hikes in oregon

90 Degrees and Picnic in the Park

SUMMER!

I love summer in the NW! It’s so picturesque and usually pretty comfortable–not TOO hot (although, local Pacific NW-ers may disagree with me, seems a lot of them like the cool 60’s much better). This past weekend it was going to be clear skies, bright sunshine and hot weather. Saturday we made plans with our friends we went to Bend with in January to go for a hike and have a picnic lunch at Stubb Stewart Park. Our friends Sean and Margie had never heard of Stubb Stewart and it’s not too long of a drive from their neck of the woods, so it was nice that we could expose them to such a cool park nearby! (From where we live it’s a little less than an hours drive. From Hillsboro area it’s about 30 minutes.)

It also turned out to be National Park Day so the entrance was free! We met them at the park on Saturday morning and got started on our hike. Most of the hike was through the forest (near the horse trails and the disc golf course). It was a good little hike because the ground is nice and soft and it’s really shaded (which was good for a hot day). The day was much cooler in the trees.

We hiked around the looping trails that all connect and got a pretty decent workout in! Even though the hike isn’t super strenuous, my heart rate was at a great rate for most of it.
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Because it was such a hot day I was super aware of Bella the whole time. We stopped to rest in the shade a few times, gave her water and I poured water on her body to cool her down. She was panting but not abnormally so. For the first part of the hike she seemed to be doing pretty well and had a lot of energy.

The place was full of wildflowers blooming. I just love the wild flowers that grown in Oregon!

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Don’t you love wildflowers? I know it’s not a really interesting subject matter but I really could just take pictures of flowers for the rest of my life and be pretty happy. 🙂

After hiking for a bit we found ourselves back at the Hilltop parking lot and picnic spot so we grabbed the cooler and sat at a bench in the sunshine to have our lunches. This was the view for our picnic:

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This was my calorie burn for the hike:

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Sweet number! Lunch for us was a Subway sandwich I’d bought before we left (we were out of everything to make something at home). I got us ham sandwiches on flatbread and we had some Trader Joe’s white cheddar popcorn and sugar snap peas. It was a really nice lunch break. Bella hid under the picnic table in the shade and relaxed.

After lunch we walked a little bit longer to show Sean and Margie the cute little cabins that you can rent. I was hoping they’d be interested in renting one out with us sometime this summer and they were! How could you not? They are super cute looking. I hope we can make this happen (even though last time I checked they were pretty booked this summer).

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We walked a little more through the forest. The trail we’d done last time we were there was closed and even though it was shaded in the woods, we could tell Bella was getting hot. She was slowing down and just didn’t seem interested in hiking anymore so we called it a day.

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We went back toward the Hilltop parking lot and ended up on the park road. I could really tell that Bella was feeling the heat now. She was much slower and so we decided the hike was over and went back to the car area. When we got there Bella kept trying to hide underneath the picnic benches for some shade. 🙁 My poor baby! We probably should have called it a day after lunch. But she was a trooper and was acting pretty normal (other than being tired).

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Here is the calorie burn for the little hike we did after lunch:

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We stopped in the shade and I poured water over Bella and we tried to get her to drink. While Michael was in the shade with B, I got the car started with the AC on full blast to cool it down before we got inside. We said our goodbyes to our friends and then we were hitting the road.

Of course, we had to make a stop at Dairy Queen on the way home for the Orange Julius smoothie. I got the pina colada flavor just like last time! 😀 It was fantastic! (And less than 200 calories so on a stifling hot afternoon, it was a nice treat.)

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Total calories burned for the hike: 867 and we did just around 6 miles! We got home and I gave Bella a bath and a big dinner and she just chilled on the couch for the rest of the evening (as per usual). She seemed to be doing okay so I was glad we didn’t overdo it on the hike. When it’s that hot you never can tell.

Sunday

Sunday was NOT as great of a day.  🙁 It was that time of year to take all the beasts to the vet for their annual check-ups. Usually it’s an all-day thing (which kind of sucks because I hate how quiet and lonely the house feels without my babies) and I also hate the idea of them being stuck in cages at the vet’s awaiting their turn.

Bella was all good and just needed her exam and a refill on her monthly flea/heartworm etc meds. The kitties were getting their exams as well as dental cleaning. It’s part of their pet insurance package and while they are indoor kitties and in good health, I signed them up for the dental package because a few years ago Maya (who had a cracked tooth) ended up needing to have two teeth removed. My poor baby! That was an awful experience and I felt so bad for her. She needed antibiotics and pain meds twice a day for 10 days (imagine trying to give a skittish kitty meds twice a day…yeah!).

Anyways. There was some kind of emergency at the vet (another pet) and so that pushed all the other pets back and my kitties didn’t get their cleanings until late in the day. The hard part about the dental cleaning is that they have to put them under anesthesia in order to do it. I absolutely hate that and I shared my concerns with the vet. Last time Fat Kitty had a very negative experience to it (he became like a crazed feral cat). So this time she used a different kind of anesthesia.

