Blue Lake Trail

Distance: 5.2 miles RT Hike Type: Loop Difficulty: Easy Elevation Gain: 560’ Trail Condition: narrow, rocky, dirt path, shaded in spots, sandy Trail Highlights: Creek crossings, views of Mt St Helens (on a clear day), Huckleberry Saddle, Butte Camp Dome, meadows, huckleberries (during season), Blue Lake, old growth forest, dead forest, Coldspring Creek, debris slide areas, big noble firs, Douglas-firs, red alder, lodgepole pine, silver firs, … Continue reading Blue Lake Trail

Saddle Mountain

Distance: 5 Miles RT (with an option of 5.4 miles RT) Hike Type: Out-and-back Difficulty: Easy Elevation Gain: 1,791’ Trail Condition: Well-maintained, rocky, dirt, narrow at times, exposed, slippery Trail Highlights: One of the highest peaks along the Oregon Coast and northwest of Portland (3,283’), lots of wildflowers, 27ish switchbacks, views of: Oregon Coastal towns (Seaside to Astoria), 5 volcanoes on a clear day (Rainier, Mount … Continue reading Saddle Mountain

Black Bean Brownies (GF-Vegan)

I know what you’re thinking, “uhhhh… black bean what?” but I swear, these will be some of the best brownies you’ve ever had. Not to mention they are healthy, vegan, and gluten-free! I know it’s hard to believe, but I have several people to back me up… plus every customer who bought one. These are ooey and gooey right out of the oven. Pair with … Continue reading Black Bean Brownies (GF-Vegan)

Traditional Camping Checklist

Packing for a vacation can be overwhelming… packing for a camping trip can be even more of a whirlwind depending on where we’re going. I’m probably one of the more organized people I know. Yet somehow, I forget one item 60% of the time—whether it’s something big like my Nikon’s SD card (this has happened more than I’d care to admit) or small like the … Continue reading Traditional Camping Checklist

South Sister

Distance: 12 miles RT Hike Type: Out-and-Back Difficulty: Hard Elevation Gain: 4,878’ in 6 miles Trail Condition: wide at the beginning, narrow during the last half, loose lava rock, scree, open meadows, forested sections, snow possible until late July, dirt (dusty), can be very windy, check the weather here Trail Highlights: Stand on Oregon’s 3rd highest peak at 10,363’ (3,159 m), Moraine Lake, Teardrop Pool (highest lake … Continue reading South Sister

My Top 10 Hikes Under 60 Miles From PDX

Let’s face it, we all wish we could spend all day every Saturday and Sunday hiking in the woods, but we can’t. Life happens, responsibilities take over, and sometimes your body just needs a rest. If you’re like me though and physical activity relieves stress and brings you joy, then you need some hikes that are close by for those slumps. These are my top … Continue reading My Top 10 Hikes Under 60 Miles From PDX

Lower Macleay to Pittock Mansion

Distance: 5.7 miles RT Hike Type: Out-and-back Difficulty: Easy Elevation Gain: 950’ Trail Condition: Well-maintained, narrow in some spots, dirt path, paved path, stairs, switchbacks, fencing, several trail junctions and road crossings Trail Highlights: Pittock Mansion (1914), Witches Castle/Stone House (1929), Portland’s tallest tree: Heritage Tree (242 feet tall, 17.3 feet in circumference), walk under Thurman Street Bridge, Balch Creek, Cottonwood, alder, Himalayan blackberry, big-leaf maple, … Continue reading Lower Macleay to Pittock Mansion

Soy Curl Noodle Soup – with a soda on the side

Happy meatless Monday! This recipe is perfect for that gloomy PNW day during any season (or in the summer if you ask Webstar and Young B). To keep this recipe vegan, you’ll want to avoid using the homemade noodle recipe I’ve attached (it contains eggs). However, I did include a homemade vegan broth for you! It is just a blend of spices, making it really … Continue reading Soy Curl Noodle Soup – with a soda on the side

Ramona Falls

Distance: 7.1 miles RT Hike Type: Lollipop Loop Difficulty: Easy Elevation Gain: 1,035’ Trail Condition: wide, well-maintained, dirt to soft strata back to dirt, bridge crossings, river crossings, slow elevation gain Trail Highlights: 120-foot waterfall (Ramona Falls), multiple bridge crossings, walk on soft strata, wildflowers, shaded, large colorful andesite rock face, outhouses at trailhead, large parking lot, Sandy River, view of Mount Hood, Ramona Creek, lots … Continue reading Ramona Falls