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From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Somewhere on Mt. Defiance


Facts of life:

Born and raised in the mid-20th century in the Nyasaland Protectorate (became Malawi in 1964). My father was South African, my mother was from Altoona, Pennsylvania. Dad worked for a mining company. Went to boys’ boarding schools in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Family moved to Oregon in 1975. Did my university here and spent most of my 20s overseas, beginning with a stint in the Peace Corps in Yemen. Have traveled quite extensively on six continents. Got married, raised a child, taught English as a Second Language at Portland Community College for 28 years until retirement in 2017.


Love to travel and have a dilettantish fascination with nature. Hiking seems to satisfy that urge most of the time. Will hike in all environments from flat beach hikes to tops of mountains. Most of my outings 9 - 15 miles. I would probably do more if I weren't always peering at plants, taking notes, veering off the trail, etc. Favorite places for day hikes are the east Gorge and Barlow area of Mt. Hood in spring/early summer and Mt. Adams, but do lots of little urban walks as well. Now expanding my reach into the four corners of Oregon.


John Sparks

Multnomah Village

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

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