Friday, December 16, 2011

The Book That Spawned This Blog

Hungry to truly explore every nook and crany of the natural beauty that surrounds Portland, Oregon, I picked this book up at one of Portland's landmarks, Powell's Books:

60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Portland, 4th edition by Paul Gerald, 2010.

This book is meticulous and detailed to say the least. It will give you every single thing that you would want or need to know about the hikes listed within its pages, right down to driving directions, fees if any, and what sort of crowd you're likely to expect. I am grateful to Paul Gerald for writing this book, and to the detailed extent which he wrote it. The book does include photos, but not many, and they are black and white, which I'm fine with because a) it keeps the cost of the book down and b) I bought this as a guide book, not a coffee table picture-book.

So, in an attempt to find out what these hikes look like in order to get a feel for them before I hike them, I tried using internet search engines to find other's photos of these hikes.

Needless to say, I wasn't terribly thrilled with the results. Why don't people just stop and take a photo every once in a while to show others what it is like to hike this or that trail? I found very few photos that met the criteria of what I was looking for; and I ran a search for almost every trail listed in this book.

Most of the photos that I found online had that "stock photo" aspect to them. For example, I ran an image search on Mt. Hood's Mirror Lake trail and what did I find? The quintessential Mirror Lake photo with the lake in the foreground and Mt Hood poking out in the background, its reflection shimmering in the water. Great photos, but I wanted to see much more. What did the hike to get there look like? What does the lake look like from a different vantage point? I wanted more than just the picture perfect "Christmas Cardy" image of Mt Hood's reflection in the lake.

I spotted a gap that needed to be filled, and the aim of this blog is to fill it. In this blog you'll find photos, from the human perspective, of what it is like to hike Portland's wildernesses, mountains, coastal areas, meadows, and even city parks.

I also intend to make several entries where I urban hike Portland's varied and unique neighborhoods, to give viewers a feel for this city piece by piece and showcase just how different Portland's neighborhoods really are.

My ultimate goal is to have not only a generous photographic sample of each of the 60 hikes covered in Paul Gerald's book, but also a sample of each of Portland's neighborhoods. It will be a challenging task, but someone has to do it. And having loved this part of the country the moment I stepped inside of it, I will gladly take the challenge.

1 comment:

  1. Just came across your blog while doing the same thing you did when you started - looking for actual trail photos, and well done! Your pictures and descriptions are just what I was looking for. Your blog has even made me take another look at some of the hikes I'd bypassed in my trail guides due to their poor photos/descriptions. Definitely bookmarking your blog, thanks!