Consider it preparation and conditioning for our two week trip to the Grand Canyon and Yosemite. Unless there's a something like a Rock Band party, we've been hitting the great outdoors. It's only taken us 9 years but we've very slowly jumped onto the outdoor bandwagon that is so prevalent in the Pacific Northwest.
However, after the pain of our first hike, we decided to go for something a bit more low key. Luckily, there's a lot of beginner hiking possibilities in town. So, we loaded up the backpack and headed to Balch Creek. Half of this trail isn't so much of a hike as it is a scenic stroll ... which is probably why people looked askance at the 60 lb bag attached to the back of my boy. Hey - we're conditioning him.
Hard to believe this is 6 minutes from downtown Portland.
I like this trail very much - it's lovely, easy and despite the amazing weather, fairly uncrowded. It also has its fair share of the unexpected. Like the remnants of this stone building. Romantic, eerie and beautiful - gorgeous place to take wedding photos if you didn't know its history. Or if you like taking photos in broken down crappers. Yes, this was a restroom.
Want more? What about a tree with a nutsack? I took a lot of photos of this tree from many, many angles, laughing the whole time. "Do you SEE it?", I yelled when we first came upon it. I wish I had a tree like this in my backyard. Green thumb meet green penis.
A fairly short hike (about 4 miles total), we did learn a few things. Never, never eat at Cheesecake Factory BEFORE going on a hike. I blame the boy for that - he should have known better.