Sometimes, plans morph surprisingly with great results. I had intended, PLANNED, to take on a new hike this week on the north side of Willamette River valley … but for several reasons, decided to forgo driving more than 15 minutes staying close to home for a conditioning testing hike around Spencer Butte.

Started on the trail around 7:00 – warmer than last week with sun and promises of >60s temperatures.

Heading up the Ridgeline Trail northwest side of the butte, the flowers were still amazing.

The miles just ticked away but on the back side of the butte after going up 2x, the day’s surprise came across my vision. In the one pic, you can see how far the owl can turn its head

All Trails Factoids
Distance: 14.92 miles | Elevation Gain: 3,871 ft | Avg Pace 23:14 / miles — Recording

Gear TypeFor this Hike
PackNorthFace ION 20L
ShoesTOPO Trailrunners
Top LayersBaselayer LS
Bottom LayerColumbia polytech shorts
SocksDual layer REI Poly liner + REI lightweight Merino wool
WaterBladder 2 L – drank >3/4; 14oz nalgene (finished at lunch)
Supporting toolsNo Trekking pole
No Knee brace
No Gaiters

Note: longest hike in 2 years without right knee brace 🙂


  1. Michael you photoed a barred owl (probable) or a northern spotted owl. Wow!!

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