September, 2020: The Oregon Coast Trail South of Arch Cape is a Windblown Mess (And Some of it is Closed)


I went out and tried to hike some of the Oregon Coast Trail on September 21, 2020, and it is a total mess. There was no fire here, but I assume that what I saw was the result of winds around Labor Day.

Near as I can tell, you really can’t hike from Arch Cape to at least Cape Falcon right now, and in fact some of that trail is officially closed. Continue reading “September, 2020: The Oregon Coast Trail South of Arch Cape is a Windblown Mess (And Some of it is Closed)”

My Latest “Breakfast Bulletin” Newsletter: In 2020, Rain is Sunshine


Every couple of … well, years lately (hanging my head), I write a newsletter I call the “Breakfast Bulletin.” The name comes from my old days as the Portland Breakfast Guy, and I keep it to honor those good times.

The latest issue is about the strange times we live in — for example, when the city of Portland celebrates rain in September. Tough times bring weird thoughts, I guess.

Continue reading “My Latest “Breakfast Bulletin” Newsletter: In 2020, Rain is Sunshine”

Which hiking trails have been affected by the 2020 fires in Oregon and Southwest Washington?

Here is an ongoing attempt to evaluate which hiking trails and campsites are within areas affected by wildfires in Oregon and southwest Washington in 2020.

This is not an official or complete list, just one person’s attempt to track it all. I don’t have access to any more information than what’s publicly available.

MAJOR, CRITICAL DISCLAIMER: Just because a spot is within the area affected by a fire, it has not necessarily been burned to the ground! I cannot overstate the importance of this. Many fires skip around, burn only along the ground, and behave very differently from one area to the next. When the media says a fire is 35,000 acres, that does not necessarily translate into 35,000 acres of total destruction. Places within a burn zone could survive intact, be damaged … or be burned to the ground. We won’t know for a while.

Updated October 5, 2020: The Wind River Road is open again,

Continue reading “Which hiking trails have been affected by the 2020 fires in Oregon and Southwest Washington?”

Recovery Share: Some Thoughts on Depression

I was going to call this one “Thoughts on the Looming Darkness,” with September in Oregon always making one start thinking of November in Oregon, but that whole thing seemed a little … well, dark. And click-baitish.

Also, it’s not that bad. But it is a little window into what I want to write about today, which is depression. A more or differently depressed person might well have led with “looming darkness,” because that’s how it can seem when you’re that kind of depressed. But what does it even mean to be depressed? And what would be the motivation for leading with such drama? To cry out for help? Feed into one’s own story of depression? Try to reduce its power through ridicule?

Off we go, into my confused (and often depressed) mind.

Continue reading “Recovery Share: Some Thoughts on Depression”

What It’s Like Being From Portland in 2020


First, a little historical context. When I moved from Memphis to Portland in 1996, people in other parts of the country would say one of two things about my new hometown: “I hear it’s pretty there,” or “Isn’t that up near Seattle?”

Somewhere along the way, Portland has become both one of American’s “it” cities, as well as a canvas on which people paint all sorts of assumptions and fantasies.

Continue reading “What It’s Like Being From Portland in 2020”