Hike 10 – Forest Park – Leif Erikson Dr – Germantown to Saltzman

mushroom“Chugga, chugga, chugga, chugga, steamboat.” This was our mantra today. I don’t know why. My sister kept saying it. I think she saw a boat when we were driving by the Willamette. It was definitely not a steamboat, but whatever. There were torrential downpours and “monsoons” in the Portland Metro area this weekend. Apparently it’s not over and tonight is supposed to be even worse. I finally broke down and bought some rain gear from Costco. It fits like a dream and it definitely got some use this weekend after the Duck game and the hike. It needs the Scaife Approved Camp Dry treatment though. I’ll be sure to do that before I wear it again.

We had intended to do the final Sunday Parkways today, but the City of Portland cancelled Sunday Parkways due to extreme weather warnings. Annoying. We figured why not hike the other half of Leif Erikson Dr. We drove into the lot at Germantown Rd. and went in until we hit where we stopped last week, Saltzman Rd. It was a 10 mile hike. Again, we went for distance since Forest Park doesn’t have a ton of elevation. In retrospect, we shouldn’t do such long hikes with rain gear. It really weighs you down and makes the hike much more rigorous. When we had about 2 miles left we had been silent for about a half hour and I said, “This is hard.” My sister agreed.

It rained hard the whole time but we stayed pretty dry in our spiffy rain gear and waterproof hiking boots. We only passed about 10 people all day. Rain does that to hiking trails. We noticed something. Every other hike that we’ve done, not in Forest Park, everybody is so friendly. We smile, say hello, talk about the trail, etc. In Forest Park no one makes eye contact, no one says hello, no one smiles, it’s really really creepy. Are people in Portland just jerks in general or is Forest Park’s reputation so bad (admittedly it’s bad) that people are afraid to be kind?

There was a lot of fog. It created an illusion that was disorienting. It was quite a lot like a dolly zoom in a horror flick. It looked like the world was zooming out while we were standing still. I was trying to explain it to my sister, but I called it a zolly doom. Then we spent a lot of time talking about what exactly a zolly doom is. I haven’t mentioned it before, but we also talk about ‘squatch a lot. We’re pretty sure they exist and at some point during the 52 hikes we’ll see one. A girl can only dream.

We headed down toward Saltzman and then turned right around and came back. There was not a lot of fan fare because the rain was pretty intense. I ate my Subway under a tree in about 3 bites. It was a pathetic lunch stop. We kept going at a steady pace and never stopped to rest. We did the 10 miles in 3 hours. That’s pretty good considering the amount of debris (pronounced da-briss) that was clogging up the trail. We like Forest Park. Eleven miles down, 69 to go to complete the All Trails Challenge.

For information about Forest Park click here.

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