Fairly long time (a couple years anyway) lurker, first time poster.. I thought I'd introduce myself.
Currently, I live with my family and work in the Portland area. I was lucky enough to grow up on acreage in the rural lands of southwest Washington, not far from the Lewis River. The woods was my playground. What is funny is, despite the proximity to the Lewis River, there are many hikes I see here that I wasn't aware of! A favorite spot to visit growing up was towards Mt St Helens, camping/canoeing at Merrill Lake or trekking in the Ape Caves - where I remember when it was a gravel parking lot with no Ranger booth - or entrance fee. Random fact: My grandfather, a stone mason, built the still used stone steps that lead down into the cave in the 1960s.
My experience from childhood up until a few years ago was mostly day hikes and quite a lot of car camping. I went on my first 2 night backpacking trip with an organized group of several people (parents and kids) two years ago (Soda Peaks hike), then a 2 night hike to the lower Metolius last summer. It's been a great way for my son and I to bond, and combined with my long-standing love of the outdoors it's been fantastic. All of the wonderful reports here only stoke my interest - so thank you all!
I may add a trip report, along with photos of our group hike (parents and kids) to the Lower Metolius from last August.
Thank you all for sharing your expertise and enjoyment of the great Pacific Northwest!
Introduce yourself to the group! We welcome novice and expert alike! We especially love hearing from those new to Portland and those new to hiking
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