I've been starting to work my way through a wonderful book called One City's Wilderness, Portland's Forest Park and have officially completed eight of them. I've been going at it randomly, based on how I feel that day: Steep or flat, long or short, close-to-city or farther north... Today was Hike 26: Firelane 5, Leif Erikson Drive, Cleator Trail, Wildwood Trail, and Saltzman Road Loop (4.1 miles), listed as moderate with a 413 foot cumulative elevation gain.
Starting at the Saltzman Road Trailhead, I parked my car and started down Firelane 5, first wide and gravelly but soon more earthen and "natural," passing a nice lookout point with emerging fall colors, and eventually connecting with Leif Erikson Drive, where I walked past an interesting looking, now abandoned water tank that used to be available for fighting wildfires but now is a spectacular habitat for ferns.
At the intersection of Wildwood Trail and Saltzman Road, I was suddenly taken by the absolute stillness, and silence, of the spot. I pulled out my camera and tried to capture what it looked and felt like. (Sorry, but camera phones just can't do it justice).
I then turned up Saltzman Road and walked for about another mile before returning to my car, a bit tired but quite refreshed. A nice way to spend an hour and a half on a Sunday afternoon!