Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Urban Hikes: Pittock Mansion Portland, OR

If you ever want a fitness reality check, decide you're going to hike a trail that is completely uphill with a fit teenager.  This past Friday I had a few hours to kill in Portland, OR before my red-eye.  After googling around I learned about a short in-town hike up to Pittock Mansion.  This hike sounded perfect - within the radius of the hotel shuttle, short 2.5 miles, culminates at a big pretty house, and wonderful views of the surrounding area.  And actually, it was pretty perfect.

The hotel shuttle driver dropped us of at NW 28th and Upshur and we found the Lower Macleay Park Trailhead.  There's an interesting red sculpture marking the trailhead but to be honest I didn't take much time to study it.

We followed this trail for .85 miles to a stone house.  Nature's sounds completely drowned out the city sounds during this part.  I also noticed that though we kept meeting people, no one ever came up behind us and no one was in front of us...
Yes she is skipping!
You know I'll find water any and everywhere.

At the Stone House we turned onto the Wildwood Trail, but first we did a little exploring.
The Stone House was built as a rest station in the 1930s.  It was a great rest for me since it was the last flat part until the top.
We continued along Wildwood Trail to Upper Macleay Park.  This half mile consists of switchback after switchback.  For the uninitiated, switchbacks are used when an area is too steep to go straight up.  You are basically zig zagging up the side of a hill/mountain.  Though easier than going straight up, it's still an uphill climb.  We crossed Cornell Road and continued along Wildwood Trail.  I am still not sure whether we made a turn on to the Upper Macleay Trail or continued along the Wildwood Trail but I do know we continued uphill.  I stopped taking pictures because I was focusing on praying for a flat or downhill section.  Who knew God wouldn't just change topography because I'm having a hard time?  But then we made it to the top, where we were immediately greeted by rhododendrom trees in white, yellow, and pink.
This is just the beginning of sticking flowers in our hair...
Nice house but I do wonder who toted all that stone up there in 1909.
One of the great rewards of this trip is the view of the Portland and Mts. Tabor, St. Helens, and Hood.  It was a very clear day and we could see them all.
That's Mt. Hood in the background!
 Instead of walking the 2.5 miles back down, we called the shuttle and he picked us up at the mansion.  All in all it was a great way to spend a late Friday afternoon.  A little hiking, a great view, a house I want to decorate, some gossip about SCGC, and time spent with a little Spelman sister.
The view from laying on the grass behind the mansion...happy.

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