Forest Road Hike

Hike Distance: 10.5 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1437.8 miles

Elevation Gain: 1484 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 189638 feet

A rather long hike that I didn’t expect to make but was feeling good on the way out.  My feet gave out on the way back and I experienced some horrible pain in my toe.  I’ve been getting pain in my toe on my left foot while wearing my Saucony trail runners.  My assessment is that the soles are just too pliable.  Wearing the green Superfeet still hasn’t given them enough stiffness.  When I wear the Saucony’s on an occasional hike they appear to be perfect shoes for me, just not for multi-day excursions. 😦

I’ve been on this road before but was fortunate to hike a new section that had a view.  The view even included Mt. St. Helens but it was too hazy to see with the camera.  One very interesting find was a unique mushroom, I don’t remember seeing before, growing in the middle of the road!  I got a great picture of it and hope to identify it sometime.

A very nice day in the fresh air. 🙂

Lacamas Lake Park Hike

Hike Distance: 7.4 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1427.3 miles

Elevation Gain: 979 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 188154 feet

I drove into the parking area north of Round Lake and started walking clockwise around the park.  The view of Round Lake was ominous, at the beginning of the day, and I stopped to take a picture.  I then hiked up to the Natural Area and walked around it.  I love this Natural Area, especially when the Camas Flower is in bloom!

I continued walking around the northern end of the park and took some time to look at the very large home development going in, just north of the park.  This used to be a gorgeous treed area, with trails, but has now been leveled for future homes.  It’s a depressing sight since I remember it when it was all forested. 😦

I was going to hike on a trail located at the east end of the park but it is now a “Bike Only” trail.  It’s too bad as this was such a nice trail, and the longest in the park.  Taking an alternate road I reached the Lower falls and then took a trail to the southern boundary of the park.  I spent some time walking around the trail system located here.

Hiking back north I went along Lacamas Creek and visited the Upper Falls.  I then wound around to the southwestern side of Round Lake and then turned left into another trail system.  This trail system doesn’t appear to be in the park boundary but it doesn’t appear to be the target of any future development.  There are plenty of trails here, and they’re used mostly for biking.  There’s plenty of the invasive ivy all over the ground and climbing the trees.  Maybe some day it will be cleaned up?

Next I head back north toward my car, which skirts along the west side of Round Lake.  It was a fantastic day with plenty of fresh air!  I included a map of where I hiked since this makes my description of the hike more obvious.

Frenchmen’s Bar Regional Park Hike

Hike Distance: 7.2 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1412.1 miles

Elevation Gain: 304 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 186365 feet

Very low water levels in the Columbia River gave me access to areas I can’t normally see.  This didn’t make for any better pictures but was interesting what was around the corner in some beach areas.  Definitely some nice reflections in the still waters, which adds to the aesthetic value of some photos.  I visit this place often as the Columbia River offers many tranquil sights and great photo opportunities.  This place takes on a totally different feel in the bad weather, and that’s so enjoyable!

Forest Road Hike

Hike Distance: 8.6 miles         Yearly Hike Distance: 1404.9 miles

Elevation Gain: 1030 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 186061 feet

Whoa, what is this wet stuff falling from the sky, and in buckets!  We were well prepared for the heavy rain but the switching from rain to sun caused us to cook in our clothing.  Truthfully, it was so nice to watch the forest canopy and understory glistening with water.  I’m sure hoping this is the end to any fire chances as it was a horrible year that was filled with smoke.

At this point we’re visiting familiar forest roads that we’ve hiked before.  We tried to connect to a previous hike but found there was no way to get there and all roads terminated into lush forest.  We do find it fun to wind around the roads and see if the maps we have are complete.  We typically find that the maps are outdated and don’t contain many offshoot roads.

Definitely a nice hike and looking forward to more hikes in the rain.  A small note about the recent Cougar related death in Oregon.  It’s such a tragedy to hear about deaths caused by animal attacks and I feel for the family of the woman who lost her life.  We will never know the circumstances that caused this tragedy and it would probably be horrific! 😦

I also have some sympathy for the animals as the population of people in the Pacific Northwest has skyrocketed.  My wife and I are staying away from many hiking trails as they are being overrun with people trying to enjoy the outdoors.  I really don’t know how these issues can be resolved and I know the Forest Service, and other government groups, are trying to figure out ways to preserve all these beautiful places and satisfy peoples need to see them.  Definitely a tough set of issues to resolve, and the solution won’t  satisfy everyone. 😦

For the reasons above, that is why my wife and I go on the huge number of forest roads.  Many of them are abandoned, and there’s nobody on the roads for miles.  Other roads are being used for logging but the traffic is almost always light.  Even the more heavily used logging roads are devoid of hikers, runners and bikers.  That said, I would still take a hike on a real trail, over a forest road, almost any day of the week!  This is why we tend to go hiking on real trails during the bad weather, winter, work days and other off season times when people aren’t typically there. 🙂

We did see some bow hunters during this hike but they were all in their vehicles, and waived.  One hunter stopped and we had a nice conversation with him.  A very nice day to be hiking!

Forest Road Hike

Hike Distance: 8.0 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1387.2 miles

Elevation Gain: 1377 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 183567 feet

A gorgeous and cool day with some nice cloud formations!  This area is a favorite of mine with some nice views and a waterfall.  I saw a few bow hunters and they were friendly.   We’re okay hiking during bow season since the hunters have to be close to their target due to the effective range of an arrow.  Unfortunately, rifle hunting season is a different story, and this makes hiking in October a bigger challenge. 😦