For many folks, often including myself, winter is just not a time we go hiking around Portland. Some folks ski or snowboard, some snowshoe, some stick in town for walks, ride bikes, maybe paddle. Or they just don’t go out there at all.
This winter, I have made a real effort to get out there more often. But when hiking around Portland in the winter, how do we manage the weather, the roads, and the conditions? When do we hike, when do we snowshoe? How to even approach such a decision?
In September 1999, I rolled into Glacier National Park with a friend to do some camping and hiking. We didn’t realize the place was about to shut down, at least in the human sense.
As most of the folks cleared out, we stuck around, and had a somewhat goofy night in camp followed by a magical hike in the mountains. It felt like we had stolen a day from the encroaching winter.
The mountain version of me forever waits up in the high country, or in the woods, or by a riverside, to remind “city me” why he should get out more.
We sit in beautiful, even sacred places, talking about life and peace and being centered in what’s really important. We laugh and tell stories and even sing. Mountain me is eternally patient, ever reminding city me that this, this right here, is why you fight through the inertia, the driving, the weather, the to-do list, the fatigue, and the depression, to get out here.
Here’s another Memphis Flyer travel column from back in the day, this one from 1999. I took a Texas friend to a football game at Ole Miss, known formally as the University of Mississippi if you didn’t know that.
And while the column was written more than 21 years ago, I doubt much has changed at Ole Miss, at least in terms of the football party. The team has gotten worse, but the party probably only bigger. And they moved the confederate soldier statue from the middle of campus to a Civil War cemetery.
Otherwise, it’s Mississippi, so things change slowly, if at all.
I don’t have anything impressive or important to add here. I just slipped through a somewhat rare dry-day-in-January window to get out to a waterfall haven called Silver Falls State Park. It had rained a lot the day before, so the show was particularly great. Here’s a bunch of photos and videos.
I doubt that Wall Drug, “the world’s most famous drug store,” has changed much since I went there in 1989, on a roadtrip from Memphis to Wyoming. It may well be bigger and weirder, though that’s a little hard to believe.
10 years later, I must have been looking at a Memphis Flyer travel column deadline and an empty ideas bin, because I dug up a photo and the 10-year-old memory of a place which, as I described it in this article, was “a drugstore, yes. It’s also a museum and a restaurant and a mall and a tourist attraction. It is essentially the only industry in the town of Wall, South Dakota, employing more than 100 of the 800 residents and taking up a quarter of its business district.”