The sun hovered below the canopy of second growth Douglas firs, casting sideways light through the sparsely populated forest. A few pieces of surveyors tape tied to branches of Vine Maple and a sporadically cut log marked the rudimentary trail. As I walked, I checked my watch, it was 7:05, an hour or so before sunset. "The days feel like summer now," I thought to myself.
"Do you hear that?" I asked Lane, confusing the buzz of a gnat with the distant revving of a two stroke.
"I think its an insect."
"Sure sounds like a two-stroke....I think thats early this year," I said motioning towards the buzzing gnats. "Don't they normally hatch in July or something?"
"Yah thats super early."
The trail dropped off the plateau, switchbacking it's way down the hill towards an outcropping. Over the sounds of sucking air and sliding on the wet dirt, the faint crashing of a waterfall was audible. Grabbing a branch, I steadied myself as I slid down the steep trail on the flat soles of my Converses. The trail dead ended on a hillside over looking a small gorge. Taking off my backpack, I lowered down, making sure it wouldn't roll off into the river, some four hundred feet below.
"Last time I was here, that whole waterfall was ice. It was warming up super fast and huge pieces were breaking off and falling. It was nuts."
"Crazy, when was that?"
"November, maybe December."
"Sure as hell does."
The winter that never was gave way to an early spring in the Northwest. Instead of my normal routine of traveling most of the spring, I hunkered down this year and focused on finishing the documentation of the building of the tree houses and skate bowl.
I've been spending a lot of time here, working on The Cinder Cone Book and video, as well as learning to edit videos.
Looking out as the sun sets on the hills behind Portland.
Curtis Cizek launching over the Drink Water Crew at a hip at Mt. Bachelor.
Tim looking for a place to camp.
Pete flying around the bowl on a warm day in March.
The finished Octagon.
Wildflowers on Archer Mountain.
Bad Boy Rig.
Storms in the Sierra.
Sea lions were barking and chasing Chinook salmon.
Lane and I sat on the hillside and listened to the waterfall. The setting sun chilled the air. A small sliver of the Columbia River was visible to the south. Fishing boats trolled for salmon and I sat watching them.
"These are early too?" Lane asked, holding up a small handful of flowers.
"Yah, those are early too, but I'm not complaining."
Here are some more links,