It’s been months since I made time for regular walks. It’s not easy to go walking from my apartment: I’m on a busy highway, and whoever is in charge of planning things like sidewalks and bike lanes seems to have had a mental breakdown when it came time to do something about the roadsides. There are sidewalks . . . occasionally . . . for ten or 15 feet . . . and then long stretches with nothing but a curb and a muddy strip of grass, oft-encroached upon by wild brambles and piles of soggy leaves. I do believe it’s one of the most stressful and least pleasant walks ever.
Fortunately, Portland believes in trails, and there are trails all over the city and close-in suburbs. So today I resigned myself to the fact that in order to go for a walk I must first get into my car and drive–it’s not far, but it IS treacherous–and after I parked on a quiet neighborhood street I set my feet on SW Trail 1 (and sometimes, but not always, trail 7).
SW Trail 1 is a funny little trail. At moments it seems almost, sort of, wild-ish. Then, abruptly, you are looking over the chain-link into someone’s back yard, or nearly mistaking a driveway for the trail.
On the other hand, even the parts that are streets are quiet and sleepy, though that might have been because it was freaking cold today and no one in their right mind would be out wandering around.
I love this part of Portland more and more the longer I live here–it’s not the slightest bit fashionable, which means it’s unpretentious and scraggly, disorderly nature is allowed to have some space.
I love all the little narrow passages on this trail. They put me in mind of something from The Chronicles of Narnia.
And I love all the moss. I definitely live in the right state.
It’s very hilly in these parts, which means you get all kinds of crooked and slanting things. I imagine the wind is a contributing factor as well, though it was still today.
I also love how there are hawthorn trees everywhere. They are my favorite tree, and every time I see one it makes me feel a little bit happy.
I met some local wildlife on my walk too. This is Oscar. His human kindly waited while he posed for this picture. He would like it to be known that he’s not as grouchy as he looks.
The view up above was off to the side of the trail, and I think it looks pretty soggy. But I kind of wished I had hip-waders and a lot of stamina so I could go squishing through it. Also a warmer coat. Did I mention it was cold?
I love the surprise of red twigs or vines, when from a distance the whole scene seems all brown, gray and green. Also I love how many different kinds of moss and lichens can grow on one little branch.