written by Jennifer Halley
If you’re anything like me, the last few months of cold rainy days has you anxiously awaiting warmer weather. We’ve had a few sneak peaks over the last few weeks of the sun making its show so I promise: spring is coming. And with the arrival of spring comes the time for a new set of outdoor activities and adventures.
While you stare out your window and wait for the rain to go away, you can daydream about the adventures you’re dying to go on, or you can throw on your raingear and not let the weather hold you back. Spring is such a beautiful season to go exploring, with all of the flowers blooming and the sounds of baby birds in the trees and that feeling of cool, fresh air on your face. So, I have compiled a short list of adventures I plan to go on to get you started; rain or shine, they’ll get you out of the house for some fun so you can finally stop feeling cooped up from cabin fever.
This is an obvious one but oh my, Oregon has a plethora of hikes to offer to the eager adventurer. Mary’s Peak is one of my favorites; it’s about an hour or so past Corvallis and absolutely stunning during late spring when all of the flowers are blooming and the meadow is speckled in bright colors. The view at the top is gorgeous too, as it’s the highest point in the Coastal range. You can see ocean and forest hills stretching for miles.
If you’re willing to drive a little, Multnomah Falls, located 30 minutes from Portland and just off I-84, is a great hike. Spring is a good time to go too because the waterfalls will be heavier and stronger due to all the rainfall we’ve had, making it an incredible sight to look at.
Yep, this is considered a winter sport, but oftentimes there is ample snow to play with in the mountains through April. So get up to the mountain one more time and play in it. Days are getting longer now too, and it shouldn’t be as cold – in other words, perfect conditions. You’ll have more time for fun without your teeth chattering together. Potato Hill, located on Highway 126, is the perfect Sno-Park to visit, with beautiful views of Three Fingered Jack and, if you hike up to the summit, Mt. Jefferson, Black Butte and the Three Sisters.
Even though rain pelts the valley pretty hard during this season, other parts of the state are often drier and warmer. So pack up your car with road trip food – cheezits, cliff bars and dried fruit are my roadtripping staples – and take a weekend trip up to the Columbia River Gorge. Once you get East of The Dalles the weather is likely to change considerably and after the few sunny days we’ve had this spring the Gorge is now painted in green. There are lots of great hikes to enjoy and jaw dropping vistas abound.
Essentially, geocaching is just a really big treasure hunt. I used to go all the time with my uncle and it was fun traipsing through the woods, eyes peeled for the hidden box of goodies we would come across. Other than a GPS, you don’t need much to do this activity. Abiqua Falls, nestled away outside Scott’s Mills, has a good cache that many have claimed is difficult to find. You can find other geocaching sites, too, by visiting www.geocaching.com. Make sure to check the weather and conditions of the hike you’ll be taking, and bring something along to leave behind for other geocachers to share with you in your adventures too.