Enough Winter -- Let's Go Hiking!
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Hiking Time

MARCH 24, 2017

Since the last Bulletin, something fantastic has happened: Spring! And in my world, that means that it's time to dig around for my hiking shoes, maybe even the sunglasses, and get the heck out of town.

Flower Time in the Columbia River Gorge

From March to May every year, spring -- in the form of green grass, sunshine, and hundreds of types of wildflowers -- arrives in the eastern Gorge and makes its way west towards Portland. Those of us who love such things begin to drive out and meet it.

One of our favorite places is Catherine Creek, where I went hiking on March 23 and saw our favorite little harbinger of joyous news, the grass widow (right). Lots and lots of grass widows!

But that flower, and that hike, are just the beginning. As spring rolls on, more and more flowers open up, more and more trails green up, and the whole place becomes a multicolored spectacle where (most of) the hiking isn't even that tough.

Here, for starters, is my list of the best wildflower hikes in the Columbia River Gorge, arranged from east to west (the order of their bloom) and ranging from flat, paved strolls to monumental climbs.

One hike that is not on that list, but which I am considering for the new edition of my book, is Memaloose State Park (left). It's a terrific hike, and still somewhat unknown, which makes it all the better. Here's a profile from my blog.

So why not include it? For one thing, the trails are not official or maintained by anyone, although they do stick to state land. For another, parking is an issue, the choices being cramped or possibly illegal. But hey, it's worth it. And it probably will go in the book, so go hike it while it's still semi unknown.

While we're here, I have another piece on my site about 10 great places to take kids hiking in the Gorge.

November: Trekking to Mount Everest Base Camp

Just a reminder that this fall I have scheduled, with Portland-based Embark, a trek to Mount Everest Base Camp and an area called the Gokyo Lakes.

This is really one of the great walks in the world, and something I have dreamed of doing forever. It's a 17-day trip, now set for early November; in the last Bulletin it was the second half of October.

It includes two days of touring in Kathmandu and 14 days on the trail in the biggest mountains in the world. The highlights: Visiting sacred lakes 15,000 feet above sea level, standing at the base of the world's tallest mountain, and experience legendary Sherpa culture first-hand.

The cost is $2,995, and if you want more information, check out this page or just respond to this email.

Quick Wrap-Up Of Soccer Activities

It's not just about hiking in my world; I also recently got back from another research trip for An American's Guide to Soccer in England. This trip, which had me at five games in five cities over 10 days, was mostly a tour of lower-league clubs, like Norwich City (left), where I caught their annual bitter rivalry game with Ipswich Town -- the East Anglian Derby. The fact that nobody outside that area cares makes it all the more important to the locals. Read all about it.

Other highlights included:


Need a Taxi? Email me!

I am still driving for Portland's Radio Cab -- who has a new smartphone app, by the way. Get it from the iTunes Store or Google Play.

I would love to give you a ride! I always enjoy meeting folks or catching up with friends; the friends and family discount applies, and I generally work Friday to Sunday (daytime) when I am in town.

Email me if you want a ride, and meanwhile, I will try to write up some more of the nonstop Taxi Adventures for my blog.

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