Tag Archives: hiking

Old Salmon River Trail

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Last weekend we did a good hike on Mt Hood. It ran along the Salmon River and I’d like to not only go back and do it again, but also go camp there.

Here’s our lunch spot:

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Here’s what the sun looked like in this old growth forest:

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Here’s what I look like on an easy hike:

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We followed it up by going over the mountain, crossing the gorge into Washington and getting dinner at Walking Man brewery, mmmmm. Super good local food and fantastic beer.

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Summer weekend

Pretty good weekend although hot. Twit next door also cut down the neighborhood’s oldest tree (well over 100 year old, and my favorite to look at while eating dinner in the backyard.

Started out with Ground Kontrol

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Did a run and yardwork the next day.
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It is hot in Portland so on Sunday we got up, drove to Otis, and got breakfast.
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Then on to the coast, where we went on a 4 hour hike.

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Note seal break:
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Really sunburnt, but my friend Josh pointed out that it’s rare that the cause of a sunburn isn’t something good.

All in all a good, though sweltering, weekend.

Eagle Creek quick hike

Brian starting the Eagle Creek hike

Brian starting the Eagle Creek hike

Did a quick hike yesterday on Eagle Creek after being exhausted on Saturday. What a beautiful park!

I had picked out a pretty quick easy hike because I needed to get home and study, but Brian misread the direction we printed and so we did a part of a more strenuous one.

It started out following the creek and then went up and up and up until you were high in the sky hanging onto some metal supports that had been added for stability.

Brian looks over the valley

Brian looks over the valley

My new glasses can unfortunately cause really bad vertigo and I got dizzy to the point that we declared it too dangerous to continue, disappointingly. We turned back before the payoff, which I think was two waterfalls I haven’t seen yet. The trails were well maintained and just a little muddy.

We made up for that disappointment by continuing on to Double Mountain to eat a salad, a Buffy pizza and have a beer or two. Beautiful day all told.

Cooling off by the waterfall

Cooling off by the waterfall

Hiking for the rest of my life.

Hiker falls from Gorge.

I’ve been meaning to post this because this guy will definitely be someone I think about for a long time. He’s alright, despite falling off one of the trails along the Gorge (scaaa-ry).

Some excerpts from kgw, in case they don’t permanently archive their stories:

“CASCADE LOCKS, Ore. — A 90-year-old Portland man was still hospitalized in critical condition Thursday after falling on a popular Columbia Gorge hiking trail on Wednesday afternoon. ”

“The group has been doing Wednesday hikes in the Gorge for more than 37 years, according to the women. They said Dubuar has led the hikes since he retired some three decades ago. The group enjoys a “short” hike of 4 to 6 miles each Wednesday. ”

That’s soooo awesome. I think I read at one point that their youngest member was in his late 60s.

I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me to get to the same level of ability to be able to hike every week for six miles in my 90s!! I keep thinking about him, and how cool is it that he’s fine!

Twin Tunnels Hike

On the Twin Tunnels Trail on the Gorge.

On the Twin Tunnels Trail on the Gorge.

On Sunday, we went hiking for about nine miles on the Twin Tunnels Trail. It was a good hike with many beautiful things to look at as you walked. It was a pretty easy walk because there wasn’t much elevation gain (although if I was on a bike I’d’ve died, it was slow and steady gain).

High above Hwy 84.

High above Hwy 84. Felt like flying, a bit.

Formerly, the trail was the historic Columbia River Highway. The new highway is below this (Hwy 84). This section had been shut down to cars and people for years. The tunnels had been filled, and it was unused. Just recently, the tunnels were cleared and it has been restored to be a place for biking and hiking.

Beginning of Twin Tunnels Trail.

Beginning of Twin Tunnels Trail.

Tunnel on the Twin Tunnels Trail.

Tunnel on the Twin Tunnels Trail.

Brian at an adit.

Brian at an adit.

According to Portland Hikers, these windows in the tunnel are called adits. They also close and lock the tunnels at night to protect them from graffiti. Well, and also to protect the graffiti from graffiti:

1920s graffiti.

