A Wednesday in mid-January was a cold day with a few snow flurries at home, enticing me to take a fun hike in the West Hills of Portland. I walked down the Vista Ridge, crossed over the Vista Bridge above Goose Hollow, entered Washington Park, stopped for a moment of reflection at the Holocaust Memorial, meandered through the Rose Garden, jumped on the Wildwood Trail near the Japanese Gardens, climbed to the top of the ridge, passed the Oregon Zoo, paid my respects at the Vietnam Memorial, joined the Marquam Trail, crossed the Sunset Highway Overpass, ascended through the forest to Patton Street, hiked to the top of Council Crest (the highest point in the City), took a breather and then walked the last 1 1/2 miles to home.
All in all the trek was an entertaining eight miles with 1,200 feet of elevation gain. The scenery ranged from springtime environment with flowers in bloom near Washington Park, to small birds and squirrels working hard to find food to eat near the Marquam Trail, to a full-out snowstorm at Council Crest. Chapter II covers the mid to upper-elevation portion of the hike.