Change with the Seasons?

General discussions on hiking in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest
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Green-is-Gold
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Joined: December 6th, 2020, 3:43 pm

Change with the Seasons?

Post by Green-is-Gold » December 8th, 2020, 12:51 pm

Hello, all. I'm a brand-new member (only recently discovered the site).
Not an Oregon resident yet, either, but considering making the Willamette Valley (Corvallis, to be exact)
my retirement home... because I've enjoyed visiting the area... and the entire PNW.

Curious about something, though – does your hiking change with the seasons?
When the wet gray weather arrives, do the long hikes get mostly traded for rambles of an hour or two?
Or do you stay out all day year-round?

Thanks!

RobFromRedland
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Re: Change with the Seasons?

Post by RobFromRedland » December 8th, 2020, 12:55 pm

Green-is-Gold wrote:
December 8th, 2020, 12:51 pm
Hello, all. I'm a brand-new member (only recently discovered the site).
Not an Oregon resident yet, either, but considering making the Willamette Valley (Corvallis, to be exact)
my retirement home... because I've enjoyed visiting the area... and the entire PNW.

Curious about something, though – does your hiking change with the seasons?
When the wet gray weather arrives, do the long hikes get mostly traded for rambles of an hour or two?
Or do you stay out all day year-round?

Thanks!
I've learned to embrace the rain. I used to never hike in the rain, but over the last several years I've done it many times. I have to be mentally prepared for it, but it is kind of neat. The trail has a much different vibe when it is raining than when it is sunny. I've also learned that even when you have rain gear on you will get wet (usually soaked from your own sweat).
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: WOW-What a ride!

justpeachy
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Re: Change with the Seasons?

Post by justpeachy » December 8th, 2020, 2:53 pm

Green-is-Gold wrote:
December 8th, 2020, 12:51 pm
Curious about something, though – does your hiking change with the seasons?
Most definitely. For one thing, the high elevation trails I hike in summer are mostly inaccessible and buried under snow in the winter. Also, the days are long in summer which allows for a lot more possibilities than the short days of winter (unless you want to hike in the dark).

My brain gets unhappy when I don't get nature time, so even if I don't feel up for a full-fledged hike in winter I try to at least go for a walk in one of the many parks and natural areas we have in the Portland area.

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retired jerry
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Re: Change with the Seasons?

Post by retired jerry » December 8th, 2020, 3:18 pm

+1 to both of the above

Another thing is go east of the cascades when its rainy on the west side

Some people prefer living in, for example, Bend because of less rain

Aimless
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Re: Change with the Seasons?

Post by Aimless » December 8th, 2020, 7:35 pm

For me, one of the biggest factors reducing my hiking from mid-November until late February is the lack of daylight hours, especially the early sunset times which can bring heavy dimness under the forest canopy on cloudy days as early as 3:30 pm. The weather you can dress for, but not the darkness, and hiking by flashlight just doesn't feel the same. So, I get out much less to the trails in the forest lands and do my walking closer in. There are wildlife preserves, state, county and city parks to walk in. I tend not to drive all the way out to National Forest lands until closer to spring.

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jessbee
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Re: Change with the Seasons?

Post by jessbee » December 9th, 2020, 6:36 am

I love hiking all year long, so much that I'm writing a book about it :lol: In the cooler, rainier months (I used to live in Corvallis) I just got prepared with the right gear and the right attitude for being out in the rain, or I'd go higher in elevation to go for a snowy hike instead. I embraced sunrise/sunset hikes, recommitted local parks, planned shorter day trips or the opposite: travel out of town to be camp and explore somewhere new.

Hiking is different in the "off season" but it also has so many advantages: no bugs, fewer people, different smells and colors (the rain makes everything look and feel different). And hiking in the snow can be peaceful, quiet and beautiful as well.

Not to say that there are no challenges, there's a reason why the trails are quiet. But if you learn to adapt and adjust to the weather and road conditions, you can enjoy hiking any day of the year.
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drm
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Re: Change with the Seasons?

Post by drm » December 9th, 2020, 7:51 am

For me I go backpacking in the summer but not in the winter, so yes. I would add that the wet season has nice weather breaks. The phrase "sun breaks" becomes a key part of your language. Having a flexible schedule is key - you can wait for those breaks from the rain and do your hike. Mon-Fri 9-5ers don't have that flexibility. Since you would be retired I assume you will have that flexibility. You can time your hikes and plan their lengths with the dry weather. There will often be the chance of some precip, but it might just be some mist.

Green-is-Gold
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Re: Change with the Seasons?

Post by Green-is-Gold » December 10th, 2020, 9:48 am

Thanks, everyone!

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