1920s graffiti.

In the 1920s, some teenagers got trapped in the tunnel during a freak snowstorm for eight days. One of the ways they passed the time is carving their names into the side of the tunnel (and after a few days, it had to be so that they’d be identified too). Very cool to see. There’s more of it, but it was really hard to read after nearly a hundred years so I didn’t try to take a picture of it. It was pretty hard to notice at first, even for me and I was looking for it! I told several bikers who pulled over to enjoy the coolness of the tunnel to go back and look at it.

Having driven on both the new and old highway, it felt odd for a bit to walk on it without fear of being run over by a car, but the views were incredible, and I want to do it again (maybe in the fall when it’s slightly cooler).

Oh and for wildlife, we saw a doe along the trail and the doe and I watched each other for five minutes or so (I gave in and wanted to hike on).

On the drive to the trail, right along the Columbia River, a bald eagle swooped over Brian’s car holding a squirming fish in its talons. It was so surreal to see that in person – I think we both started laughing just because it was so exactly what you’d see in a movie or a commercial, not in real life.

As you can probably tell, I am finally happy. It is so good to be home, and you can tell – I am smiling, my skin color is better, I’m getting back into shape. How could you not be happy when you live in a place as amazing as Oregon?

Something I didn’t just learn, and a hike

Something I already knew: no matter how many times I see Iron Giant, I cry at the end. It is the only movie I can remember making me cry.

After staying up last night until 1 a.m. doing tech support on my sister’s computer (not her fault – the stupid McAfee had issues) and getting up at 7 to see them off, we decided to go for a long hike on the Gorge. It was an awesome hike, about 4 hours long. I think we may be crazy. Pictures to follow tomorrow when I download them and get some sleep.

So far

So far we’ve done the following:

Ate dinner (super late!) at the Kennedy School.

We got up on Saturday and went to the farmers’ market to get peaches. Also got a ton of berries: blackberries, raspberries, gooseberries and blueberries.

Played with legos, then played some four square at Sabin Elementary. We cooked out (super late again) and then went down to the Eastbank Esplanade to watch the fireworks. We got icecream from a truck there!

I got over-pleased with myself and so of course, there were trees in the way of seeing fireworks – we could kinda see them through the trees. We grabbed our blanket, and headed toward them, stopping just under the freeway. The fireworks were really cool, especially the last bit. After it was over, everyone clapped, and all the people on their bikes rang their bells, which will make me smile for a long, long time – so Portland. We got home surprisingly fast given how crowded it was there – we crossed MLK in front of a lot of car, escorted by bikes.

Yesterday we went for a hike in Forest Park! We did the Wildwood trail (the loop, not the super long part). 3.5 miles – it was beautiful. I’ll post pictures later. The kids liked it too! We peeked into the Japanese Gardens and decided to do that another day. I ran down the stairs there and used the ladies’ in the Rose Test Garden and saw Mt Hood floating over the city. Still makes me gasp. :)

Last night, we played board games in the garden, starting out with a vintage 1977 Star Wars game, and continuing on to Clue. Dinner was terribly late – I have to make a goal of feeding the kids at 6 tonight – last night they didn’t eat until 9:30 p.m.! Which is 11:30 their time! Whoa! But we had made pesto and pasta and carrots when we came home from hiking, and it took that long to get hungry again.

So far, it’s been a fun trip!

More walking

View from the Cascade Head trail.

View from the Cascade Head trail.

It was a pretty good weekend.

Friday night, we walked down to Moon and Sixpence in Hollywood for a beer or two. The bartender there that night was super nice – I really have to make myself sit at the bar more rather than at a table because I like talking to people. After we were there, we decided to walk back on Broadway. Which meant that we needed to stop off for a snack. One plate of nachos, jalepeno poppers and a jalepeno-infused blood orange margarita later, and we continued our walk. Nice that we can walk to so many neighborhood from our house, depending on mood. All in all, we walked for about an hour and a half.

