I first moved to Portland, Oregon after a messy breakup almost ten years ago. I healed, but I was not dialed in and did not enjoy the city as much as I should have. I settled in stumptown for good 6 years ago after a brief re-visit of NYC. This time around I fell in love, with a man and with this fair city. One of the biggest reasons I love it here is because I have hiking buddies and I get to see beautiful waterfalls regularly like Wahkeena, Wahclella, Multnomah, and Latourell.
I also like the look of my current hometown, with gorgeous glass and concrete structures against the backdrop of lush Forest Park and alive with beautiful bridges like Fremont, Steel, and my favorite – St Johns. And welcoming you to this wonderland is the famous Portland, Oregon White Stag sign! Such a beauty.
Another reason to celebrate living in the Pacific Northwest is the birds! I see them in the city, floating above me, crows cawing, chickens clucking in neighboring yards, I see them in Forest Park at the Audobon Society, I see owls and auks and gulls and eagles and osprey and hawks on my hikes, and I see them as paintings and earrings and cuffs in my workstation at least once a week. That vile show that has contributed to messing with the vibe here in Portland joked about putting birds on things and I willingly live up to the silly stereotype.
I would be a fool if I didn’t mention the crown jewel of Portland, Mt Hood! The mountain is ever-present looming behind the city to the east, inspiring and beckoning all who see it’s granduer. One of my favorite views of the mountain is from Mirror Lake, a popular hike in my area.
Honorable mention goes out to the vibrant bike culture of Portland. And also the trees. My two favorite trees here are the Douglas Fir and the Ponderosa Pine! These things I have mentioned and many, many more keep me inspired and creations based on them take up permanent residence in my Etsy shop.
Who knows where my adventures will take me this year? I know the area still has gems to reveal and with my new hiking buddies and my dearest, frequent hiking companion Seasons ready to discover them with me I am sure to be inspired to create all year long. Stay tuned!
Just a few days ago my friend Seasons and I headed to one of our frequent refueling spots, McMenamin’s Edgefield. She often gets a room there for a real recharge, but I never join in. In fact, I don’t believe I have ever purchased a room for myself while still “at home”. That changed on Thursday when we stayed over, ate gluten free pizzas and soaked in a nearly empty soaking pool. The soaking pool was amazing enough for me, but Seasons assured me it is often much warmer. The heavy rain cooled it down quite a bit, but also kept the masses away.
Staying the night at a hotel before a long snowy and slushy hike really turned it into more of an event for me and made the cold slush easier to endure.
The day began with clear skies and snowy hills. We opted for the Multnomah-Wahkeena loop. The trail from the Multnomah side ascends quickly, so we were hiking in snow in no time at all.
Many people turn back halfway through the 11 switchbacks, but if you soldier on you will discover dense forest and many more waterfalls. The rushing waters were made more spectacular after all of our recent rain and snowfall, but they also swallowed up many of the banks we usually spend time on.
After you pass 2 more truly impressive falls (Weisendanger and Ecola) the hike becomes a smidge tedious in winter months. The elevation keeps increasing and the snow is melting due to runoff underneath it and even the most waterproof boots become soggy. And then the clouds roll in and a downpour hits you on the head. You look at your friend and wonder, “Is she enjoying this? Am I?” The answer becomes yes after you realize you have a better waterproof coat in your pack and your friend is always happy in the woods, sogginess be damned. And also you see things like this:
We returned to Edgefield after completing the hike with a descent that was wet as hell, but miraculously free of any wipeouts. A quick coffee with some uploading to instagram, Etsy and Facebook while nestled in a quiet nook brought me back to life. I was asleep by 10:30, and I’m a 3AM guy.
This little getaway and hike recharged me in the best way though and I was able to create beauties like these:
Sunrise in India – Vintage Gold leaf necklace with paisley rose quartz gemstone
Our Lady of Labrador – Rose gold necklace with violet flash labradorite gemstone
Very inspiring day.
SparklingCyclone vintage rhinestone triple hoop earrings with quartz.
Forever. Ethical piece made with filigree chevron charm and rutilated quartz
WitchDoctor – vintage, ethical piece with silver chains, arrow, black skull and crossbones and silver titanium quartz.
“WeatherWitch” The X-Men’s Storm pictured in her iconic Mohawk look – small painting.
This is HaZel. She is a spotted owl who lives at the Portland Audubon Society. She flew into a tree when she was young and her wing feathers grew in deformed so she cannot fly. But she’s still rad. I hand-painted her on dense board so that she could exist as earrings!