even at the end of july, northwest oregon is grey.
in spite of the potential – or, inevitable – soft rain, it’s summertime, and all i want to do is go the coast and walk, bare feet, along the icy water, spotting pelicans and drift wood and half broken sand dollars.
the pacific is beautiful – dark and rugged and gusty, spotted with blackberries and hydrangea.
by the time brian, a close friend of mine, and i left portland, the coastal mountains were covered in clouds. we’d both forgotten rain coats, tricked by the sunny city.
a little rain never hurt no one, so off we went. ella, our friends dog, lead the way, forest bound.
without the clear sky, it’s easier to notice what’s on the path, as opposed to what lies in the distance.
i love the way the flowers hold mist.
we climbed and climbed and climbed.
walking in clouds.
by the time we reached the top, our ankles muddy, ella panting, humidity clung to our cheeks, we were hungry as ever.
i pulled out a little snack i’d prepared the day before.
this recipe is originally from a favourite blog of mine, smitten kitchen. the version that follows has my own alterations, and can be made with any nuts and dried fruit you have stored in the cupboard.
(this time, i was lucky enough to spot jars of pignoli and goji berries, both special and rare treats to add a little something different)
so if you're walkin' through the mountains anytime soon, here's a treat for the top:
Saddle Mountain Granola Bars
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup oat flour (made by processing 1/3 cup oats in food processor)
1/3 cup goji berries (or any other dried fruit, i especially love cranberries)
3/4 cup almonds (add pecans or walnuts, if you’ve got ‘em)
6 tablespoon melted butter
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon water
preheat oven to 350
line an 8 by 8 baking pan with parchment paper
in a medium bowl, toss together the following ingredients: oats, oat flour, sugar, dried fruit, almonds
whisk together butter, peanut butter, honey, and water
pour butter mixture over dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined
place in pan and press down so ingredients reach the corners and are spread out evenly
bake for thirty minutes
remove from oven, cool over night
the next morning, cut into squares