April 2011

Another blog. About Portland. And other stuff too.

about | archives | twitter | flickr | potma | iphone snapshots | facebook | yelp
rss feed | youtube | links | the burning log


Questions? Comments? Reservations?
anotherportlandblog[at]gmail[dot]com

Another Portland Blog

Monday, April 14, 2008

 

Well, that was ill-advised

On Saturday the sky over western Oregon shook its seemingly perpetual cloud blanket and the temperature climbed to over 70 for the first time in nearly six months. Rather than take this opportunity to chop down the jungle of grass and weeds outside my cabin or lounge around on a pub porch somewhere, I went and did something stupid. I climbed a mountain instead.

I do this sort of thing a few times a year and I'm not talking about Everest here. I'm a big fan of the trails around Nehakahnie Mountain, which is basically an overgrown hill north of Manzanita that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Typically I cheat by starting from a trailhead halfway up but last summer I ran into an elderly couple on the mountain. They had climbed from sea level at Short Sands Beach and had managed to reach the peak. Round trip: 8 miles. Despite having reached the peak a few dozen times over the years,they made me realize I had never truly climbed this damn thing.




That day a gauntlet was thrown down. If they could do it, so could I. I accepted this self-imposed challenge on Saturday. So what if I was out of shape and hadn't been on a hiking trail since last fall? I tossed a few Cliff Bars and a jug of water in a backpack and off I went.




The path leading up from Shorts Sands to the 101 is a gradual climb. Nothing too serious and there's a fun "bouncy bridge" ala Tom Sawyer's Island along the way. This tree is also fairly Tolkien-esque and photogenic.




The path across once you cross the typically elk-free Elk Meadow and the highway is another story. What seemed like a pleasant walk through the woods became a hellish uphill slog. I typically take the much easier and shorter route on the south side of Nehakahnie. The mountain was crowded on Saturday, which meant every 10 minutes I ran into people coming down from the peak. When you're covered in sweat and when your knees are on fire and when you've begun questioning why you didn't just buy a six-pack at the Arch Cape Market in order to make a feeble attempt at recreating a Corona ad on the shores of Cannon Beach, the last thing you want to see is a joyous church group singing camp songs as they practically fly back down to the parking lot.




Oh, and there were snakes. Did I mention them? They were all over the place. Small and harmless (hopefully) but snakes nonetheless. I nearly stepped on one that was sunning itself in the middle of the trail. It must have been Slither Day on the mountain. I swear, every twenty feet one of them, no doubt startled by my huffing, puffing and muttered bitching, would suddenly spring up in the underbrush near my feet and bolt to a spot a few feet away. They did help break up the monotony but, honestly, I prefer the rabbits that can sometimes be spotted along Nehakahnie's trails. Further adding to the danger factor: muddy conditions and numerous trees downed by last winter's wind storms. I made sure to wear my Indiana Jones-type fedora on the hike. I look more like a dork while wearing it but the snakes might have gotten me if I hadn't brought the hat along.




I reached the top 140-minutes later. I'm a casual hiker, if that, so my mud-covered shins were convinced we had just conquered K6. I broke out a Mexi-Coke and, despite being lukewarm, it was the best damn soda I've ever drank in my entire life. Everything they say about Coke tasting better when it's made with sugar instead of corn syrup is true. I loved that Coke so much we were later married in a small ceremony at dusk near Haystack Rock. This might have been a worse idea than climbing the mountain. I don't think the state of Oregon is going to let me add the Coke to my medical plan, let alone get a tax break.

A few days have passed and my knees still feel like they're filled with battery acid. My feet and I still aren't on speaking terms. I guess I should probably cancel those plans to hire a few Sherpas and hit the Himalayas this summer. Mountain climbing is a major pain in the pass. Who knew?

Labels:


Comments: Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]



Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home


SEARCH THIS BLOG? SURE, NO PROBLEMO, AS BART SIMPSON USED TO SAY....





www.flickr.com




-archives-

  • October 2003
  • November 2003
  • December 2003
  • January 2004
  • February 2004
  • March 2004
  • April 2004
  • May 2004
  • June 2004
  • July 2004
  • August 2004
  • September 2004
  • October 2004
  • November 2004
  • December 2004
  • January 2005
  • February 2005
  • March 2005
  • April 2005
  • May 2005
  • June 2005
  • July 2005
  • August 2005
  • September 2005
  • October 2005
  • November 2005
  • December 2005
  • January 2006
  • February 2006
  • March 2006
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • July 2006
  • August 2006
  • September 2006
  • October 2006
  • November 2006
  • December 2006
  • January 2007
  • February 2007
  • March 2007
  • April 2007
  • May 2007
  • June 2007
  • July 2007
  • August 2007
  • September 2007
  • October 2007
  • November 2007
  • December 2007
  • January 2008
  • February 2008
  • March 2008
  • April 2008
  • May 2008
  • June 2008
  • July 2008
  • August 2008
  • September 2008
  • October 2008
  • November 2008
  • December 2008
  • January 2009
  • February 2009
  • March 2009
  • April 2009
  • May 2009
  • June 2009
  • July 2009
  • August 2009
  • October 2009
  • November 2009
  • December 2009
  • January 2010
  • February 2010
  • March 2010
  • April 2010
  • August 2010
  • September 2010
  • October 2010
  • November 2010
  • January 2011
  • February 2011
  • March 2011
  • April 2011

  • Clicky Web Analytics


    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?