Sometime last year we purchased a great book called Portland Hill Walks written by a Laura Foster who is not MY Laura Foster, artist and dear friend, but a completely different Laura Foster who has put together a wonderful guidebook with a series of fascinating and sometimes challenging expeditions. The Spouse took two of the three kids on this particular recommended walk last summer and MonkeyBoy wanted to go again. This time The Princess had to walk on her own as she has finally and completely outgrown and sort of carrying device, but she was a trooper and manged the whole nearly 3 miles on her own. We started in a charming neighborhood in NW Portland that I'd never in all my years here had occasion to visit: lovely little secluded streets and lanes, gorgeous homes, fabulous gardens. All picture perfect and charming, but I do confess to musing on the well maintained and clearly little used tiny streets when across town there are blocks and blocks of gravel and potholes east of 82nd avenue where I'm sure attention from The City would be appreciated. Maybe these folks pay for their own street maintenance? Anyway, our stroll through the neighborhood was delightful if a bit like Disneyland in its perfection.
Eventually we came to Macleay Park and spent a long time wandering through the forest in a leisurely manner. It was a perfect early summer day and we enjoyed exploring, from the remains of an old stone cabin to Balch Creek. The trails got a bit crowded with high powered runners decked out in fancy gear, but it was still possible for our family to poke along and take in the sights. I saw my first red breasted sapsucker in many years and there were all kinds of lovely things to photograph:
At one point a very jovial man came along and offered to take a family snapshot. Since I am always the one behind the camera, I happily took him up on it despite The Dark Lord's apparent fear that the fellow was going to run off with my new camera. He didn't, of course, and took a fine photo as well: