Hike 19 – Marquam Trail to Council Crest

MarquamMy sister had to go to her nephew’s birthday party today so we had to do something close and relatively short. She had a busy day as we were also celebrating her birthday at dinner. She is old now, 32! I ran a couple of my normal searches for hikes and saw the Marquam Trail in southwest Portland. It was perfect. We hit the trail right off of Terwilliger Blvd and hiked through the Marquam Nature Park and southwest Portland neighborhoods (you cross several roads) up to Council Crest. The exact mileage is a bit iffy. Different sources say different things. It is about 6 miles out and back and has 1100 in elevation gain.

I never even knew the Marquam Nature Park existed. I was already amazed by the immensity of Forest Park within our city and now there is this too. I have lived in Portland my whole life and it never ceases to amaze me. The trail is not quite as up-hill-one-way-and-down-the-other as we are used to. It really has mixture of both, both ways. There is obviously a lot of uphill as you gain 1100 feet and end up at Council Crest (one of the best views in Portland) but it’s not all at once. One of the unique things about this trail is the number of houses you walk by. The trail meanders basically through people’s backyards. Some of the houses were crazy. It reminded me of the way the new tenants (The Deetzes) change the house in Beetlejuice. Creepy, modern angles and stick-me-outs, no me gusta.

Council Crest was socked-in. We couldn’t see a thing. It happens. It was a gloomy day in Portland. It was also very windy. After the hike I cleaned my gutters and put up my Christmas lights and I really thought I might die in the process. Wind and rain, welcome to December. We had a lot of time to talk on this hike. We were pretty much alone, so we continued the tale of the red mushrooms. If you read the blog faithfully, you may remember the red death drops and the red yums yums: indistinguishable from one another, one certain death, one ecstasy of flavor….anyway, today we decided that they are actually the same mushroom picked at different times. The red yum yum is picked earlier. It is truly delicious, the most delicious mushroom mother nature ever endeavored to create, but the red death drop is even better. It is so exquisite that if you partake you cannot be allowed to continue living. The mushroom matures to a state of ultimate perfection and then becomes so good it kills you. The last words of those who consume the fungus are often heard by loved ones. With his last breath a dying husband whispers in his wife’s ear, “Worth it.” Yep, that’s how we spend our time.

The Marquam trail is awesome. It’s absolutely covered in ferns, more ferns that I have ever seen anywhere else in my life (that’s for you, Jeremy Wedell).  Overall it’s a lot like Forest Park except for the trail is way more interesting. It curves and runs up and down and curves some more, then it crosses a bridge and takes you to some stairs. I guess I could have just said it has a lot of features. Anyway, I highly recommend it.

For information about Marquam Trail click here.


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