This weekend we crossed the border into Washington, about fifteen minutes north. It's odd to me that I can drive for a few minutes and be in a totally different state, complete with sales tax and an entirely different sort of people than the downtown Portlandites. I think the scenery even changes, though that's perhaps just my perception of the states. We have been hunting for a good little wetlands location near Portland as it's one of our favorite hobbies and finally found the gorgeous Steigerwald Lake and Wildlife Refuge. After hiking about 1.75 miles out on a pretty dike bordering the Columbia River, we reached a gorgeous lake and by walking slowly and quietly saw a host of wildlife including an up-close red-tailed hawk, a little green tree-frog, a ton of woodpecker, some kestral, vultures, heron, and very cute wood ducks and mallards. We also encountered angry wasps and Ben locked the keys in the car, but all in all it was an insanely gorgeous day in the clouds and off-and-on rain.
Getting out of the city on the weekends is doing wonders for my work-week mood. I so appreciate the city after being out in the rain and weather walking around the gorgeous rural areas of the Portland/Washington area. It's nice to breath a bunch of fresh air and have some quiet time with Ben. If you're trapped indoors this weekend with a cold or just due to the slanted rain, I hope these photos give you a glimpse of the woods as well.