Ridgeline Trail to Spencer Butte 17Feb2022

There are a lot of times when I hike when I think about my skill level, or athletic ability. One of the reasons I started hiking is because it’s easy to find a hike that will fit my ability. It’s also nice that it’s not expensive… unless you want it to be.

This was one of the times that I thought about my abilities. It’s difficult to be passed by people clearly in their 70s, when I am in my 40s (albeit late 40s). If I let it get to me, it can really bother me. I try to remember that, until recently, I have had a very stressful job that didn’t allow for a lot of time off. I try to remember that this is my journey, and not theirs. I try to remember that I’m doing better, each hike I do. I’m getting healthier, and I will get faster and have better endurance. It just takes time.

The Ridgeline Trail is a route I’ve never gone until today. It’s a bit longer and has more elevation gain. I’m trying to improve my endurance, etc., so I thought I’d give it a go. The beginning was a nice, open area that seemed to welcome hikers. It was soon closed in by trees, ferns, and shrubbery, but it was a very pleasant welcome.

I saw this tree (below) that appears to be growing another tree out of a limb. So weird.

I grew up in western Oregon, out in the woods. We learned most of the flora by names such as “fern,” or “sour grass.” The trees were a little more obvious, and I could pick out chittum, alder, fir, etc., but I didn’t know the different varieties. For Valentine’s Day, my sweet husband got me a book: National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Pacific Northwest. From now on, I’ll try my best to identify things correctly!

I thought we’d start with my favorite: moss! I believe the one pictured below may be Big Shaggy Moss, aka Pacific Forest moss. Isn’t that nice to put a name to things?

I think these mushrooms are sulfur shelf aka chicken mushrooms. Pretty! By the way, my favorite mushroom to eat is the golden chanterelle. If I find some, I’ll definitely get a picture before I eat them!

I saw this great tree that had fallen. It was still so long and straight, it deserved a picture.

This is my favorite picture for this hike. The light, the shadows, the trail… it was perfect.

This stepway was nice… and then I got to the top of it. Just past the top, I found a spot that I recognized. At that point I realized I was close to the switchbacks and the stairs to the top of Spencer Butte. I may have cursed aloud. I mean, I knew I was going to have to get to the top, I just didn’t realize where it joined into the trail that I’ve been on several times.

As always, I was rewarded at the top. Such a gorgeous day, at least from the top of Spencer Butte.

Back on the trail, going to the beginning.

This trail can be deceiving at times. I felt like I was closer to these gals for just a second, and then suddenly they were very far away…

In case you didn’t spot them, there are two women in the yellow circle below. The other one is harder to see, and I may have cut her off a bit with the circle. She was just in front of the tree, and in front of the girl in blue.

Obligatory selfie, nearly at the end!

An American robin was my welcome wagon for reaching the trail’s end. Dang, this book is helpful! Ha!

This is a pretty good hike. It was longer than I usually do, which was good. It had some great elevation gain. The view at the top is always good. The trail is gravel and well-maintained – it’s also pretty busy. I don’t mind the frequent hikers if I’m in the mindset for it. On these kinds of hikes, I feel more comfortable wearing earbuds. I’ll try to do this one more often, building muscle and endurance. I’ll try not to let the oldies passing me get under my skin. haha

My Apple watch and the AllTrails app differed again… but this time I had somehow paused the AllTrails app toward the beginning of the hike. For that reason, I’ll list the Apple watch information. I think it had a connection the whole time.

Distance: 5.41 miles; Elevation Gain: 1,329 feet

Published by aimee

It all started with my friend, Christine. She called me a Viking. It's because I like endurance sports as well as lifting heavy things. Plus, my heritage includes Norwegians... It struck a chord somewhere deep down. I suddenly liked the idea of not having to be a small, slender person. I could be strong and thick. I could have mass. I don't want to be overweight or obese, mind you. I just don't like trying to be a waif when that is very likely unattainable to me. I have muscle (under this fat). I like being strong. So this is my journey of becoming more fit and liking the fact that I will never, NEVER weigh 120 pounds.

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