Thursday, 11 August 2011
Summer in the Suburbs
By no means am I gloating, but while so many in the U.S. swelter this summer, the weather in northwest Oregon is delightful – mostly mid-70s F during the day, mid-50s at night. There have been occasional 80-plus degree days, but the temperature always drops 20 to 30 points at night.
Two weeks ago my young friend Stan James, who blogs at wanderingstan, came to stay for four days. He does wander. Just in four weeks he has traveled from Colorado to Seattle to Lake Oswego to New York to Reykjavik and then to Berlin.
On one of those gorgeous, pleasant days while he was here, we drove to the coast, about two hours away, to check out the beaches. Here is Stan at Cannon Beach with a shot of Haystack Rock.
We bought some maple/wine cured salmon in Astoria and picked up some Dungeness Crab too that we brought home for an evening feast. As often happens, I mostly forgot to take photos while we checked out the beaches and towns, but I did get this shot of a bunny rabbit in someone's yard.
In 2006, when I had recently moved from New York City to Portland, Maine, I showed you my morning walk along Casco Bay. Last year, I showed you my morning walk just two minutes from my home in a park along the Willamette River here in Lake Oswego.
It's a nice park but like the town's central shopping district, it's a good deal too manicured and tidy for my sensibilities. So for the past few months, I've traded off that walk with one in nearby Tryon Creek State Natural Area.
Tryon is 670 acres of untamed forest that is just like the woods where friends and I played behind our houses when I lived here as a kid. Sometimes our parents let us sleep there overnight and we picked ferns like these in Tryon Creek which are abundant in the northwest U.S. rain forest, to pile up into deep “mattresses” under our sleeping bags.
Trails for biking, horseback riding, running and hiking (see map here – pdf) are nicely maintained without taming the forest on either side.
Tryon opens at 7AM and it's quiet in the early mornings. Later, especially in summer, groups of school kids arrive to learn about the trees, plants and wildlife and then it is almost silent again in the late afternoon.
The park is just a three-minute drive from home and because the tree canopy is so dense, I can't get too wet even when it rains. But it is especially beautiful when the sun peeks through.
There are several different trails and the forest changes every day. You can find out more about Tryon Creek at this website.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Terry Hamburg: Escape from Camp Ojibwa