And then there’s the view   Leave a comment

It's true that Portland isn't sunny everyday. But, its not so dark and dreary and rainy that it's really that different from winter in the Midwest. Oh, except it isn't as chillingly cold! It's chilly, but not uncomfortably so like the temperature is below zero or anything.

Maybe I was lucky because my first winter here happened to be unusual. We got lots of snow (as seen in previous post during December) where for two weeks, Portland had several feet of snow and it was a winter wonderland where the city closed down and kids were off school and snowman-making and sledding excitedly. The other winter days yes, had cloudy days, but at least once a week, there were sunny days too, or glimpses that were enough to hold onto and brighten the week from being depressing. Even though there was sometimes rain, it was drizzly not hard rain most of the time that cleaned everything up so it was fresher. It barely got below freezing this winter. The worst part was just ice- which was pretty to see, but not great to walk on trying to get from place to place. Fortunately, since it wasn't below freezing very much, the ice was only annoying for a week or so before it was gone.

I work in Beaverton, so I go west everyday, away from the city, and to the other side of the West Hills. In fact, my train (and cars) goes through the huge Robertson Tunnel that is 3 miles long, and the stop inside the hill is the second deepest such station in the world, according to Wikipedia, passing through basalt up to 16 million years old (samples are in that station on display). The hills pretty much blocks all of my view of the downtown of the city and its surroundings.

Once in a while though, as I go down from the house towards the Max station at Goose Hollow, or before the Max goes through the tunnel on the way back home, I might see a glimpse of a snowy white peak. This past weekend, with the weather sunny and approaching the 70s, on Saturday I finally got a chance to hike up to from NW Burnside to the International Rose Garden and past the Japanese Garden along the Wildwood Trail to Pittock Mansion  to get a better look.

From the Rose Garden, where Mt Hood started to tease me. Here are the highlights of from pictures of the day:

Between the Rose Garden and Pittock Mansion on Wildwood Trail, we came across a pleasant, unexpected sight:

and then the full reveal at the backyard of Pittock Mansion:


The trail was very hilly up here in Washington Park, but all those squats I do during the week and my daily walk home up the hill definitely helped keep me going. It was much easier doing those 3.8 miles on the way down than up. The really muddy parts of the trail- the kind where when you step in them you sink down and the mud makes this sort of burping sound with your foot- were not great. On the other hand, I also saw joggers run past and then back- and one of them was a girl who was chatting non-stop as she ran, both times she went past me. I was a little stiff that evening after sitting anyplace too long and the morning after, but I'm fine now. You can totally do both these views by driving and parking mere yards away without the hike. The sequoias though- would mean you'd have to at least put in a little walk to that. 



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