April 2017. It was time to return to Camassia Natural Area in West Linn, Oregon. Why? Because the camas lilies were all in bloom of course! Brilliant blue hues blanketed the fields in the park, which is about 26 acres of protected oak groves nestled across from Oregon City. There were other flowers too, white, pink, yellow. As I said before, the area contains fields, wetlands and oak groves, and everywhere is sprinkled with large erratics (rocks brought here by ancient ice-age floods).
Camassia Natural Area, West Linn, Oregon
Winter Hike in Champoeg, Oregon
In early February 2017, on a very cold, wet winter's day, I hiked around the Champoeg State Heritage Area outside of Butteville, Oregon. Champoeg (pronounced like "shampooey") was an important settlement in the 19th century and in 1843 formed an early regional government, a key step for the area eventually becoming a state. Today the former townsite is merely a field, but the surrounding 600 or so acres have become a park with forested trails easing along the Willamette River....
Fields Bridge Park, West Linn, Oregon
Continuing my quest to visit all the parks of Oregon, Amanda and I visited Fields Bridge Park in April 2017. The park is not large, and a good deal of its 19 acres is devoted to ball fields and parking. And yet I would call this park a real gem for the town of West Linn, particularly for someone in a wheelchair, as its flat, well maintained trails hug right along the shore of the gorgeous Tualatin River...
Molalla River Recreation Area, May 2017
Southeast of the town of Molalla (itself southeast of Portland) is an Oregon hidden gem, the Molalla River Recreation Area. It follows the river as it cuts through foothills of the Cascade mountains and has a series of hiking and mountain biking trails that take you through forests so thick they make you feel a million lightyears from the Willamette Valley just a little below.
Flower Gardens, May 2017
On Memorial Day weekend 2017, Amanda and I visited two incredible flower farms (both family-owned) north of Salem, Oregon: Adelman Peony Gardens and Schreiner's Iris Gardens. I've seen a fair number of breathtakingly lovely sights in my life, but it's hard to top looking out across acres and acres of irises or peonies, wow! And the aromas, sigh, were so good too. It's hard to beat Oregon in the spring, and these spots (along with the Wooden Shoe tulips earlier) are living proof. Plus, you can buy the flowers for your own yard...