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Little Badger Creek Trail aka Operation get dog away from Booms

10 miles of hiking • 2000' elevation gain • 1 night

Solitude. Not a single other person on this trail. Creepy eye found, and excellent scrambling rocks resembling humans and creatures. A great two days in the woods.

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July 4 – July 5, 2020

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Silver Star Sunset Hike via Grouse Vista

7 miles of hiking • 2000' elevation gain •

This hike has been incredibly popular lately, so I decided to try for a late night hike to get the dog away from Portland fireworks. We arrive at the trailhead around 6:30 pm, and headed on up. The weather was clear, until we reached the summit. The clouds came in, but I enjoyed my time up there anyway. Headlamped it down, but worth it for the solitude.

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July 3, 2020

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Heart_bw 1

Dog Mountain - Augspurger Loop

8.5 miles of hiking • 3000' elevation gain •

Table Mountain was our first choice yesterday, and we met at the trailhead at 7:30 am. The weather forecast was iffy, and we mulled over our choices in the rain. We wanted a 16/17 mile sufferfest, but being wet and cold for that long didn't sound like the best idea. The decision was made to drive a little further down the gorge, to see if we would find drier conditions. We decided to give an old friend a visit, since Dog had quietly opened up during the week. If conditions were good, we would go all the way to Augspurger.

We sweated up old dog, choosing the more difficult way without switchbacks. The trail was dry and we were hot. Once out in the clear, the clouds surrounded us and the rain and wind beat our faces. Oh yes, this is the dog I remember. (I usually avoid Dog in nice weather and mostly use it for training when the weather keeps away the crowds.)

We trudged on, determined to reach the trees to hide in at the summit. We snacked, took a "summit photo" and quickly moved on towards the very overgrown Augspurger trail. This section is usually overgrown, but was more so than I remember since not having any visitors on the trail for the past few months. I actually slipped and fell on slippery rock I couldn't see underneath the vegetation.

Onwards, to the junction where you can choose to head back down, or continue to the Augspurger. We were wet and cold, and decided it was best to head down. Sometime during our descent, the rain disappeared and the sun came out. I'm sure those who waited later in the day probably had nice views. We didn't care, we just came to conquer the mountain and hike out some anger. Successful day.

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June 28, 2020

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Heart_bw 1

Thunder Mountain Skookum Lake

7 miles of hiking • 2000' elevation gain •

It was an interesting drive to the Thunder Mountain Trailhead. After leaving the Clackamas River area, we headed up forest service roads, winding our way up to the trailhead. Past trip reports stated the road being suitable for passenger vehicles, and it MOSTLY was. Lots of trees were down across the road, but luckily it looked like someone had recently gone through with a chain saw and made a path just wide enough for a car for each one down. Same with a few landslides, the rocks were moved just enough for a car to pass through. The last mile to the trailhead was very overgrown. Fans of your car paint job beware.

The road seemed to run out, and we saw the unmarked pullout for our start.

The second we stepped out of our vehicles, the swarm came. The most vicious awful vile kind of pest, the mosquito. I was grateful I had finally purchased a bug net for my head, but I might have to invest in the full body version. They were relentless.

Eager to get moving, we started our ascent. It was relatively short and mild up to the junction between Thunder and Skookum Lake. The day was still cloudy/drizzly so we decided to save the summit of Thunder for our way back as the skies were expected to clear up later in the day.

We began our descent down to Skookum Lake, passing a burn zone with a narrow path trying to qualify as a proper trail. Beware, a fall here would not end well. However, this is the only sort of sketchy section of trail, and as the switchbacks came, the trail widened a bit and had less of a drop off. We passed numerous giant ant mounds, and stood in awe as the little guys went about their work.

The trail was faint at times, overgrown, and could definitely benefit from more boots on the ground. Eventually we came to a perfect snack spot, complete with strange and interesting mossy rock formations. More switchbacks to follow.

