Best Outdoor Adventures Near Portland

14 08 2016

My latest literary spawn has left the nest! The “Best Outdoor Adventures Near Portland” is now available in select bookstores and via any of your favorite online outlets, including Amazon.

From the Intro:

Portland, Oregon is a special place. One of the primary reasons many of us choose to hang our hats here is the seemingly limitless outdoor recreation options. If there’s something you like to do outside, chances are good that you can find it within two hours of Portland. What do you like doing? What would you like to try? It’s here. Or near here.  A quick rundown of things to do includes: hiking, trail running, kayaking, whitewater rafting, stand up paddleboarding, surfing, kite boarding, cycling, mountain biking, mountain climbing, rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, horseback riding, paragliding, skydiving, ziplining…..the list is extensive.

Any real estate agent will give you an earful about “location.” Portland benefits greatly from its location in many ways, but with regards to outdoor endeavors, we’re sitting in the catbird seat. From downtown Portland, you can get to the Columbia River Gorge in 30 minutes, have Mt Hood in your face in an hour, dip your toes in the Pacific Ocean in an hour and a half, and take in a sunset from the high desert in two hours. And within that radius are more creeks, rivers, trails, lakes, peaks, valleys, and protected wilderness areas than any of us could ever see in a lifetime or more.

Over the last year and a half, I got to go traipsing around the greater Portland area with my friends, experiencing the best outdoor activities the region has to offer. And now it all culminates in a guidebook that for me, also serves as a journal of these incredible experiences. Some of the best adventures I’ve had in my life were had while “working” on this book. It is my sincere hope that it can provide you with comparable experiences. I also encourage you to keep going. This book, while chock full of some of the best stuff around, is more or less an amuse bouche for what’s out there. Within two hours of Portland, an immeasurable amount of adventure awaits.”

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Three Must See Waterfalls in Tillamook

21 02 2015

I recently landed a wonderful gig writing outdoor-related blog posts for Tillamook Coast.com. In my first offering I discuss some must see waterfalls in the Tillamook Coast range, and why now is a great time to check them out. Click here to give it a read.

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Central Oregon Magazine: A Fondness for Falls

14 10 2014

In my first piece for Central Oregon Magazine I list my favorite cascades in the region. From the article:

“One could argue that the almost embarrassing abundance of natural beauty in Central Oregon is punctuated by waterfalls. Some of the best cascades and cascade hikes in the state reside in this region. Sometimes the thrill is in the quality of the hike, other times it’s the grandeur or uniqueness of the falls, or some combination thereof. On occasion the main draw is the increasingly rare chance for solitude on a trail. For all those reasons and more, this part of the state is paradise for those of us that like a good waterfall. Here are some favorites.”

Check out the full article here.

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Portland Mercury: The Falls of History and God

26 06 2014

In my first article for the Portland Mercury I encourage people to visit some of the area’s waterfalls for more than just their inherent beauty. From the article:

“Some waterfalls are more than just pretty places to visit. While the opportunity to prance around in a forested scene straight out of a Kinkade-ian masterpiece is typically inspiration enough to seek one out, sometimes you want more from your experience. Luckily, there are a number of waterfall hikes in the Portland area that dangle alluring carrots of added interest, like “fascinating regional history” or “a chance to commune with a faith-based deity.” So for those of you who need a little extra motivation to get your butt outside and next to a beautiful waterfall, here you go.”

Click here to read the entire article.

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“Hiking Waterfalls in Oregon” Now Available for Preorder

11 12 2013

While it still might only be in the editing phase, the project that has consumed much of my time over the last two years is now available for purchase….preorder anyway 🙂 The “Hiking Waterfalls in Oregon” guidebook from Falcon Guides won’t be available in stores until June, but my local bookseller is selling it at a screamingly good preorder discount price of $16.46! Click here to check it out.

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Picture of the Week: Butte Creek Falls

24 09 2013

With work on the forthcoming “Hiking Waterfalls in Oregon” guidebook wrapping up, I offer a photo from one of my favorite little hikes of the year – Butte Creek Falls. The hike to Butte Creek and Upper Butte Creek Falls would be fine destinations all by their lonesome. They are both beautiful and unique. But pair the two in the same hike with a truly memorable forest trail and you have as fine an outing as 1 mile can produce. Click on pic for larger view.

From the town of Scotts Mills, follow Crooked Finger Road for 11.4 miles and turn left onto Forest Road 400. Drive 1.8 more miles to the Butte Creek Falls trailhead on the left. GPS: N44 55.266 / W122 30.682.

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Video: Slide Falls, Opal Creek Wilderness

14 09 2013

I now have the GPS tracks for all of the “Hiking Waterfalls in Oregon” guidebook! And I may have saved the best for last. The Opal Creek Wilderness is a low-elevation ancient forest that is home to the largest intact stand of old-growth forest in the western Cascades. Trees in this area can range up to 1,000 years old. Because the forest has remained intact for so long, the flora and fauna interact the way nature intended. Cycles that can take hundreds of years to complete have been left alone to do so, and in the process the forest filters Opal Creek to a state of pristine beauty. And it has a waterfall you can slide down!





Picture of the Week: Waterfall Road Trip

29 07 2013

I’m back from my epic road trip to photograph and document waterfalls for the forthcoming Hiking Waterfalls in Oregon guidebook!

Over the last 17 days my girlfriend and I drove over 3,200 miles, or what would be Portland to Miami. Went on 40 individual waterfall hikes and visited numerous other natural wonders. In the course of hiking we covered close to 90 miles, gained over 17,000 feet of elevation, and encountered 63 individual waterfalls. My injuries were limited to 1 strained knee and 1 atrocious thigh bruise. We were scared witless by 1 black bear and were visited by numerous timid but cordial dear. We stayed in primitive campgrounds and posh hotel suites. We ate wild berries, beef jerky, microwave burritos, and the freshest, finest Northwest seafood to be found. It was the trip of a lifetime. I feel physically strong, mentally rejuvenated, happy to be home, but very sad it’s over. Today feels like the day after Christmas. Now I have to clean up all the wrapping paper 🙂 Photo courtesy of Stephanie Paris.

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Picture of the Week: Taking Pictures of Taking Pictures at Lower Oneonta Falls

8 07 2013

While doing more work for the Hiking Waterfalls in Oregon guidebook my girlfriend, Stephanie, lines up the perfect shot of Lower Oneonta Falls. I’ve had this waterfall featured a few times as Pic o’ the Week before, but if you haven’t seen it or would like to know how to get there, check out this link. Click on pic for larger image.

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Picture of the Week: Ramona Falls

10 06 2013

I like this shot of Ramona Falls taken on a recent hike. It features sun breaks and highlights on the cascade as well as my girlfriend, Stephanie, introducing herself to the lower segment of the falls. Click on pic for larger view. For more information on the hike, read my column about it here.

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