Saturday was pretty mellow – Brian had some work to wrap up and I wandered over to the Hollywood farmers’ market. Not so much my thing, I’ll head back to the PSU one next week. We cooked out, and that’s about that.

Sunday we got up and went to a hike on the coast. I had a few planned out, but the first made it difficult to determine how to get the day pass, so I’m going to do more research before we try it.

The next one we wanted to do – Harts Cover – turned out to be difficult to find (unmarked road to the trail off of Hwy 101). We eventually found the turn-off, but it’s not open for the season yet.

Brian just past some tree hazards on Cascade Head trail.

Brian just past some tree hazards on Cascade Head trail.

While we were looking for Forest Road 1861, we found a different trail – Cascade Head, and that ended up being the trail we took. Afterwards, we found out that it was closed due to tree hazards, but someone had torn the sign down and tossed it off the trail. We walked along a stream which provided a great background to a nice forest hike. Eventually, we came to the tree hazard – there were a lot of trees down, probably from the huge windstorm we had last year. There were a good number over the trail, and we limbo’d under them or jumped over them when possible.

Trail interuption.

Trail interuption.

Evenually, after a few switchbacks, the trail was gone, eaten by a tree. We could see the tree down the slope, and after carefully finding some footing, we navigated our way across the gaping hole left in its wake. It was pretty slippery, and with a good drop to the left of us, it was definitely dangerous. We continued climbing for a bit, and then came upon another gaping hole – the one was probably four or five times the size of the last. We could see a not-too-easy way for us to get across it, but at this point, it sounded like a good time to turn around and head back to the car so we’d have some time to play on the beach.

There had been a car parked by mine when we started up the trail, and we didn’t pass anyone so I was surprised to see it gone when we got back to the trailhead. Brian was not surprised, as he noticed the underwear they left behind, which lead us to a spirited conversation about why you always see that people leave their underwear behind. I don’t get that at all – I can’t imagine hiking in remote areas with nothing particularly protecting my more delicate bits.

After noticing where a car had driven off the road down the mountain slope toward the stream (a long time ago), we hit the road. It’s eery seeing a detached bench carseat snugged up against a stand of trees, and when Brian pointed out the bits of the hood that were still left in one of the trees, I vowed to drive even more carefully than normal. Yikes.

We didn’t do a lot more on the coast. We drove down towards Newport, and pulled over at Beverly Beach. We saw two whales closer to the shore than I’ve ever seen them before – they were right on the line where the waves start to break, and they looked big enough to be greys, so I’m not sure what that’s about – have any of you read about that behavior before? They were there long enough for us to see three or so bursts of air, maybe 10 minutes. Very strange, and it didn’t look like the water would be deep enough for them there, but maybe there was a drop-off we couldn’t see.

So all in all a good weekend – an urban hike, a coastal forest one, and whales.

South Falls at Silver Falls State Park.

South Falls at Silver Falls State Park.

We got in a great hike yesterday even though we got a late start.

We drove down to Silver Falls State Park, and bought an annual pass for the state parks. We hate to waste money so that means we will go hiking in state parks at least seven more times this year. Should be easy, assuming neither of us decides to break a leg or something.

Anyhow, I distinctly remember doing this hike when I was a kid with my mom and sister. I remember that Gretchen and I were not really down with it, hiking just seemed like too much walking to us, and all of Oregon is pretty, we get it. Funny how perspective changes everything.

I had super grand expectations about getting in a number of the waterfalls (there’s a hike of ten waterfalls that we are talking about doing perhaps later in the summer), but after we got going, we realized that a) it was too late in the day to do much and the park would close before we did a lot of the waterfalls and b) going up is hard work when you are as out of shape as I am.

I can’t imagine where I’d be if I didn’t walk as much as I do, and didn’t work out five days a week. I am planning on adding more to my workout plan because clearly what I am doing is not quite cutting it.

We managed three waterfalls – South Falls, Lower South Falls and another one that we didn’t catch the name of (might have been just a springtime waterfall) but over which we got to walk on wooden planks.

