Urban Hikes

Seashells by the Seashore

On Saturday we got up early-ish and packed up the car for a day trip and headed to the Coast! We timed it perfectly and Logan had his morning nap in the car. Seaside is 90 minutes or so from Portland and it’s a pretty drive. It’s one we haven’t done in a long time. Too long.

First stop: hike. We did the Tillamook Head hike just south of Seaside. It was a little weird, we drove through a residential area and then there was a new gated community of condos and just across the street from that (at a dead end street) there was the trailhead and parking lot.

Sadly, we did not bring Bella on this day trip. I debated back and forth on it. We almost always take her on these adventures and hikes and she LOVES the beach!!!! But we planned on going out to lunch and knew we couldn’t leave her in the car while we did that, so we left her home. 🙁 I felt really guilty about it, too, but honestly it was the best move because this hike turned out to be a bit harder and not really dog/kid-friendly than we were expecting.

It was an uphill climb right from the start. It wasn’t particularly hard, per se, but it was deceptively steep. We climbed 800 feet up–which doesn’t sound like much, really, but it was especially considering that 800 feet elevation gain was in the first mile and a half. Also, the trail was really slippery. The hike is in an old growth forest with giant trees and ferns and lush greenery. It clearly rarely sees the sun and so it never dries out. It wasn’t muddy but the trail was SLIPPERY. There were lots of rocks and tree roots that were covered in invisible slime! We both slipped and almost fell a few times.

We could sort of hear the ocean off in the distance, but it wasn’t really that close and there were only small glimpses of a view.

It was a really cool trail and very peaceful and quiet. Not a lot of people on it, but we did pass a few. It was also really humid! We were very sweaty by the end of this.

We got to a part of the trail that just ended. It’s hard to see from the photo below but it’s just a drop off.

On the other side of the drop-off, there was this wall that we’d have to climb up. We decided it was a good time to turn around. I was a little worried about the descent because of how slippery the trail was, and I knew that we were going to want to turn around soon anyways to stay on a schedule for lunch and naps, etc. It turned out to be the right move. So we turned around and hiked back down the trail.

There were some “steps” on the trail that were helpful and some of the roots kind of made “stairs”, too. Michael was struggling with the baby backpack on this hike (another good reason to turn around early). We both had to look down the whole hike to watch our footing, so it was kind of a neck strain.

We got back down the trail and changed clothes, changed Logan, and packed everything up. This is the condo community right at the trailhead:

We hiked 3.5 miles in almost 90 minutes. The calorie burn was great!

For lunch we went to the Firehouse Grill in Seaside. It was a cute cafe with decent reviews online. We got there just after the lunch rush, so we got a table right away and service was pretty good. I fed Logan and he was pretty content to watching everything that was going on in the restaurant. Then our food arrived. I was famished.

I got the clam/mussel chowder and a crab cake appetizer. The chowder was pretty good, not the best, but ok. The crab cake was great! And it was topped with fresh crab meat. Logan LOVED the crab! He devoured it.

Logan had a few bites of the chowder but wasn’t really a fan. But he ate so much of the crab and crab cake. He loved it!

Michael got a burger and fries and shared some of his fries with Logan, who was sort of interested but would immediately spit out the fries to eat the crab when I offered it to him. Haha!

Next stop: THE BEACH!

It was the first time Logan has ever been to the beach, or seen sand! We had no idea how it was going to go. It had the potential to be awful but we got lucky. Logan loved it! He immediately wanted down and wanted to run on the sand. He squatted down to pick up shells and tried to eat some of them (of course!) and then he got distracted by everything else.

The bucket and shovel I got for $1.50 a few weeks ago was the best money ever spent:

He loved that bucket. I posted some videos on my Instagram if you want to check it out. 🙂

It was such a fabulous day. So perfect. Logan loved the beach. He loved running on the sand and didn’t struggle walking in the sand like we thought he would. He had a great time and it was so fun to watch him experience the beach for the first time. We will definitely be back. Soon, I hope.

It was a little after 3pm at this point and Little Man was getting tired. He threw a bit of a tantrum when it was time to go. He didn’t want to leave the beach! But we had to drive back to Portland. Logan fell asleep in the car immediately and we had an easy drive home. Home for a bath to get the sand off the little man, dinner, then bedtime. And Michael and I got to enjoy some dinner, a beer and House of Cards. 🙂

 

Doing It All + Then Some

Yay for long weekends!! I got off work a little early on Friday (not by much) but it was enough to beat some of the traffic getting out of downtown. Michael and I chilled outside on the deck in the sunshine after Logan went to sleep and it was so lovely!

Saturday I went to the gym and did some weights. Then that even some friends came over for dinner. Michael made homemade pizzas and we ate outside on the deck.

They brought some salads from Pizzicato (they make amazing salads) — I had the pear and bleu cheese salad with candied walnuts–and we all had some beers. It was my “cheat day” so I happily ate REAL pizza and had beer! Carbs!! YAY! 😉

It was a really nice night–a little on the hot side but I’m not complaining. Memorial Day Weekend is notoriously rotten in Portland. It’s usually cool and rainy. But we lucked out this weekend and it was sunny, hot and clear.