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When I got them home I took them into the office where their litter box and food and stuff is and closed the door. I let Fat Kitty out and he was a like a drunk sailor–he could barely walk. He didn’t fall down but he looked like he was about to at any moment. I sat with him for awhile and monitored him. He was so high. It was really distressing. He definitely wasn’t the feral crazed cat like last time, but I might prefer that to this high-drunk-sailor-wobbly-kitty. 🙁

I let Maya out of and she was a little goofy but not too bad and she even let me pet her! And she came up and rubbed against me and wanted cuddles (coming from the cat that always hides, this was abnormal). They weren’t allowed to eat for a few hours but could have water. I tried to get them to have water but they were both too loopy.

For several hours I sat with Fat Kitty while the anesthesia wore off. He didn’t have an appetite (VERY abnormal) and wouldn’t eat the wet food or dry food I put out once it was okay to eat. He kind of sniffed it and licked it and that was it. I hated it! I was so stressed out. It’s no fun seeing our babies hurt or sick. I wish I could make them feel better.

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Despite all that the vet said they were all in good health. Fat Kitty was on the borderline when it came to his kidneys. She said it could be a combination of not eating anything since the previous night (no food/water after 8pm the night before) and the stress of being at the vet. She wants to check his kidneys and blood work again in a month to be on the safe side. She said at that time he might be put on a prescription diet for his kidneys if they weren’t better. I decided to go ahead and get the special food now and start mixing it in with the other cat food just to be safe. She said she wasn’t TOO worried yet but a little concerned. On the drive home from the vet I cried a little bit when I thought about my baby possibly being sick.

I stayed up pretty late monitoring my baby. The anesthesia was wearing off–he was walking normally by like 9:30pm and starting to eat. I stayed up to make sure he wasn’t going to vomit or anything.

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So yeah, Sunday kind of sucked.

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Milo McIver

Sunday morning we headed out towards Estacada/Mount Hood with the goal of going hiking on the Memaloose Lake Trail. I’m not sure what happened but we ended up having to turn around because the directions we took said to go on an old logging dirt road that was blocked off by a gate. We drove a little further up the road to see if we could get the GPS to figure out another route but it didn’t so we turned around. I was bummed. I wanted to check it out! The pictures looked beautiful. So I need to do a little more research and see if I can find out where we went wrong, or if there is another route.

Instead, we ended up going to Milo McIver Park because we passed by it on the road and I remembered awhile ago I’d looked into hiking there. It turned out to be a pretty good backup plan! Here is a pretty good map detailing the park and trails. The only downside? None of the trails are marked or named so once you’re out in the forest, good luck!

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Most of the trails were pretty easy but there were a few spots that I’d classify as “moderate.” Even a little out of shape and getting over the cold, I was able to due the big, steep hills but my heart was pounding for sure!

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There were also parts of the trail that were overgrown. About half-way through the forest my leg got hit by some stinging nettles from the underbrush. I knew what it was right away and it sucked. We got to the top of the hills and hiked past a big silo, then came to an open field.

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We decided it was a good spot to stop for lunch since there wasn’t anyone around there were a ton of picnic tables. I took care of the nettles first. Poured a little water on my leg, wiped the area with an alcohol pad and then used some Burt’s Bees hiking salve that I keep in my first aid kit. It worked really well. The stinging disappeared, there were some red bumps on my leg, but it settled down pretty quickly.

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The benches by the big tree is where we had lunch. We tied Bella up to a post and let her rest in the shade with some water while we ate. Michael had packed us homemade turkey sandwiches and I had brought some sugar snap peas.

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It took about 15 minutes or so for lunch and then we let Bella off her leash so she could go nuts in the giant field.

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Then we went back to the trail. During the hike I saw so many slugs and TONS of snails! I’d say at least 50. They were all over the trails so you had to be careful where you stepped.

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There were a bunch of wildflowers blooming in the forest, tons of blackberry bushes growing wild. There were a bunch of bridges on the trail, some creeks, and then we climbed some stairs in the forest (it was very steep).

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We left the forest and ended up on the Equestrian Trail. It wound downhill and was very wide. There were a few times we had a peek of the river below but mostly the view was blocked with trees. We saw TONS of horses! Bella did really well and didn’t freak out. We stepped off the trail and in the bushes to let them all pass and she didn’t bark once.

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She was very curious about the horses though, and when the last ones went by Bella was dying to chase after them (but we didn’t). We let them go further up the trail before we continued on. After a bit we turned around and hiked back the way we came. A lot of the trails connect but since none of them are marked, it was hard to compare where we were on the map to see if we could loop around.

I was a little disappointed that we couldn’t just do a loop and I REALLY WISH they’d mark the trails! It was a nice park but I can see it being easy to get disoriented. Stubb Stewart was really well marked and that was helpful.

We got back to the car and then decided to check out the rest of the park. There was camping, two disc golf courses, lots of covered picnic areas, volleyball, off-leash dog areas, the trails and then there were two boat launches for the Clackamas River and the Estacada Lake. There were a bunch of kayakers on the lake and it looked so wonderful and peaceful! What a nice place to kayak.

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Here is how we did for the day:

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5.63 miles hiked, I burned 789 calories and Michael burned somewhere around 1200. It was a good little hike and the trails were not that crowded. We didn’t see many other hikers (just a few) on the trail and mostly saw the horse back riders. Bonus: the park wasn’t too far from our place. So while I was disappointed we didn’t make it to Memaloose Lake, I’m glad we found an alternative hiking location that isn’t an hour’s drive!