I ventured out yesterday to Saddle Mountain Natural Area near the Oregon Coast. It’s a three and a half hour drive for me and I can never be sure the weather will hold. As I approached Centralia and Chehalis early in the morning, the fog covered the valley floor for miles. It had an occasional break and some clearing but otherwise was a foggy, cloudy drive south.
Google helps me avoid the traffic of Portland by taking me along winding logging roads through rural Oregon. It is an absolutely beautiful drive. To drive through the fog in Mist, Oregon was perfect.
The trailhead for Saddle Mountain is at the end of an 8 mile meander up a forest road. It’s dense forest at times with tall alder at the end. The sky was clearing as I began. This is a 5 mile roundtrip hike that feels like 15. I am still dealing with my winter weight and stiff muscles. My joints actually did well on this chilly morning. A perfect late winter hike. Snow-free and very little mud made for a great hike to the summit. There are a few places where trees are blown down across the trail and spots where the water runs off along the path but nothing one can’t manage with a little common sense.
At the 2 mile mark, Patrick caught up with me and we spent the rest of the hike together. It was his first trip to Saddle Mountain and just my second. Gorgeous day and enjoyable company. From the summit you can see four peaks ( Mt Adams, Mt Rainier, Mt St Helens and Mt Hood ) and the Pacific Ocean. Not bad for a morning walk
I headed to Manzanita for lunch and a walk on the beach.I stopped at a lookout near Neahkhanie Mountain for a snap of the clear coastline. I was given the trail name Snap, a few years ago. I’m living up to my name every time I step foot on the trail.
I ended the day in Portland for a dinner with Natalie and Blake. It was short and sweet and I can’t believe I didn’t get our picture at the noodle house. It was so good just to see them in their world. Watching this generation I have every faith we’re gonna be ok.