Birthday party on the Inca Trail

Birthday party on the Inca Trail

Seldom, a member of the Southern Oregon Nordic Club, sent an email to members inviting us to join him on a hike on the Inca Trail to Machu Pichhu — to arrive on his 80th birthday. Four of us locals took up the challenge, along with four friends and relatives from out of town.

We hired a Peruvian tour company, Karikuy Tours, with three experienced guides. After three days of acclimatizing to the altitude in Cusco, Peru, we started on the four-day trek to the World Heritage site.

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Down, but not out, at Cascade Lakes Relay

Down, but not out, at Cascade Lakes Relay

At the beginning of the year, I was invited by a great friend to join a Portland-based running team for the Cascade Lakes Relay, a 216.6-mile trek on Aug. 1-2 that starts at Diamond Lake.
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A solo summit of South Sister

A solo summit of South Sister

South Sister towered over me at 10,358 feet tall, and I couldn't stop staring at its reddish slope covered in patchy glaciers.
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Boomers on the Trail

Boomers on the Trail

For more than 20 years, my wife, Barbara, and I had dreamed of hiking the trail along the Wild and Scenic Section of the Rogue River. In May, we made that dream a reality.
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A trip to the summit on a gorgeous day

A trip to the summit on a gorgeous day

It was the first day of summer, and we were being treated to an explosion of colors on top of Marys Peak near Corvallis. Brilliant purple and red wildflowers carpeted the meadows and clung to scant pockets of soil in an area known as the rock garden.
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It's the small things

It's the small things

As we hiked down the Illinois River Trail, tight-roping the edge of a burnt-orange canyon carved by the river 2,000 feet below, it felt as though we were searching for a needle in a haystack.
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Magical Rocks

Magical Rocks

For decades, Smith Rock has been considered a climbing mecca. It's a favorite among world-class climbers and is where modern sport climbing originated. Oregon climbers should not take for granted that such a significant place is only 30 minutes outside of Bend — less than a four-hour drive from the Rogue Valley.
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Rugged Emigrant Lake walls are great for rock climbing

Rugged Emigrant Lake walls are great for rock climbing

Emigrant Lake, located just east of Ashland, is much loved by local residents for its ideal summertime setting. But even though I was born and raised in the area, I never knew it was home to some of Southern Oregon's best rock climbing.
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A short drive away, Squaw Lakes is a hidden winter jewel

A short drive away, Squaw Lakes is a hidden winter jewel

One of the open secrets of the Applegate Valley is Squaw Lakes. They are remote, but still close enough that in summer, locals throng their waters to camp, swim and hike. In winter, however, the crowds are gone and they become a secret again.
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Castles in the sky

Castles in the sky

The granite spires sparkled in the sunlight, and the color of the rocks contrasted perfectly with the blue sky.
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Tree lovers' heaven

Tree lovers' heaven

If an inspiring hike among very big trees is what you're after, plus a date with the ocean, then the Damnation Creek Trail in Redwood National Park delivers.
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Snowshoes on the Mountain

Snowshoes on the Mountain

The State of Jefferson is a hiker's paradise, with several mountain ranges and numerous trails, and each turn of the season brings news twists to the landscape.
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Strange summit

Strange summit

One can spend a lifetime rambling through the Cascade and Klamath mountain ranges and never see another peak that looks anything like Josephine Mountain.
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