Brian was impressed that the day lodge was super nice – there’s a cafe there (with FOUR vegetarian options. FOUR!) and a gift shop, and info about the park. It’s somewhat like a miniture toned-down version of the Timberline.

Behind South Falls.

Behind South Falls.

The best part about South Falls is that after a hike down, you get to walk behind the waterfall. There’s a cave that is behind it, and you can stand there as long as you like and watch the water wall move in front of you. The mist feels phenomenal on your face. It’s my new plan to hike near waterfalls once per week in interest of skincare.

We hiked for about three hours – it was 73 degrees, and it felt like heaven to be out in the woods watching water and lichen and chipmunks.

After we got back to the parking lot, we decided to go to Salem for dinner. We couldn’t seem to find anything that appealed to us, and we weren’t in the mood for Mexican or Thai, so we ended up at McGrath’s, a restaurant that I’ve been going to since I was a little kid.

We had the worst meal I remember in a very, very long time, which surprised me as I ate there last year and had a completely fine meal. This time I was actually worried that Brian or I would end up with food poisoning. The salad was mushy – clearly the pears were old, and from the bottom of the can rather than fresh. It was drenched in dressing to the point of being sort of a lettuce soup rather than a salad, and the candied walnuts, instead of being cooked slightly in sugar, were encased in rocks of sugar (more sugar than nut, if you know what I mean).

The fish I had was old, and not good, and bland. I had decided to get a fish sandwich since we grilled fish the night before, and had asked for cheddar instead of tartar sauce. The cheddar was fried on the fish to the point of being hard.

It is the first time I’ve ever seen Brian order a prawn dish and not eat most of the prawns. The wait staff seemed great, but it took forever for the food to come out, with no apologies. The meal took almost two hours from the moment we were seated. Not what I had intended when I innocently suggested we grab a bite before heading back to Portland.

All in all, I think that’s going to have to be the last time I eat at McGrath’s. It was that bad last night.

However, we did have a nice walk around downtown Salem, and I got to see a building I didn’t remember but really love:

Capitol National Bank Tower in Salem, Oregon.

Capitol National Bank Tower in Salem, Oregon.

Today is gorgeous – 75 degrees, so I’m going to weed the backyard and take a long walk this afternoon. Gotta practice for another waterfall!

Bits and pieces

I’ve not been posting due to being too busy to be on the computer.

Yesterday, I had totchos for the first time. They are exactly as bad and as good as you’d think they’d be (tator tots + nachos). Katie and I had ’em with a beer at Blitz after wandering a completely packed Powell’s yesterday afternoon.

Bridge at Multnomah Falls
Trail and bridge at Multnomah Falls in winter

Multnomah Falls is pretty in winter. It had thawed out since the big December storm, but there still was a lot of snow on the ground. On the way there, Carrie, Todd and I had grand ambitions about hiking to the top of the falls (not having any IronPeople along made it seem plausible), but on arriving and seeing the snow, we shortened it to just to the bridge.

Which probably should have been just to the landing. Turns out that all the snow was on the trails, and our shoes had not been chosen for maximum traction. We hiked up to the first turn on snow that was flat and glassy from other crazy people, and barely made it around the first turn by the wall.

Carrie on trail going up
Carrie on trail up to Multnomah Falls before the first turn.

Somehow, that didn’t dissuade us either, and we kept hiking to the wood bridge. At which point things got considerably dicier.

The trail disappeared altogether under much snow, and very quickly the mini-fence was below our feet by several feet because we were hiking on so much snow. So I began to clutch the rock/snow fence above our heads, because one slip, one misstep meant a 50 or 70 foot drop down a cliff.

Multnomah Falls in winter
Multnomah Falls in winter – note the secondary falls next to it too!

Todd said it is the second most dangerous thing he’s done in life (no, I didn’t ask him what the first one was, I figured if he’d wanted to share, he would have).

When we finally made it back to the first landing, we agreed that winter Multnomah Falls hiking should be on no one’s list – it’s worth driving to and looking at, but not hiking up. Ulp.