Archive for May, 2007

siouxon creek #1

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

date hiked: may 19, 2007
distance: 6 miles
highest elevation: 3400 feet
elevation gain: 2200 feet
time: 2 hours 52 minutes

every once in awhile on a hike, it feels like you are alone in the world. some people find it discomforting. i find it exhilarating. a long time ago, i was asked to imagine where i felt the safest in the world. my response was, “beneath the ocean, scuba diving.” when diving, there is a quiet unlike anything i’ve ever known…and you feel a solitude so personal, so expansive…as if it’s been gifted to you. beneath the ocean, you are alone, but it is okay. the siouxon creek trail has two trailheads. the first entrance goes through the gifford pinchot national forest until about the 3 mile mark. then you hit the second trailhead, and much more popular trail.

 siouxon creek trail

as i was hiking the three miles into this beautiful landscape. i realized there wasn’t anyone…around…anywhere. dancing like a fairy…done. adopting moss-like creatures as your new friends…done. mediating a conflict between the ferns and the conifers…done.

i never saw another person, ever. it was glorious. it brought me back to some of those similar things. it was so quiet. for this moment i am alone in the world, here. i had an amazing day.

siouxon creek trail

 

dog mountain

Monday, May 28th, 2007

date hiked: may 6, 2007
distance: 7.6 miles
highest elevation: 2984 feet
elevation gain: 2850 feet
time: 4 hours 54 minutes

dog mountain is an incredibly popular hike up to the top of a mountain. this is my second trip up dog mountain. the same things surprised me this time around…it’s windy as hell at the top. people carry weights up this damn trail. there are a ton of dogs. the wildflowers in the meadow make you want to sing.

dog mountain

my friend, jen and i went on this hike. i must send a congratulations for her unbelievable tolerance of all things annie. i must admit i do not fully understand the popularity of dog mountain. yes, it overlooks the columbia river. yes, you can see mt. hood and mt. st. helens. yes, the flowers are spectacular. oh…i get it.

 

moulton falls…by way of…

Monday, May 28th, 2007

date hiked: april 28, 2007
distance: unknown

i find this odd mixture going on inside today. what i find most interesting is that my hike today seemed to match my life’s experience this week. if i had to pick a few words to sum it up, i would choose bewilderment, confusion, and shock. i’m sitting here on a cliff…not a soul around. i am at moulton falls. it is beautiful here, providing a sense of peace that reminds me that there are still safe places in the world.

moulton falls

yet this was not the hike i set out on today. i planned to hike the siouxon creek trail, a 12-mile hike in the gifford pinchot national forest. i became lost while driving to the trailhead. the problem is…in case you haven’t noticed…i can be a tad stubborn. so after two and a half hours in the car and my third rendition of the musical big river, i reached some form of acceptance. and a trailhead. not the trailhead i was looking for…but why not hike this one? big creek falls is a short 1.4 mile hike to a beautiful falls. at least, that is what the hiking book says. i wouldn’t know. i never made it to the falls. apparently, when the roads to a trailhead are strewn with trees that have fallen in recent storms, then it is likely that the trails are covered with trees too. personally, i was having too much fun traversing trees to think it was a real problem. until i realized i had to climb over a ton in a span of a hundred yards. and, i face planted over one tree into the dirt. for just a moment, i was disheartened to find i wasn’t a monkey. monkeys do not fall over trees. i decided to turn around.

on the way home i decided to come here…moulton falls. i’ve been here many times. i have my thoughtful spot…on the cliff. i can find a place to put the confusion. come to enjoy it, the way i would enjoy looking for a lost trailhead. i can reflect on the journey. bewilderment, shock, confusion, awe, peace, safe.