Review: Curious Gorge by Scott Cook

Curious Gorge
by Scott Cook
Rating: ****
Date read 9/5/2013

Very well-done hiking guide book. I love the chatty tone, the inside information. I’ve gone on several hikes in this book, and am glad I did. Though I do need to say that Cook’s idea of a moderate hike is a 50-year-old-woman’s idea of a strenuous hike! Loose gravel and near-vertical ascents get tagged “moderate” and, well, let’s just say I was surprised.

Review: A bunch of Portland OR specific hiking books

Hiking Mount Hood National Forest
by Marcia Sinclair
Rating: **
Read 8/12/2013

This says, on the cover, “31 scenic hikes” so I can perhaps be forgiven for thinking I was picking up a guidebook. With maybe some maps or trail descriptions? Not so much, though the essays about the hikes were interesting enough, and Sinclair does refer one to the proper maps for each trail. Still, had I wanted essays, I wouldn’t have been shopping in the guidebook section.

Portland Forest Hikes: Twenty Close-In Wilderness Walks
by James Thayer
Rating: *
Read 8/12/2013

I didn’t find the maps herein very useful. More than half of the hikes in this book are in Forest Park and there are lots of very good Forest Park maps and guides. This isn’t one of them.

Portland Hill Walks: Twenty Explorations in Parks and Neighborhoods
by Laura O. Foster
Rating: ***
Read 8/12/2013

I liked this guidebook enough to make a note to come back to it, but not enough to carry it around on an actual walk. It’s really HEAVY, printed on high-quality, glossy paper. I like Foster’s writing style a lot, but the book I’m actually going to buy and carry around with me is her The Portland Stairs Book, a much lighter, smaller book with similar walks in it.

Portland City Walks: Twenty Explorations in and Around Town
by Laura O. Foster
Rating: ****
Read 8/12/2013

Again, I liked this very well except why must it be so heavy? Foster knows everything about Portland, and is eager to share it with you, which is terrific. Her walks are nicely planned, and just random enough to keep you on your toes. It’s a book I’d like to have in my library but not one for the backpack.


Review: One Night Wilderness: Portland by Doug Lorain

One Night Wilderness: Portland: Quick and Convenient Backcountry Getaways within Three Hours of the City
by Doug Lorain
Rating: ***
Read 8/6/2013

I found several hikes in this book that I didn’t know about before, and that I am eager to try out. The maps/trail descriptions are nice and clear, and the book gives a person lots of fun options. A short introduction covers the essentials of backpacking, but steers you toward more thorough resources before advising you to go out into the wilds.

Review: Oregon’s Wilderness Areas: The Complete Guide by George Wuerthner

Oregon’s Wilderness Areas: The Complete Guide
by George Wuerthner
Rating: ***
Read 8/1/2013

Lovely photos, lots of good information. But Oregon’s wilderness is huge, and the scope of this book such that I didn’t get the exhaustive information I wanted. I wanted way more detail than I got here. To be fair, there are lots of books on smaller areas- and this book certainly helped me narrow my focus and track down the books that will help me.