Family Hike

Here in Portland we were all giddy to check the 10 day forecast and see SUNSHINE! NO RAIN! NICE TEMPERATURES!! YAY! So Saturday we went for a family hike!

When it was just Michael and me, hiking was no big thing. Throw some stuff in a backpack and head out. Then we got a dog. It started taking a little bit longer. Pack her stuff…get snacks and water for Bella. Load her in the car. Then listen to her whine and whimper in the backseat for the last 5 miles of the drive to the hike (it’s like she knows we’re getting close to the hike and she’s so impatient!).

Then we had a baby. It takes like an hour to get ready to go, pack everything, pack the dog, pack the baby…! Good lord. Our neighbor saw us as we were heading out and commented that it used to take them 2 hours to get out of the house when they had kids. ūüėČ

Since it takes so much longer to get going and we have to coordinate around Logan’s nap schedule, we chose a closer hike–Milo McIver Park. We’ve done it a few times and it’s a nice one.

We got there just at noon and started the hike. We did a trail that we’ve done in the past. It kind of starts out a little steep but for the most part it’s not too strenuous.

There are a few sets of stairs in the woods. Those got my heart pumping! The plan was to take the trail to this open field we’ve stopped at before and have lunch there and let Logan run around and maybe let Bella off leash if there was no one else around. But for whatever reason we couldn’t find that field!

The trail was SUPER muddy. I should have taken a photo of my boots because they were covered! There were also tons of snails out:

We took a new-to-us trail:

And it was too muddy so we looped around and went back to the Maple Ridge Trail. We thought it would take us to the field but we ended up looping back to the parking lot. So we decided to have our picnic lunch there. (Turkey and chicken and cheese in low carb wraps with cucumbers and hummus.)

Then we back-tracked on the trail where we started and took a different fork in the road, still looking for that field! Spoiler alert: we never found it. I have no idea how we lost it.

Family photo!

The trail was really muddy, overgrown in some spots, but for the most part pretty good. There were a few creeks we crossed over and a few mini waterfalls.

Logan did a GREAT job and did not fuss at all. He also didn’t fall asleep in the backpack like he did last time.

We stopped at a picnic bench by the river for a diaper change, bottle for Logan and to let him run around a little bit.

After a little while we headed back to the car.


3.92 miles and I burned 532 calories! I was happy with my number, especially since the hike wasn’t that strenuous.

Logan fell asleep in the car immediately. Bella most definitely got a bath when we got home. And Michael made cauliflower crust pizza again for dinner!

It was a good day!

Gym Not Needed When You Have This:

Saturday after breakfast Michael and I headed out to the Gorge to do a hike. It was a gorgeous day, expected to be in the 90’s here in Portland. Not having a gym membership is most definitely easier here in the summer time. I do so much more outside: biking, running, hiking.

Hiking up Multnomah Falls was hardly ideal for a holiday weekend. But it was the closest route to get to Larch Mountain–a hike we’ve tried to do for years and never done. The great thing about hiking near Multnomah Falls is that all the hikes connect to each other. You can take your pick between them, they are all free, and all beautiful.

Multnomah Falls is the most popular. It’s the tourist trap. It’s always, always, always crowded. And it’s crowded with non-hikers. The reason for this? It’s right off the freeway, it’s majestic waterfall is a sight to see, and the trail is paved. No matter that it’s a straight up climb, intense and¬†strenuous. Nope. It attracts all ages, shapes and sizes. I always see people hiking up it in inappropriate¬†footwear¬†(crocs, flip flops, sandals, SLIPPERS, HIGH HEELS!!) and they are immediately spotted as the non-hikers.

Our intention was to get to Multnomah Falls early in the morning before the crowds appeared but that didn’t happen. So we had to battle through the throngs of people who don’t know trail etiquette (or common sense), to get by them. The hike was much less annoying once got passed the bridge in front of the base of the Falls.

Multnomah Falls is a mile long, straight up. But most people don’t know that it continues on after that. Larch Mountain Trail connects to the top of Multnomah Falls and it’s a much more beautiful, scenic hike.

Larch Mountain connects to half a dozen other hikes that are equally as beautiful. If you don’t want to mess with the headache of Multnomah Falls traffic, you can also get to it from Wahkeena Falls.¬†“The seven-mile loop begins (reading clockwise on the map) on¬†LarchMountain¬†Trail #441, turns onto Multnomah Spur Trail #446, then Oneonta Trail #424, and finally Multnomah Way Trail #444, which will take you back to your car at the end of¬†Larch¬†Mountain¬†Road (or to the¬†LarchMountain¬†Picnic Area).”

We hiked up Multnomah Falls on Saturday without stopping. No stops for water breaks, nothing. It was the first time we really just blazed a trail to the top. Since it was so busy, neither of us has any intention of stopping to “enjoy the view.” We’ve seen the view a million times, we just wanted to get to our real¬†hike: Larch Mountain. Multnomah Falls was just the warm-up. We made it to the top in 26 minutes.

Once we left the paved trail and throngs of people, the hike turned quiet and contemplative. There were hardly any people on the Larch trail. We passed a few other hikers but for the most part it was just us.

The terrain of the trail changed radically. It was dirt and big rocks instead of pavement. The hike was steep, too. It was a good little workout. There was no end in sight, just a winding trail along a beautiful creek with a bunch of waterfalls.

The trail steadily climbed upward. I was a tad worried about the trip back–going downhill on a strenuous hike…I was worried that my knees would not hold up like the last hike we’d gone on. I knew the longer we hiked, the more we had to go downhill. This was in the back of my mind for awhile.

We didn’t have a lot of time to hike. We had a wedding in the early evening to go to so we hiked for about an hour and then stopped for lunch. We ate our sandwiches next to a waterfall.

It was a nice little break. The temperature had gone down a bit out in the forest. I ate my peanut butter and jelly sandwich (on a sandwich thin) and then we decided to turn back down the trail.

During the hike we both noticed had oddly colored the sunlight was. The sun glowed a very creepy red and cast a red hue on the trees and ground as we walked. It was rather spooky. Later I found out that there was a forest fire near Hood River and the smoke was what made the sun glow red.

The trek back down the trail was just fine. My knees held up and did not cause any issues. I went slow, took my time and tried not to get sucked into the momentum of going down hill fast on a steep trail.

We got down the trail in no time. The hike was gorgeous and I’m glad we finally got to check out Larch Mountain. Someday when we have no time constraints I’d like to do it again and try to do the full 7 miles.

Hike Stats:
Time: 1:43
Calories Burned: 605

We had enough time to drive back to the city and get cleaned up before the wedding!

QUESTION: What’s your favorite NON-gym physical activity to do?