Friday, July 4, 2014

Returning to the Pacific Northwest

It's been over 40 years since I spent the summer in a National Forest camp on Mt. Hood, outside of Portland, Oregon. I was part of a an NSF Summer Research for High School Students program (run out of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.) It was an amazing summer -- tough in some ways, but remarkable in others. It solidified my love of nature and the outdoors, for sure, coming from my home base in the Texas hill country then.

Mt. Hood
What I'm reminded of (aside of the frustrations of doing a blog post on an iPad!) is how soul-satisfying it is to return to a place after four decades to find a beautiful trail through an relatively undisturbed forest to a magical waterfall (admittedly, the ones closer to the highway are more disturbed, in terms of vegetation.) An update: switching to a laptop did wonders, in updating this post!

TS photographing waterfall
My gardening companion was thrilled. He's spent a lot of time recently on waterfll hikes, and to see some of these wonderfully moss- and algae- and vegetation-rich falls in the NW is a treat.Traveling from Portland up the Columbia River toward Mt. Hood today, and hiking along lush Pacific lowland forest trails to wonderful waterfalls and seeing familiar plants (from long ago, and grad school days, too, when my research loop took me up this way, too), reminded me, yet ago, of the green thread that has connected my life since childhood.

A magical day, ending up at Timberline Lodge, an iconic memory from my teen years, which continues to be an historic treasure on the slopes of Mt. Hood.

I couldn't get Blogsy to play nice with the new Picasa nor did it seem to like iPhoto, that's for sure... at least on the iPad.  Here are some (finally posted) photos thanks to my gardening companion's laptop!

Fireweed


Clintonia  relative

Trail through an old-growth forest on the flanks of Mt. Hood

Mt. Jefferson and the Three Sisters (from Timberline Lodge)

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