Adam Sawyer moved to the Northwest expecting to hate it. But like most transplants, he unleashed his inner outdoorsman and fell in love. His newest book with Falcon Guide, Best Outdoor Adventures Near Portland Oregon, includes his top picks for places to hike, bike, and paddle. Planning your next outdoor adventure will never be a problem again. We caught up with the author to learn more.
What brought you to Portland?
The Northwest was the last part of the country I had not lived in. I just wanted to check it off the list, and I thought I was going to hate it. I thought it was going to be wet and gross and moldy and cold, but I got here and it turned out to be everything that I wanted.
Where does the inspiration to write a guidebook come from?
The inspiration is easy because I honestly think that this is the best part of the country for outdoor adventure. It made me quit my job in I.T. The inspiration is everywhere. The tough part was narrowing it down.
What made you want to write this guide?
My writing was finally getting to the point where it was beginning to look like a viable career option. The first book I did for [Falcon Guide] did pretty okay; it was Hiking Waterfalls in Oregon. Then I co-authored Hiking Waterfalls in Washington. They said that they were bringing the best outdoor adventures near series out to Portland and asked if I was interested in writing it.
Have you visited all of the places you write about in the guide?
Oh yeah, all the photography is mine. I have done everything in that book, with the exception of rock climbing—but I went to those places, talked to rock climbers, and did the research.
Your book focuses on three topics: cycling, hiking and paddling. Do you have a favorite from each category?
Hiking: Honestly, the Trail of Ten Falls. I know it’s popular, but if you get there on a fall morning on a weekday and you’re one of four people on the trail, it may be one of the greatest things.
Cycling: I would say the North Portland Loop. I’m in my mid-40s, and I just like the mellow, easy ride. For mountain biking, I think Sandy Ridge.
Paddling: The White Salmon River; it’s incredible.
Meet Adam Sawyer on August 25 at Powell’s City of Books and pick his brain about everything outdoors. Best Outdoor Adventures Near Portland Oregon is available for purchase at Powell’s and other retailers starting August 15.