Hogan Butte Nature Park

Hogan Butte Nature Park just opened to the public last weekend. It’s always good to have a new park in town – and this one has a great view. There are views of all of the nearby mountains. I believe the day we went we saw Mount St Helens, Mount Adams, and Mount Hood, but on a clear day you could see Mount Rainier and Mount Jefferson as well.

 

Mt Hood in the distance
Mt Hood in the distance

 

There is quite a steep hill from the smaller lower parking lot to the top of the hill, but there is also a drop off area at the top and a few handicap parking spaces at the top.

 

A place to rest
A place to rest

 

At this point, there weren’t a lot of wildflowers, but I did see some sweet peas. And it sounds like there are more wildflowers in the spring and early summer. Some of the maple trees along the path were newly planted and haven’t gotten fully root bound yet, so the leaves are already dying. And there was grass seed, but still no grass on the ground yet. But I’m sure by spring the trees will be just fine and the grass will be growing and the flowers all blooming and it will be just beautiful. Just keep in mind if you go visit that it is a ‘new’ park. The view from the park is awesome is amazing, though!

 

Sweet Peas
Sweet Peas

 

What I didn’t realize until they opened the park was that Gresham is one of the few cities to have extinct volcanoes right within city limits. And Hogan Butte sits right on top of an inactive volcano’s vent. Whoa! Mind blown. I always knew we were situated in ‘the ring of fire’ living in the Portland metro area, but to have an inactive volcano right in my home town is a bit disturbing, to say the least. I always figured if any of the big volcanoes surrounding us blew their tops, we were far enough away from them all that all we’d get would be ash and smoke in the air. I’m just going to have to hope that since the buttes in Gresham are much smaller than all of the bigger inactive volcanoes, perhaps they are less likely to get set off than the bigger ones.

 

View of Mt Hood from the lookout area on Hogan Butte
View of Mt Hood from the lookout area on Hogan Butte

 

Pattern on the picnic table
Pattern on the picnic table

 

The city began acquiring the land for this park back in 1990. A few years back they also purchased the historic house at the base of the hill near the parking lot as well. The house was built in 1928 and was once a Prohibition-era speakeasy.

 

Green shed
Green moss covered shed

 

I spoke with a lady whose sister was the last person to own the house. She said the city had been trying to purchase it from her sister for years and then she finally gave in and sold it to them a few years ago. It has been renovated since being built, but there is still an old fashioned double wide cast iron stove in the kitchen. At this point the house isn’t open to the public. My son and I may have walked all the way around the house peeking in the windows. Not saying we did that, just saying we may have done that. Ha. No one lives in the house at this time.

 

Apples!
Apples!

 

The old house at the bottom of the hill
The old house at the bottom of the hill

 

If you’re in the Gresham area, definitely check this park out. The view is worth it!

 

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Fall colors

I kept managing to get down to Edgefield Mcmenamins down in Troutdale, Oregon to do photo shoots for my fashion Friday, but not having the time to go explore and get my fill of the fall colors at Edgefield. I’m not liking taking fashion photos when they are taking me away from what I truly love to take photos of – nature. But, I manage to sneak a few nature ones in when I’m out and about doing fashion photos. Not quite the same as just wandering around to my hearts desire – although I did finally managed to do that last week, catching the end of the fall colors. Sometimes you just need to prioritize doing things that make you happy.

The photos this week are nature shots I took while out doing fashion photo shoots.

 

Purple flowers
Purple flowers

 

Fall vines
Fall vines

 

Autumn vineyard
Autumn vineyard

 

So that's how they make raisins!
So that’s how they make raisins!

 

A fiery display of red!
A fiery display of red!

 

Nature's red carpet
Nature’s red carpet

 

*A new development regarding my mother’s health. She was supposed to start chemo this week, but it was delayed because her doctor discovered there was a new treatment out for soft tissue sarcomas – the first new one in the last four decades! It has just been FDA approved last month. He read about it in a medical journal or magazine – stopped her current treatment plan and had her come in for an appointment regarding this new one instead. The new drug Olaratumab (Latruvo) with Doxorubicin will give her all the benefits of chemo without the regular side effects of chemo and is slightly more effective (around 16-18 percent) than the other chemo treatments out there for her type of cancer. However, she needs to have a healthy heart to be on this medication, so she is getting her heart checked before beginning treatment. No guarantees that the outcome will be any different, but I feel like there is a small ray of hope with this new treatment, whereas we had none with the old ones. Mostly, it may buy her time. Please continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

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