About That Hike

He writes in this font, she writes in this font.

Megan’s response to the last post: “Awww baby, I love it — now write about our hike!” Haha! Spot on!

Yes, darling, I’ll write about the clear sky, bright sun creeping its way into the trail bottom, and freezing air that engulfed us like an arctic flame in reverse. I will write about the hike. Thank you!

I am not sure what is typical for Portland weather in early January, this is my first year here. It seemed that this past Saturday was especially sunny and sharply cold. No rain, not even the slightest moisture on the ground, and no clouds separating us from the sun in the sky; this did not seem like the same Portland that I had experienced for the past month. It was dreamlike in the stark contrast with preceding Saturdays of recent memory.

The city was alive, awoken from the deep sleep of December where frigid rain forced us all into hibernation. As we parked our car and descended to Lower Macleay Park from Thurman Street, I was surprised to see an abundance of people. Children jumping on thick ice, hoping against their parents apprehension for it to crack then break under their heels. Couples clothed in leggings under joggers below hoodies, running hard up the trail and against common sense. I was surprised to see such an array of footwear on this hike. Heeled boots, nearly sandals, and some taking the risk of running on this ice slick path. I held my breath every time one of these people walked by as I tried to hide my fear of their falling. People, everywhere, enjoying the day and new year outside; ignoring the cold and embracing the wonder of the Rose City.

Megan and I were dressed for the weather. No, we were not one of the ambitious couples running up the trail with drunken commitment to healthy resolutions. Not this time anyway. Winter boots, warm coats, and several layers did their best to protect us from the sharp freeze of that sunny day. Under those layers and with Klaus haphazardly dodging back and forth by our side, we wandered up then down Macleay Park.

Again and again, the local wonders in and around Portland amaze me. I don’t know of another city that provides its inhabitants with natural beauty and an expansive, national park-like disconnect from city life quite like Portland. In less than five minutes of journeying from the trailhead, we were deep in icy, icicled woods, enjoying the effects of sub-freezing temperature on lush forest.

In no particular hurry, Megan and I studied everything. Patiently, with too much concern, she and Klaus watched me climb up a falling tree to see what secrets hid on top. Guy’s ability to freely take risk, without worry, is something I love about him most. It’s truly the reason we are where we are. He’s not scared of anything. While passersby oohed and aahed Klaus on the trail, I watched Megan. She weaved over tree trunks and through icy leaves to get very close shots of specific fields of bushes. Damn, I love that adventurous woman. “The leaves look like they were painted with diamonds of little clouds,” she shouted over to me after finishing her shoot.

That was our Saturday. The second day of January. The first weekend of this year. Now here are the photos to fill the blanks in the story. Megan’s photographs, I think, tell a better story anyway.