After a difficult day at work, I was looking forward to leading an Adventurous Young Mazamas Ramble this evening. However, no one showed up, so made the best of the situation and took my own ramble at my own pace. I started out at the Safeway in the Saint Johns neighborhood. I crossed over the Saint Johns Bridge to a stairway that permitted passage to the Ridge Trail of Portland's Forest Park. As I left the traffic of Highway 30 behind me I entered the sanctuary of trees. I was surrounded by the lush, thick green foliage. I could hear the pitter patter of the raindrops on the leaves. After 750 feet of elevation gain I found myself at the Wildwood Trail, which runs approximately 30 miles through Forest Park. As I headed north on the Wildwood the trail started to get muddy. I was glad that I had worn my hiking boots. The mud got thicker as I descended on the Hardesty Trail. I find it fitting to lead Mazamas groups on this trail, since it is named after William Hardesty, who started the weekly hiking program in the Mazamas. From the Hardesty Trail I took Lief Eriksen Drive back to the Ridge Trail. I emerged from Forest Park happy that I had the opportunity for exercise and solitude.
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