1000 Acres, or Hiking With My Were-Dog

Dogs are fun.  Smart dogs though, can be challenging.  I sometimes wish I had one of those sleep all day, lounge around the house, climb in my lap kind of dogs, but alas, that is not the dog I requested.  I requested a smart dog who loves to fetch, and by golly that is EXACTLY WHAT I GOT.  Except apparently I failed to analyze the implications of such a request, and now have a dog which I must exercise daily, or else…well, suffice to say even my Jewish imperviousness to guilt is no match for the infliction of guilt my dog can bring to bear.

So picture this:  Dog that needs exercise + Snowpocalypse 2008.  BAD.  Oh bad bad bad.   I can only brave the snow and ice of my neighborhood so much, right?

So!  I came home last night, and got the guilty puppy dog eyes, and promised – nay, swore – that I would take her out today. 

So this morning  afternoon I got out of bed, tossed dog and myself into car, and headed to the 1000 Acre Wood

And found out that my dog turns into some funky were-dog pelican/chickadee hybrid creature when she encounters puddles, like so:

1. Dog runs at (usually large) puddle

2. Dog hits puddle at full velocity

3. Dog turns into a pelican, opens mouth and skims surface of puddle scooping up a billfull of water

4. Dog stops, ruffles feathers fur, preens and looks quite smug.

I submit the following evidence:


The pelican swoops

Jessie in flight

Jessie in flight. Notice puddle in the rear...

In case you weren’t aware, the Sandy River Delta, otherwise knows as 1000 Acre Wood, is a fabulous place for off leash dog happiness.  Today, even with the hail:

Oh, Hail!!!

Oh, Hail!!!

…I still saw quite a few people.  I estimate the ratio of dog to owners around 1.39:1.  It’s often MUCH higher.   It’s a pretty awesome place, even with the power lines that bisect it in several places.  I encourage you to get out and enjoy it.  Just be prepared for muddy paw prints on your clothes.
Um, not going *that* way today...

Um, not going *that* way today...

prettiness.  And iPhone cameras are pretty cool.

prettiness. And iPhone cameras are pretty cool.

badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger...

badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger...

Coming up next: eTown PDX, or How I Nearly Got Ejected From the Schnitz.


  1. sharon says:

    Hah! Nice photos and awesome post. She’s quite the hound, that one….

  2. djtv says:

    Just discovered the 1000 acre wood myself. I like the new Maya Lin Bird Blind at the end of the hike.

  3. Morgan says:

    Aha, so that’s what that was! I encountered it for the first time this last trip. We usually head further north, and the bird blind is at (I think) the east end. I should go there with my “real” camera one of these days…

  4. djtv says:

    It was part of the Confluence Project meant to commemorate the Corps of Discovery of Lewis and Clark….though two sites ended up in Vancouver and one at the 1000 acre wood…none in portland… http://chatterbox.typepad.com/portlandarchitecture/2007/10/maya-lin-and-co.html

  5. Erineight says:

    How do I find this place? I live in Gresham, really close to Troutdale and would love to take my pup here!!

  6. Morgan says:

    Just take I-84 East from Gresham. Take the exit for the Lewis and Clark State Park. I believe you turn right at the stop sign, and drive on into the parking area. Unleash and enjoy!

  7. Erineight says:

    Thanks Morgan! I’m excited, think I’ll head out there tomorrow!!

  8. James Taylor says:

    I love the 1000 acres but why do they have a law for people with dogs to pick up there dogs poop and when you walk on the trails there is horse crap all over the trails they need to pick up there horse crap too dogs will try to eat it and it could kiil them who can i contact about this problem?

  9. Carol says:

    Maybe the difference between horse and dog droppings is that horses are vegetarians. All horse manure is biodegradable-if you leave it on the trail long enough it becomes dirt. Horse manure is recycled grass. It makes roses bloom (after a suitable curing period). The microbes and parasites in dog feces are filtered through soil when it rains. At 1000 acre park, the doggie droppings my be somewhat filtered by the soil, and may not reach the groundwater, but they could reach the rivers. From there, it makes its way into other local waters — streams, lakes, and the ocean. If you ever go to the beach or eat shellfish, there’s your incentive to clean up.

    My dog and I love 1000 acre park. picking up the poop is small price.

  10. Carol says:

    Great photos, by the way! Thanks for sharing! I have a few also of my dog in 1000 Acre park – but he is rarely so close to me as to be recognizable in a photo as…my dog. He becomes a distant speck in the grass against the horizon. Have not been there in the rain with the puddles – that would be a disaster for the interior of my car. Glad also to hear that someone else is driven by guilt to get out of bed on weekends – albeit in afternoon not early morning – and seek out 100 Acre. It’s a 20 minute drive for me but worth every minute for the happy unfettered frolic and super exercise resulting for my dog.

  11. morganpdx says:

    Thanks Carol! I agree, I don’t worry much about getting a little horse hoohaa in the water supply, since it’s all just vegetable matter. Dogs are quite a bit different.

  12. mudman says:

    There is no way I am going to worry about my dog’s poop in the middle of a thousand acres.

  13. doggimama says:

    @mudman–if everyone had that same attitude, then NO-ONE would be able to enjoy the park! If you can’t deal with poop-get a pet rock! Just visited the park today and it was AWESOME! Took 2 dogs and 2 kids with me and I was disapointed that there were so many doggie land mines to avoid! Other then that, was amazing!

  14. Eddie says:

    Got a Dog Off Leash ticket from a U.S. forest cop there. My dog was off leash in the parking lot and main trail….the only places they need to be leashed. Oh well, still a nice place.