Forest Road Hike

Hike Distance: 7.8 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1946.8 miles

Elevation Gain: 1545 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 251125 feet

So I needed a hike to help me exceed 250,000 feet for this year, and this was it.  This area obviously had plenty of elevation gain/loss but the roads were very rocky and harsh on the body.  I’m thinking I overdid it on this hike, seeing that my SI joint is having such difficulty.  Hindsight is a b–tch!

We weren’t fond of this area as it was a nasty clear-cut mess.  I really do hate seeing the devastation of clear-cut logging.  I know it’s going to happen but that doesn’t soften the blow, especially when you see it in person.  We won’t be going back here!

A fairly nice day and it at least helped me meet my elevation gain goal.

Forest Road Hike

Hike Distance: 7.5 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1939.0 miles

Elevation Gain: 1308 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 249580 feet

Having baby sat my granddaughter for the past three day we were ready to get out into the fresh air.  We typically stay out of the gorge in bad weather, due to wind, so we headed north to some forest roads we’ve hiked before.  At this point we just needed to get some exercise since we were stuck inside for most of the time with our granddaughter.

Drizzle at the beginning of this hike with a nice transition into heavier rain.  We were very comfortable at the beginning but the rain even got through my gore-tex rain gear. 😦  Being on the warmer side made the heavy rain tolerable but I was ready to get home and out of my wet clothes.

The best part about this area is access to the Toutle River.  I expected the water level to be high but it wasn’t too bad.  Instead, the water was silty and not very clear.  The views from this area are always amazing.

We had heard gun fire all day and were hoping to avoid meeting these people.  It turns out there were two different groups shooting, somewhere nearby.  We didn’t see any of these people but saw some guys in a truck that we believed to be the target shooters.  I guess we’re a bit anxious when around people shooting in the forest since we don’t know what’s being used as a backstop, if anything.

A very nice nasty day that we thoroughly enjoyed!



Crown Zellerbach Completion Hike & Beyond

Hike Distance: 9.4 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1931.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 1657 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 248272 feet

As you might expect it was not very crowded on the roads for Christmas Day.  I’d been wanting to hike the remaining few miles of the Crown Zellerbach trail for some time now, and today was the perfect opportunity.  After we complete this hike we will have finished the entire approx. 23 mile length of the Crown Zellerbach trail.  The interesting part about this last section is that it traverses an easement through Weyerhaeuser private land.

We started the hike right off the Scappoose Vernonia Hwy at Pebble Creek Mainline Road.  You will immediately go around a locked gate, which enters Weyerhaeuser land, and then cross a bridge over Elk Creek.  The entire length of this section of the Crown Zellerbach Trail is on Pebble Creek Mainline Road.

The road gently ascends and climbs for about 500 feet.  There are some obstructed views of the valley below, and some mountains, but nothing earth shattering.  Along the length of this road there are plenty of side roads that go into Weyerhaeuser land, but there are signs indicating a permit is required.  We continued on the mainline road and it becomes level for some distance.  You’ll traverse logging land and see power lines, but not much else.

After some distance you will be walking on E. Knott Street.  I really didn’t notice any transition but evidently it did happen, according to the map.  E. Knott Street descends steeply for about a half mile.  This road feels very different than Pebble Creek Road and is much less maintained.  The road has been water damaged and is full of leaves.  There’s also areas of mud that were a bit messy.

You’ll reach the bottom of the road and continue until there is a gate.  On the other side of the gate the road is nicely maintained but graveled.  There is a farm at the end of this maintained portion of the road.  If you were riding a bike there is the option to continue down the road and then turn left to end up at Vernonia Lake.  There you could pick up the Banks-Vernonia trail, if you want a very long ride. haha

We turned around at the maintained road and headed back toward our car.  It was at this point that I learned my back wasn’t healed. 😦  Some sharp pain told me this was probably too steep.  I had to take an Aleve, and concentrate on the way I walked, to reduce the sharp pain.  I was able to get back to a comfortable place so that the remainder of the hike wasn’t nasty.

We were out long enough that it was getting quite dark on our way back.  I loved the mood as it was getting dark, and drank it in!  It seems that the temperature stayed in the upper 30’s during the entire hike, and it was such a refreshing temperature.  There was even some nice lighting, for pictures, on the way back.  Truly a great Christmas day hike!

Forest Road Hike

Hike Distance: 8.4 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1922.1 miles

Elevation Gain: 1272 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 246615 feet

We started this hike at a higher elevation and it was definitely colder up there, and the wind didn’t help.  A nice day and similar to most of the other forest road hikes.  The sunset was particularly beautiful and we enjoyed that on our ride home.  Another great day with my wife and son!

Forest Road Hike

Hike Distance: 8.4 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1913.7 miles

Elevation Gain: 1102 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 245343 feet

A cloudy day with some fog to add to the mood.  A new forest road area to hike but no views of surrounding mountains or volcanoes.  Pretty much our typical forest road hike except that we had to turn around on one of the roads due to some horses.  Wow, what the heck are they doing here?  These horses were easily disturbed and ran away only to come back and be defiant.  I was going to keep moving forward but my wife and son said no way.  I think they were right and quickly turned around, with the plan of returning another day.

Interesting that we happen to meet someone in a truck, on our way back to the car.  We asked about horses roaming this area and he mentioned that there have been older people that could no longer take care of their horses.  😦  As a result, they have left them in the forest to fend for themselves.   To be honest, we were quite shocked to hear this.  He mentioned that the horses seem to be able to survive these lower altitudes, even in the winter.  This certainly gave us a better understanding of why we’ve seen horses in this area.  Go figure!

That said, the forest canopy was beautiful and it was just a very relaxing day outside.  My back has been holding out ever since I learned to walk more normally, but we’ll see what happens.  A great day in the outdoors with my wife and son!