Sunday I went for a swim and then we went to a friend’s 1st Birthday party. It was in a park over by SE Hawthorne.

Ice cream face!

Sunday night we had another dinner party! Two couples came over, one was visiting from Seattle with their kids. We BBQ’ed outside. I made two baked beans, a srichacha one (very spicy!) and regular.

We did chicken drumstricks–half spicy, half not spicy. I love the srichacha BBQ sauce from Trader Joe’s. It’s one of my favorite sauces.

The corn and the baked beans put me WAY over my carbs for the day! Ooops. 🙁 But it was all very tasty. And it felt like summer! We had gelato for dessert.

On Monday I got to sleep in a little bit and then we packed everything up and went for a hike. We drove to Estacada to do the Clackamas River Trail. Michael and I attempted to do it a million years ago, when we were first dating, in January of all months. It was horrifically freezing with an icy headwind so we didn’t make it very far.

This time the conditions were much better! It was kind of overcast and misty on the drive there but once we arrived the sun was coming out.

The trail starts pretty easily. It’s across the street from the parking lot and it’s flat and wide through the forest. Then it starts to get narrow and it goes along the river. 

There were a few spots you had to cross on rocks over a creek.

There were some beautiful views of the Clackamas River:

Then the trail started to climb and it went up and up and got narrower and narrower and there was a sheer drop off on the side. It was very freaky! I hate these kinds of hikes. I have a fear of heights and I can do ok as long as I’m not right on the edge of a cliff and the trail was too edge-of-the-cliff for me.

I didn’t get any good pictures of the narrow, scary, edge-of-cliff trail because I was too freaked out to stop and I was trying not to look down!

The trail did some switchbacks and then switchbacks down and we stopped for lunch at a little picnic/camping area right by the water.

We were about a mile from the waterfall but we decided to turn around after lunch and head back. And good thing we did! We climbed back up the trail and got just passed the cliff area and some hikers told us a tree had fallen across the path–they hadn’t seen it happen but they heard it fall! We were like “ok thanks” and continued on. We honestly didn’t think anything about it. Like–it’s just a tree we have to climb over, or go around or something, no big deal.

Another couple told us about the tree and we started to wonder how bad it was. Well, we turned a corner and there it was. No more trail. I did not get any good photos of the fallen tree or what we had to do to get over it because–it was freaking HARROWING!

That picture doesn’t do it justice at all. So I gave Bella to Michael and scouted it out. I went down and tried to break some branches and stomp on things to get through. Then I got to the actual tree and it was HUGE. And it covered the entire path. There was no going down to get around it. Another couple was climbing up and over the top of where it fell and it was precarious-looking on the side of a huge, steep hill.

FUCK.

There was really no good, easy or safe way to get across. But we had to. There was no other way to get out of the canyon and back to our car. I decided to go first. One of the other hikers helped me up and then I grabbed hold of a tree branch that wasn’t going to snap off (after falling several times, scraping up my arms and getting thorns and splinters in my hands). There was no where great to put your feet, either. You couldn’t tell what was solid ground, rock, or just moss and leaves. UGH!

So I JUMPED to get momentum, flung my body on top of the tree (it was huge), held on to a branch, scooted up a bit to get some more traction, flung my leg over the side and straddled the huge tree. Then I looked down to try and figure out where to put my foot. Again, it was impossible to tell what was solid and what wasn’t. So I figured it out and got to the other side, hanging on to the fallen tree and the side of the steep hill, trying not to fall down.

We tried to get Bella to go underneath the tree but she was freaked out and too scared. So Michael had to pick her up and kind of fling her up onto the tree, I caught her and then she jumped down and scrambled up the side of the mountain. Then Michael took the backpack off and lifted Logan onto the tree and I lifted him over and rested him on the branches and rocks next to me. PHEW. I stopped freaking out a little bit once he was safely with me on the other side of the tree.

Then Michael had to climb over the tree. He got over and got Logan back on his pack and then we had to scramble up, over and then down the side of the mountain–nothing really to hang on to, footing unsure, I basically just kind of crawled and butt scooted from rock to tree and tried to get down.

The photos don’t really show how big the tree was, how deep the gully was around the tree or how steep the hillside was to get down!!! It was quite the adventure. We were safe, we got over and down to the trail with minor scrapes, bruises, cuts and splinters but Logan and Bella were safe so that’s important. It was FREAKY!

We hauled ass back to the car. I had splinters all in my hands, Logan started getting fussy, the strap on the baby backpack broke, and we were all just done with the day!

4.6 miles hiked, 706 calories burned, I think part of my calorie burn was the panic attacks I had on the cliffs and then having to traverse the fallen tree!!

I’m not exaggerating when I say the tree part was pretty freaky. I think we were both rattled. And I was particularly rattled about the idea of being IN the forest, on a hike, at the exact time a tree falls on the trail. Scary! There was no cell service for at least 5 miles and once I had service I tried calling the local ranger station to let them know but they were closed for the holiday, so I called the Estacada Fire Department and they said they’d let the rangers know. I really hope no one got hurt or stranded on the trail!

Anyways, that was our weekend!