Venturing Out to Discover the Great Northwest – By Paula Olson
East County is full of treasure undiscovered by many. Natural beauty and recreational activities abound, just east of Portland, but with a lot more elbow room.
Apartment buildings have long-since filled in the fields where berry bushes thrived when I was a youngster. And thirty years ago, I could spot bald eagles and hawks en route to PDX before Airport Way became Warehouse-Parking-Lot Central. With growth and development such prices are paid, but heading east on I-84, I can shut off the Joni Mitchell (and now Counting Crows) hit playing in my smoggy head. I inhale freely.
If there is one thing that the Pacific Northwest can boast, it is the Cascade Range. Upon seeing Mt. Hood for the first time, a friend from New England exclaimed, “Wow—that’s a mountain. And it’s right here!” Along with the relatively nearby Mt. Adams, Mt. Jefferson, and Mt. Bachelor, the slopes of Mt. Hood offer recreational opportunities for adrenalin junkies, crunchy earth-lovers, and average Joe naturalists alike. Think snowboarding, downhill and cross-country skiing, Pacific Crest Trail hiking, flora and fauna unique to certain elevations and terrain. Let’s not forget historic Timberline Lodge. Continue reading