Friday, February 24, 2012

Gimme (Marquam) Shelter

In answer to the question "What did you do before the game on Superbowl Sunday?" here you go. (I know...everybody's been asking!)

I drove up to Hillsdale on Capitol "Highway" and took a left on Terwilliger. As the road wound down the hill toward OHSU, with a walking/jogging sidewalk on the right, I scanned left to see if there were any entrances to possible hiking trails. Sure enough, about a mile or so I saw it:

The sign said (only) 1.7 miles to the shelter, which seemed like a nice destination point, making my intended round trip a "simple" 3.4 miles. As it turned out, there were a few hills along the way that made it a bit more strenuous than planned. (Guess that's why they call it the West Hills, eh?) But anyway, car parked at the side of the road, I headed in, soon coming to a rickety wooden bridge, making my way up some winding paths and eventually coming to a nice bench upon which to rest (where I got my first mosquito bites of the year!), then finally to a trail leading up to Marquam Hill Road, at about 0.9 miles toward the search for shelter.

Just across the road, I came to Marquam Reservoir No. 2, and made my way down a fairly steep and quite rocky wide trail, eventually coming to the Shelter.

I can't find much info on the Marquam Shelter online, but it is a nice respite for hill-fatigued hikers.

Rested at the halfway point, I turned up the steep rocky slope and started back. Again crossing Marquam Hill Road, I enjoyed going DOWN the winding trails and crossing a bridge with truly crooked stairs, taking in all the green moss, vines and ferns while breathing the fresh oxygen that they provided. The sunshine filtering through the trees made for a nice semi-shaded, semi-sunny trek.

And so, back to the car, and back home to watch the big game. Too bad the Patriots didn't win it (again), but after this lovely outdoor experience, I couldn't get too down. I've since done the hike again (faster this time; getting in better shape), and it was still fun, with soft paths and negligible mud - not bad for February in Portland!