We scouted the turn-off for Baty, finding the trail where it faintly began past the meadow. We continued down to the lake, where the sun was now shining, and the mosquitoes gave us a bit of a break. A nice long rest was had, as we mulled over whether we had time to try for the scramble up Baty. We decided we should have gotten an earlier start, as the path was likely going to involve bushwhacking, so it was scrapped for another day.

Kat had walked the entire length of the wildwood by herself on her birthday earlier in the week, and my other hiking partner was carrying 9 liters of water in his pack for training, so I lead us back up at a leisurely pace. We made it to the top of Thunder, and could see Jefferson and the Three Sisters waving to us. Most of the other peaks were obscured by stubborn clouds. I'll have to make it up on a clearer day. One of the best views was actually had at a spur off of the junction of 542/543, where you can scramble out on the ridge.

In all, a pleasant day, despite the best efforts of the evil skeeters.

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June 21, 2020

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Heart_bw 1

The other Eagle Creek

8 miles of hiking • 750' elevation gain •

Solitude and social distance hiking on a fine rainy day. It didn't end up being the sufferfest we anticipated. Picked a relatively obscure, flat hike expecting the rain to be terrible. Pleasantly surprised when the sun showed its face and we had to take off our sweaty rain layers. Road to trailhead is full of huge pot holes, not suitable for my prius. I parked my car and masked up and got a ride for the final stretch on Harvey Road.

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June 7, 2020

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Heart_bw 1

Devil's Peak via Cool Creek Trailhead

8 miles of hiking • 3250' elevation gain •

We may not have had views, but I'll take a spooky misty day anytime. No regrets, except for achy legs since I haven't been doing much for gain lately.

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May 31, 2020

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Scout Camp and Steelhead Falls

3 miles of hiking • 500' elevation gain •

I didn't research Scout Camp hike enough, I had just glanced at a BLM brochure online and decided upon it. Had I read more, I would have started left instead of right. Instead, I started right, down a terrifying skinny trail with steep dropoffs, where one wrong move would make one tumble into the canyon. I couldn't enjoy myself as my partner refused to leash the dog, all I could think about was her accidentally tumbling off the trail. When I reached a section that said DANGER to hikers, eroded cliffs, I decided I had enough and turned around. I took a lightly used trail that rose up above the canyon instead. I'll come back to this trail someday when I don't have to worry about anyone but myself tumbling down the cliff. My anxiety just wasn't having it. Beautiful views, from what I saw. Kicking myself, but dog safety was more important than my views.

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May 25, 2020

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Heart_bw 1

Crack in the Ground

4 miles of hiking • 250' elevation gain •

Goth in the ground.

As (kind of) expected, busy at the beginning. I will never understand why people make such a pain in the ass drive just to do a short section and leave.

Either way, barely a soul past the first crack. We had to skip some sections that we found too hard to scramble with the dog.

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May 24, 2020

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Heart_bw 1

Big Obsidian Flow and Benham Falls

5 miles of hiking • 250' elevation gain •

Our only plan last weekend was to hit up a forest road and find a place to disperse camp away from others. We ended up near Newberry Crater, so we hit up a few short hikes to waste time until dinner. Obsidian flow was still snow covered, so what crowds were around basically walked up the steps and turned around. The only spot I felt uncomfortable was walking up the stairs, so I masked up and continued on. Afterwards, we stopped at what we knew was an easy popular stroll, but a wide trail where we could easily social distance. Per usual, once we hit the Falls we were able to avoid people. Saw all sorts of stupidity on the trail though (people hanging out on cliff edges for the 'gram), and decided we would try to go more remote for the rest of the weekend.

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May 23, 2020

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Heart_bw 1

Black Hole Falls

10.5 miles of hiking • 1250' elevation gain •

Confusing mess of logging roads, but we made it using a mix of written directions and looking at gaia. Beautiful hike, everything was green and the trail was mostly empty. Glad to see the Gifford open up for recreation, though still limited. Be sure to predownload map of the area before going as googlemaps is not reliable to find the trailhead in my opinion.

