My college friend JR & her husband invited me to spend a few days at their home on the Columbia River Gorge. I am SO glad that I went! Fall colors were lovely. And she has become a master gardener, her garden is very lush and prolific.
The ridge on the hill (behind their home) was part of the big conflagration in the gorge last month. Over 40,000 acres burned. The fire was started by a teenager who tossed fireworks into the forest. He has been arraigned on criminal charges, along with his friends who filmed the vandalism/arson on their cell phones. The young man is only 15. The fire crossed the Columbia river (from Oregon into Washington), and it has closed down the scenic waterfall highway. Multnomah Falls (Oregon's most visited scenic destination) and most other parks are closed for the foreseeable future. (The fire is mostly out, but there is HUGE danger from falling timber; and structures and roads were damaged)
Here is a close-up of the ridge behind JR & Chet's home, part of many areas of torched trees.
We did several easy hikes. I really enjoyed hiking!
On the town trail
Hamilton Creek (on the town trail)
JR and me on Strawberry Island trail (at JR's request, I am showing off my wrist cast!)
Chet drove us on a scenic tour of the gorge, to visit a favorite winery. The wineries are mostly located in the eastern section of the gorge, which is open (not forested)
After my relaxing visit with JR and Chet, I drove to Portland to visit two other friends from college. I enjoyed touring art galleries, visiting coffee shops, and catching up on news about mutual friends. Unfortunately BOTH of these friends are hoarders, with homes that have narrow paths through piles of STUFF. So I preferred to stay at a small cottage that I rented through Airb&b. My first Airb&b experience was delightful! Host lived in the main house; he was helpful and charming (he mostly chatted with me when I was in the shared secluded back garden, drinking my coffee).
These easy hikes were my first real hikes since breaking my wrist & rib; and the trip was my first adventure since the fall. I really enjoyed the experience, and I have more confidence!