Frenchmen’s Bar Regional Park Hike

Hike Distance: 5.1 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 191.0 miles

Elevation Gain: 389 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 24043 feet

I saw my physical therapist today and he was optimistic about my back recovering from the previous hike back issues.  I have to admit that I had some pretty good days but the last hike just hurt pretty bad.  I’m trying to remain upbeat and will continue to stretch and do the exercises he prescribed.  At the end of my session I agreed to limit my daily hiking distance to a maximum of six miles for a two month period.  I won’t lie and say I took it lightly but understood this wasn’t a death sentence, and would possibly accelerate the healing process.

The hike today turned out to be very nice and although a bit cold, compliments of the wind, I had a great time.  This sunny day gave me a nice but hazy view of three volcanoes!  The high clouds also added to a nice effect when I took pictures of the sun reflecting on the Columbia River.  The pictures mainly reflect my attempt to catch these reflections off the water.

I also took the time to try out my new Feuytech gimbal, which only works with my smartphone.  I can tell that the video possibilities are extensive with this piece of equipment.  I don’t have any movies to show during this hike but expect to release some clips as I gain experience!


Whipple Creek Regional Park Hike

Hike Distance: 7.6 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 185.9 miles

Elevation Gain: 1087 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 23654 feet

It was sunny, cold and late and I just wanted to get some hiking done today!  The usual long loop around the park with some added trails to up the distance.  The hike started out with some questionable person driving in and parking.  I just got a feeling this could end up bad, like with my car being broken into.  I headed out but stayed on a trail that gives visibility to the parking lot.  I then took a picture of the license plate just in case. Not a typical start to a hike.

Going on one of the side trails I noticed the immense amount of ivy growing up the trees. 😦  I decided to take my knife and cut the ivy completely around one tree.  It took about 25 minutes to do this, and I felt very good afterwards.  I’ll still need to come back with some loppers as some of the ivy branches were huge, and my small knife couldn’t cut through it.  I’ll be spending more time removing ivy from the trees on future hikes!  It was also nice to see some snow remaining in a few areas. 🙂

After working on ivy removal my back started feeling pretty bad.  I managed to modify my gait to make the remainder of the hike tolerable, but the pain was bad.  It’s so strange to have a great day on Sunday and then relapse after two days of rest.  This is my life now, and I’m working on improving things, but it’s tough not to get down.

I’m trying to concentrate on the long term plan, which includes three vacations this year, and four backpacking trips this summer.  In fact, I’ve received my PCT Section Hike permit just last week, so I’m hoping I can at least backpack another small portion.  I guess we’ll see how things go?

Forest Road Hike

Hike Distance: 8.6 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 178.3 miles

Elevation Gain: 1335 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 22567 feet

It rained fairly well where we went but we were comfortable.  We ended up going in a big spiral and finding nothing but dead end roads.  The big plus today is that my back felt great, and possibly the best it’s been in years.  It appears that the PT exercises and stretching is paying off.  I’m feeling pretty hopeful after today’s hike!

Battleground Lake State Park Hike

Hike Distance: 6.2 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 162.3 miles

Elevation Gain: 620 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 20221 feet

Today I just needed my hiking fix but still wanted some elevation gain.  It was a rainy miserable day, just what I like for a winter hike (sometimes).  As has been usual, I’ve been getting out late, and mostly due to my back exercises and stretching.

As is typical for my hikes in this park, I looped around the outer loop.  Then I switched direction and head back around the west side of the park, which is about half way up in elevation to the rim.  I semi-loop clockwise around the lake and head down toward the shore trail and loop once more counter-clockwise around the lake.  You’d really need to see a map to understand the crazy route I took.

I only took pictures on the lower lake trail, and the fog across the lake made for great pictures.  It seamed that the fog always moved away from me as I approached.  It was a fantastic mood, and if a monster rose out of the water I wouldn’t be surprised!