Not a trail

I wanted to plan an epic 22 miler on our home turf for Ann's return from Scotland. Unfortunately, a busy week at work overwhelmed me and I didn't get to plan the route til Friday, the night before.
Giant banana slug
The one trail I knew I wanted to include was Firelane 4 down to Highway 30, to take Saltzman back up. We've done it before, so I know it exists, but of my resources-- the ATC 2011 spreadsheet, ExplorePDX mountain biking maps, Google Maps, and various web searches-- only one mentioned Firelane 4 and it didn't have information on where it crossed other trails.

Lovely downtown view from Firelane 4 at Maple Trail
Despite that red flag, I made some estimates and continued planning the route. Then I came to another conundrum: the trail that connected from Leif Erickson up to Wildwood at the perfect spot to give us a 22 mile loop only existed on one map-- the one with the least information. I decided to go for it. The worst case scenario would mean turning around if the Oil Line Trail didn't exist, and possibly adding some miles with an out-and-back on Wildwood.

Fire Lane 4
When I got to Ann's house Saturday morning, she was feeling the jet lag of having only been back for a day and a half. So we were both happy to drive the third of a mile up NW 53rd to Birch trailhead. I loathe that hill!

Uphill: Ann's favorite
The first part of the run was great. We both had tons of stories from two weeks apart to catch each other up on. Then we got to where I had approximated Firelane 4 intersecting Maple Trail... and continued on Maple. When we did get to Firelane 4, it crests a hill just east of Maple with lovely views of downtown, then drops down to meet Saltzman near Highway 30. Only there wasn't much trail to see. It was overgrown with brambles, ferns, and other assorted scrubby greenery. It was so dense that we couldn't really run. And the leaves were soaked, which in turn soaked us.
More mudslide than trail
I usually love downhill, but I was happy when we finished and ran up Saltzman-- we actually got to run! We rejoined Maple back to Leif, then headed out to try to find Oil Line. Right around where it should be was a sort of mud slide from up the hill towards Wildwood. The route was probably closer to 23 miles, but who's counting?

Not real trail markers
We ran past a bit further, but realized that was actually the "trail." So we went back and started to slog up. There was no trail sign, but a little ways up we saw the petroleum line markers and figured we were in the right place. We finally got to Wildwood and the long straightaway back. I vowed to stick to trails that are shown on at least two maps... at least for the next time.

Wildwood tree with eyes

Birch- WW (7.49)-- .22 mi
WW (7.49) to Maple (12.84) -- 5.35 mi (5.57 total)
Maple (ww 12.84) to FL 4 (using Koenig for approximations)-- 1.24 mi (6.81 total)

FL4 to Saltzman-- .55 mi (7.36 total)
Saltzman to Maple-- .43 mi (7.79 total)
Something is off here. Doesn't make sense that down FL4 to Saltzman and back up is just under a mile, while "FL4" aka Koenig to Saltzman on Maple is 1.1

Maple to Leif (6.44)-- 1.18 (8.97 total)
Leif (6.44) to Oil Line (7.60)-- 1.16mi (10.13 total)
*Oil Line doesn't go from Leif to WW, according to some maps

Oil Line (le 7.60) to WW (19.45)--?.2? (10.33 total)
WW (19.45) to Birch (7.49)--11.96 (22.29 total)
Birch to 53rd-- .22mi (22.51 total)

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