Category Archives: Walks

New Park – L.L. Stub Stewart State Park

LL Stub Stewart State Park

One of the newest state parks in Oregon is L.L. Stub Stewart State Park. We enjoyed a hilly volksmarch walk there last weekend. Map and photos of the L.L. Stub Stewart State Park Walk . “Stub” Stewart was a local lumber company owner who served on the Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission and died in 2005. This is a bun-burner of a hike on wide trails. The Banks-Vernonia Linear Park rail trail passes by the park. My walking buddy Will and I explored this park last year when they were still building the camping spots. Of note is that the trailer campsites are larger than my house lot. And you could fit in two of the row houses they are building just south of us!

For locavores, there are farm stands along Hwy 47 and Hwy 26. Take the time to stop, enjoy a corn maze at Jim Dandy Farm on Hwy 26 and have some fun!

Old Park – Local History

Stone Hearth at Lewisville Park

Last weekend I hiked in one of the newest state parks in Oregon and one of the lovely old parks in Clark County. This photo is of a stone hearth in a log picnic shelter at Lewisville Regional Park, Battle Ground, Washington. The park structures were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Depression. Out of that economic despair, we got lovely infrastructure. The stone railings lining many old highways and these structures in state and local parks are classic Northwest to me. I love them so much that I tried to choose rock trim for my house that recalled the stone highway railings.

I hadn’t been to Lewisville Park for several years. The walk there is a real “keeper” for regular training as the wooded trails provide wonderful shade, you enjoy the river and a new trail through the woods.
Lewisville Walk – Map and Photos

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Playing With Your Food – Pumpkin Cannon

We enjoyed a volksmarch at Heiser Farms, Dayton, Oregon. Here is my AllSportGPS map of the walk. They have a Pumpkin Patch attraction each October and the walk is held about every other year. We enjoyed the flat walk on this elbow of farmland in the Willamette River. At the end, we chowed down on pumpkin pie and bratwurst and teased the animals in the petting zoo. But the big attraction was the Duck Hunter pumpkin cannon. Painted in OSU colors, it lobs pumpkins as far as 1500 feet! While it easily took out the closer target pyramid on the first try, we watched as five or more shots didn’t take out the far pyramid of blue barrels. One pumpkin exploded in midair.

Pumpkin Cannon 1
First, the near target.

Pumpkin Cannon 2

Pumpkin Cannon 3
Next, load another pumpkin and raise the aim to the tiny, far off blue barrel pyramid.

Smoking Pumpkin Gun
Smoking Gun!

Pumpkin Ammo
The ammo wagon is full of pumpkins, but no success on the far target this hour.

A visit to Heiser Farms Pumpkin Patch can get kids and adults excited about farms. It’s out in the wine country, and I stopped in at two wineries on my way back to pick up my quarterly wine club shipments.

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I planned my weekend walks around the local farmers markets. I needed to meet up with Kari from our Portland to Coast walking team to get the gear back from her. We met at the Beaverton Farmer’s Market. She lives nearby, but like many people she doesn’t get to it as often as she would like. I love the variety there. I bought red peppers, lettuce, cilantro, basil and beets. We walked for an hour.

On Sunday, my walking buddy Will and I wanted to visit the Hillsdale Farmers Market and to finally ride the OHSU Tram. We parked at the farmers market two hours before opening time. We went through the neighborhood to Terwilliger and encountered the the Oregon Trout City of Portland Triathlon bike leg. As we walked the three miles along Terwilliger, we were passed by a stream of 300 bicyclists. Some were all geared up with fancy bikes with aerobars, disk wheels, and streamlined helmets. That was a happy surprise. As we passed by OHSU, Will preferred that we ride it up from the South Waterfront. We picked our way down to Moody street by a route that was probably not the best (although probably the shortest possible). Once there, however, we discovered the sad truth that the tram doesn’t run until 1 pm on Sunday. The pretty much torpedoes any future plan to combine it with a trip to the Hillsdale Farmers Market. Sigh.

But even more sigh – by this time we had already walked about six miles and would now have to climb back up to Hillsdale on muscle power. We are both familiar with taking Corbett south and steeply up, then crossing I-5 on the Briar Place overpass, then back up Terwilliger to Hillsdale. Along the way, we encountered a fellow volksmarcher who said she had moved to a condo at South Waterfront and was loving it. It will be a very nice area, with the streetcar and tram for easy transport. There are more and more restaurants and shops in the bottom floor of the buildings. But on Sunday of Labor Day weekend, everything was closed and we had to beg forgiveness of a construction crew to use their portajohn.

I enjoyed the huff and puff of the climb up Corbett and noted a couple of new houses since we last trudged up this hill over a year ago. The John’s Landing neighborhood is definitely a nice place to live close-in, especially for those who work at the VA or OHSU. While South Waterfront is all about tower living, John’s Landing has single-family homes and row townhouses. I prefer the latter sort of neighborhood. Both have great access to the Riverfront Trail along the Willamette River, and the nice greenspace of Willamette Park. John’s Landing has plenty of fun restaurants and one full-scale grocery store, plus a Fred Meyers up on Barbur Blvd.

After we reached Barbur Blvd., I joked to Will that we had only 500 more feet to climb. That is only a very slight exaggeration. But the Hillsdale Farmers Market had everything I wanted at the end of this exhausting hike. I bought bacon from Sweet Briar Farms for my BLT sandwiches, local pasta and cilantro pesto. It was a great challenging walk.

Sunday Parkways – and Front Yard Gardens

My walking buddies and I enjoyed the Sunday Parkways car-free day in North Portland last Sunday. This event was held by the city of Portland to promote walking and biking. I am no stranger to North Portland. One set of my grandparents lived in St. Johns and we visited them each weekend. The University of Portland is my alma mater. And I’ve grunted my way through these streets 7 times for the Portland Marathon, let alone dozens of training walks.

It was nice to see the area when it isn’t mile 20 of the marathon and I just want to sit down and die. The walk started from Kaiser Interstate Clinic, near Overlook Park. Immediately I was struck by how many front yard gardens and even parking strip gardens we passed by. I guess this is a big trend for Portland. Last year I heard Mark and Dave on the radio complaining about them, Dave just thought that they made the neighborhood look less classy. I found an interesting selection on, Food Not Lawns: How to Turn Your Yard into a Garden And Your Neighborhood into a Community. Sounds like it’s a movement!

Personally, I don’t want my veggies growing where everybody’s dog can pee on them. I’ll keep my veggies out back where I have better control over access to them. We live in a new subdivision and have only a tiny patch of lawn out front anyway. I loved seeing this 10-foot high artichoke, along with other vegetables in one front yard. I can see why the neighbors might look askance!

Artichoke in front yard garden