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May 17, 2020

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Kelley Point Evening Stroll

3 miles of hiking • 0' elevation gain •

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May 15, 2020

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Heart_bw 3

Grayback Mountain

10.5 miles of hiking • 1750' elevation gain •

Not another soul on the trail except for us.

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May 10, 2020

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Heart_bw 2

Criterion Ranch

12 miles of hiking • 1250' elevation gain •

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May 3, 2020

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Heart_bw 3

This hike shall remain unnamed

9.5 miles of hiking • 500' elevation gain •

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April 26, 2020

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Heart_bw 3

BREC, Sandy Oregon

4 miles of hiking • 250' elevation gain •

My partner works for Trackers teaching outdoor school (well, he's now teaching outdoor school online!) so we had access to their gated private site, BREC in Sandy Oregon. None of us had hiked in forever due to everything being shut down, so we gathered up our roommate and took a stroll.

I've mostly been getting my outdoor fix through long bike rides (and I'm still commuting to work as a receiver at a safety supplier of PPE.) Being at work is stressful and I'm really missing my hikes.

We added an extra short stop to the Bull Run Powerhouse on our way back.

The day was a much needed boost to the mental health of the household.

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April 19, 2020

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Heart_bw 2

Deschutes River Trail

8 miles of hiking • 500' elevation gain •

A lot changed in the world between this hike and my last.

Faced with uncertainty whether we should hike together or not, a few of us decided we could still practice social distancing on the trail.

With one ankle injury among us, we opted for the flatness of the Deschutes. It was a gorgeous day - snow juxtaposed with spring blossoms. We all had heavy hearts but enjoyed each others company (at a distance.)

It was hard not to hug my friends goodbye at the end of the hike, especially not knowing when we will get to hang out again. I have a feeling many of us will find solace on the trail in the coming weeks and months.

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March 16, 2020

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Heart_bw 1

Fish Creek

9.3 miles of hiking • 1000' elevation gain •

The trailhead for this is about a mile south of the Clackamas River Trail. Quiet, low key day enjoying some old growth along a gentle trail.

Went off trail to get closer to the Creek and almost took out a friend when I climbed out over a boulder. Note to self - more distance between friends when bushwhacking. It could have been bad, but luckily no one was harmed.

Though rarely used, trail was easy to follow.

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March 8, 2020

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Catherine Creek Coyote Wall Loop

11 miles of hiking • 2500' elevation gain •

It was a super moody day in the gorge, our 11 mile hike contained pouring rain, raging wind, hail, and periods of blue skies and sunshine. Our last glimpse of sunshine gave us a double rainbow, before the rain gods decided we needed another drenching for our last mile and a half out.

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February 24, 2020

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Silver Falls - Trail of 10 Falls Loop

8 miles of hiking • 1250' elevation gain •

Sunshine and waterfalls with some mountain dogs.

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February 16, 2020

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Heart_bw 1

Solo hike up Wind Mountain + extra stop at Wahclella Falls

5 miles of hiking • 1250' elevation gain •

Woke up late, so opted for a quick little ass kicker (Wind.) Felt guilty for not doing enough and decided to pop over to Wahclella, even though I almost had to headlamp it out. Nice day to get out and go my own pace, just me and my dog Lily.

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February 9, 2020

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Coyote Wall Meanderings

7 miles of hiking • 1750' elevation gain •

Choose your own adventure path kind of day.

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February 2, 2020

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Falls Creek Falls

5 miles of hiking • 500' elevation gain •

Recent snow made this much harder than it should have been. I had snowshoes and my partner did not - so we turned around when we reached the actual trailhead because he couldn't keep up post holing and his shoes were too wet. It was a good workout so not a wasted day.

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January 19, 2020

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Lyle Cherry Orchard

5 miles of hiking • 1500' elevation gain •

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January 1, 2020

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