Forest Road Hike

Hike Distance: 9.1 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1657.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 1463 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 218307 feet

A new forest road to hike and this time it’s near Clatskanie, Oregon.  Trying a new area is both exciting and a cause for concern.  You see, I’m always a bit worried that we may be parking in area where vandalism can be a concern.  We haven’t been vandalized yet but it’s always in the back of my mind.  Thankfully, this was a safe area and out car was okay when we got back.

Although the weather looked threatening most of the day, only light rain happened a couple of times.  We did see rain falling heavily just north of us though.  The temperature was in the mid-50’s and very pleasant, if not a bit on the cold side.

There were some nice views during the hike, which we caught on camera.  Most of the hike was under the forest canopy and there were some really beautiful areas.  Since it was a new area we ended up having to mark all the road intersection so that we could hike in new areas the next time we’re there.

We only saw one vehicle on the road and there were two hunters in it.  We also heard plenty of shooting nearby, which was probably target shooting.  We avoided the roads that appeared to lead us closer to the shooting!

On our drive back home we saw a gorgeous rainbow overhead.  A great way to end the day and a beautiful day to be out hiking.

Molalla River Recreation Area Hike

Hike Distance: 8.5 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1648.4 miles

Elevation Gain: 1372 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 216884 feet

So we headed for a favorite hike that was a bit farther away then usual as my wife is now able to drive! 🙂  Our intention for today was to hike south on the Huckleberry Trail until we intersected the Wetland Trail.  We never completed the Wetland Trail and today was the perfect opportunity!

It was a mostly cloudy day and a bit warmer than expected.  We parked at an access point on the S. Molalla Forest Road.  When we reached the Huckleberry Trail we turned left and headed south.  The Huckleberry Trail is a wide forest road that traverses much of the Molalla Recreation Area.  It is mostly level but does add a bit of elevation gain and loss along the way.

After about 3.25 miles we turned onto the Wetland Trail.  It’s quite a beautiful forested trail and was full of dropped leaves.  Along this trail we found two other trails to roam on.  One of the trails had no signage but the other was the Cascadia Trail.  We couldn’t complete the un-named trail due to a fallen tree across it.  The Cascadia Trail led to a water feature that had very little water flowing, but will be nice after more rain falls.

We ended our hike just past the Aquila Vista Scientific Environment Education and Research Area.  The research area has a nice gazebo and bathroom there.  It is also accessible by car but we’ve never driven there.  This area is basically at the southern terminus of the Molalla Recreation Area.

Just a perfect hike in a beautiful area.  I highly recommend visiting, if you can, as this corridor is hardly used by anyone, except for fishing. 🙂

Forest Road Hike

Hike Distance: 7.5 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1632.6 miles

Elevation Gain: 1561 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 215010 feet

So I visited one of the forest road areas I have many times before.  The weather was much warmer than expected but I still wore my blaze orange jacket since it’s hunting season.  As a result of so much clothing I was quite warm and sweating profusely.

At low elevation the visibility wasn’t too bad but the clouds were quite low and covered the tops of all the mountains.  As I ascended it wasn’t long before I was surrounded by a the clouds and the atmosphere was surreal!  I love hiking in these type of conditions as it’s spooky and feels like your in the Lord of the Rings movie. 🙂

I don’t know how but my knife dropped out of it’s sheath and I had to backtrack to find it.  It was laying in the middle of the road about a 1/4 of a mile back from where I was.  Very peculiar that it fell out and I’m glad it’s a cheap knife.  This doesn’t give me much confidence in the retention system and I’ll have to be more careful. 😦

I made a loop out of this hike,  which added more distance to it.  I actually wanted this longer hike so it worked out well.  I only saw one truck on the road during the entire hike, which wasn’t too surprising.

As you may know I am tracking my total mileage to try and reach the 25,000 mile lifetime goal.  I’m also tracking my total lifetime elevation gain, but don’t consider this a primary objective.  That said, I feel very fortunate to have passed the two million foot elevation gain milestone, on this hike.  It has taken 1735 hikes to reach 2,000,618 feet of elevation gain, so our typical hike  has 1,135 feet of elevation gain.  Most of our elevation gain occurs during the non-snow months since we don’t spend much time on the white stuff, as you might expect.  Actually, the only time I actively seek elevation gain is when training for backpacking the PCT or some other goal.

Definitely a great hike and I’m looking forward to the coming months in the bad weather. haha  It’s always interesting to see how the winter weather patterns affects our hiking location decisions.  My wife had her arm cast removed and is now allowed to drive.  This will definitely open up our options for hikes in the future, since she’s willing to drive the longer distances! 🙂