This Summer my Dad is back on his park host grind after a year off due to the pandemic. He's 2.5 hours from me in Estacada, Oregon so we met up three weeks ago for an inaugural midpoint hike at Cape Horn in the Columbia River Gorge.
A portion of the Cape Horn loop closes seasonally for peregrine falcon nesting, so we turned this into an out-and-back. Immediately we were greeted by fields of 4-6 foot tall cow parsnips- later identified by my PictureThis app.
PictureThis is the only app I've ever paid for and truly one of the great joys of my life. I have so much fun adding pictures to the "My Plants" section and coming back to it again and again to study and learn about the species I've come in contact with.
Just a week after this hike, I was listening to an episode of the Ologies podcast with Black Forager. She talked at length about cow parsnips, and I just about squealed with delight. It was very exciting and affirming to actually know what plant she was referencing and to hear her wax poetic about it. Highly recommend a listen.
We were lucky to catch the last few blooms of a handful of gorgeous early season wildflower specimen including toughleaf iris, candle larkspur, columbine, and tiger lily (pictured below).
Looking forward to more Dad days of Summer with Pops so close to home. We both love the Columbia Gorge area, but perhaps a central Oregon adventure or trip to Rainier awaits as well.
Turning to nature and family (both chosen and blood) as I navigate some really difficult times. I said goodbye to my 14.5 year old dog Macaroni this past week, and I've been an absolute mess of grief. I miss him so, so much.
More to come soon when I can focus my brain for longer than a 10 minute post. One of my besties and I embarked on an incredible road trip to the Sawtooths in Idaho earlier this month. So many photos and thoughts to share from that restorative trip.
For now, here are some past posts worth diving into. In the next day or two I will hit 200,000 all time views on this blog which absolutely blows my mind. Thank you so much for coming here to share in my ruminations about hiking, writing, and staring into the abyss. I love you.