.
May 4th, 2013
Hike: Marquam Trail to Council Crest, Portland, OR
Weather: Low 80s, sunny, breezy
Hikers: Ian, Court, Greg, Cat
This was Ian and Court’s second trip to Marquam, Greg and Cat’s first. Trail wasn’t too crowded and a bit drier than the first time. Breeze felt great under the shade of the trees. We made the roughly 3.2 mile loop in about 2 hours.
The summit was gorgeous. There was a group of people wrapping a Maypole at the top. We had clear views of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams (St. Helens too, I think). On the way back down we saw a black snake on the trail, but it got away before we could identify it. Ian also broke in his new hiking shoes on this trail.
“At 1,071 ft above sea level, Council Crest is the highest point in the Tualatin Mountains (West Hills) that run parallel to the Willamette River in Portland.” – Wikipedia
February 23rd, 2013
Hike: Enchanted Rock, Fredericksburg, TX
Weather: clear blue skies, sunny, low-mid 70s
Hikers: Ian, Courtney
Got to the park around 10:15am. Had to wait in line, as cars were backed up onto the main road to get in. Made our own trail up to summit of Little Rock. Steep ascent at the beginning. Main rock too crowded. Court saw a squirrel and we came across a lizard on the way down that blended in perfectly with the granite. Court also got scratched by a cactus spine at some point.
“Enchanted Rock is an enormous pink granite pluton rock formation located in the Llano Uplift approximately 15 miles north of Fredericksburg. The rock rises 425 feet above the surrounding terrain to an elevation of 1,825 feet above sea level. It is the largest such granite formation in the US and was designated a Texas Historic Landmark in 1936. The rock is roughly 1 billion years old, with evidence of human visitation going back at least 11,000 years.” – Wikipedia
Vegetation on the rock includes lots of grasses, prickly pear cactus and other small shrubs. Lots of lichens as well. We could see for miles around from the top. I forgot my hat, so the sun was a little harsh. Overall, a pretty short hike, but good exercise and Courtney’s first time to the rock.
So I’ve decided to start a blog to get a digital record of our hiking adventures. I’ve been keeping my hiking log on paper, but will now transcribe them here, along with pictures. I’m not looking for followers necessarily, but really I just want a place to store our adventures. Plus, my handwriting is getting continually worse as time progresses.
I’ll see how this goes and maybe eventually I’ll get deeper into it and post some videos, gear lists, and other stories from the trail.