Your travel destination Gresham if you want to come closer to witnessing a number of the parts of the whole, I suggest a float trip down the North Fork of the Gresham—a designated Wild and Scenic river. From this vantage point, mountains can be viewed to the east, water flows over timeless rocks, shelves, and boulders shaped by Gresham the flow and silt from glacier runoff, and all manner Gresham of possibilities can be seen among the animals and birds, including eagles and osprey.
Where is Gresham? – Gresham Map – Map of Gresham Photo Gallery
As I often do, once spotted, I ask the boat guide to back-paddle and hold with the hope of seeing piercing eyes and wings and talons lift off a branch, ready to gather in the next meal. And in that split second when bird, fish, river, and mountains topped by snow-white then blue merge, you will begin to sense the whole thing.
In most years, the Trail of the Cedars that joins the Avalanche Lake Trail is my family’s favorite warm-up hike. The short one-mile trail with boardwalks for the first stretch connects with a paved section that loops back to the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Within its short stretch is one of the most peaceful strolls that still gives the observer a sense of timelessness. By entering on the east side of the trail, one is immediately met by towering western hemlock, red cedars, and cottonwoods. These giant trees and complementing ferns and mosses produce a rainforest that should by all circumstances be found farther west, specifically along the Pacific Coast.
Here again, a small twist of nature has added to the variety of the whole thing. These trees and plants stand on the easternmost edge of the maritime climate of the Pacific Northwest. This moisture encapsulation allows the cedars and hemlocks to grow to heights of 100 feet and some to live past five hundred years. Their location, tucked in between mountains along with the high moisture content, has also protected them from fires over the centuries.