Whipple Creek Regional Park Hike

Hike Distance: 6.0 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 575.1 miles

Elevation Gain:  843 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 68246 feet

Today I saw Dr. Kaluza and had a great conversation. We had quite an extensive conversation but I won’t bore people with a lengthy discussion. In summary he thinks I can continue hiking as aggressively as I have since the leg lifts have made a big difference. He wants me to add 6 mm of height and then very quickly within a few days probably add another 1mm to make it 7 mm thick. I might need to go even thicker than that but he wants to assess that when I see him again. He basically said that my hip is still twisted and that he’d like to get me as quickly as possible to a point where I can backpack the Pacific Crest Trail. He did mention the possibility of other alternatives that could help get my hips to the correct location and with the right amount of rotation, but I didn’t need it yet. The one option he did mention was something called a Prolotherapy in which he injects saline and glucose directly into the SI joints to make them either more or less restrictive to rotation, which would help me in either hyper or hypo rotation of my hip, which is causing some of this problem . We also discussed shoe Styles and the amount of drop that is in many shoes. It turns out that you really don’t want to have too much drop in the shoe along with too much drop in the leg lifts I use or it will end up hurting my ankle. For that reason I might have to go to the shoe that has zero drop in order to keep from too much lift. So the bottom line is that he is is pleased with where things are going.   Beyond he has a goal to get me to the optimum place I need to be before the summer season starts. He doesn’t want me to adjust all my shoes just yet because he wants to first find out where I need to be. I have an appointment with him in a month to assess the situation and we’ll go from there.

Yes I’m going to Whipple Creek again. It’s a gorgeous day and there’s a nice breeze out which really helps when the temperature gets near 70. Very few people out here and just saw a couple people on horseback but the parking lot is mostly empty.

When I was little bit of a quandary these next couple days of hiking because I’m on the verge of hitting 14,000 miles of total mileage. The thing is is that I only need about 12 miles to get there and I would rather do it at a special location, as I mentioned on previous hike. As a result I’m keeping the hike short so that it will be easy to obtain the 14,000 miles add a trail of our choosing.

I eradicated another ivy vine from a tree, and this one climbed quite a ways up. I was able to get to the main vine shoot and a cut it like butter, as they’re so soft. It’s my goal to free up at least one tree every time I’m here. I know it’s not much but it’s more than anybody else is doing, at least that I see.

Well it’s finally not crowded this afternoon as I bumped into many people and talked to them about mostly hiking. In particular I met a woman named Cheryl, and we had a lengthy discussion. I also met a couple that was on a bike, that stopped and talked for a little bit, we also had a nice conversation. As a result of all the talking I have severely limited my speed of completing this hike. It’s quite pathetic at this point how long it’s taking me. It’s been an excellent day and I thoroughly enjoyed it, and the weather was just outstanding.

Salmon Creek Greenway Trail Hike

Hike Distance: 7.6 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 569.1 miles

Elevation Gain: 596 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 66807 feet

Stunningly gorgeous day with blue skies and a very slight cool breeze made it just perfect to be outdoors. I got out late and really couldn’t go too far because yesterday I had a procedure that used anesthesia.

Took a small loop around klineline Park and investigated some of the area where the plantings were made. Then I headed east under I-5 over the sturdy Bridge that crosses Salmon Creek and into a nice park setting that gives access to some rapids and photographic opportunities. That said, I can hear I-5 noise constantly here. One thing I’m noticing is a large number of beetles flying all over the place but nothing that’s biting.

The Rapids here are spectacular but they are covered up a bit from all the leaves are growing on the new vegetation.   I noticed across the creek that there are a whole bunch of California orange poppies. At least that’s what I think they are from this distance. You can’t really go very far on the section near the Salmon Creek Rapids because it quickly goes into private land and there’s a sign to designate it so I turned around.

I brought my Panasonic G9 camera with me today, which is micro 4/3 format. I’m wearing some new sunglasses and found I couldn’t see through the viewfinder.  What I found out today is that the EV adjustment to make the picture darker or lighter is on a dial that is very easily moved. As a result the electronic viewfinder was so dark that I couldn’t see through it with the glasses. Once I brought it closer to where it should be I can see through the electronic viewfinder with my sunglasses and so I’m now thrilled.

I just reached over to put some Purell on my hands and found the cap was open. I really don’t like these hanging Purell bottles as they tend to snap open easily and then drip all over your shoulder, clothes or equipment. I’ve got to find another solution that doesn’t cause me to lose a disinfectant at an opportune time when I might need it.  I say that because sometimes you just notice that the bottle is empty during the hike.

Tomorrow I see doctor Kaluza, the orthopedist. I haven’t seen him him for 3 + weeks. It will be interesting to ask him about the ups and downs I’ve had on hiking with these inserts. I’m also curious to see what he has to say about the pain always migrating back to the left side where it had begun.

So on my way walking West on the trail I met a woman that was very nice and we talked for what seemed like a very long time. Probably half an hour to 40 minutes, and I lost all my momentum.

Interestingly, I also met a nice woman on the way way back and talk for a while and another delightful conversation. I definitely took longer than I wanted to hike this trail but it was thoroughly enjoyable and a great temperature.

Lewisville Regional Park Hike

Hike Distance: 4.1 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 553.4 miles

Elevation Gain: 514 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 65212 feet

I could only go on a short hike due to a family get together tonight. I knew this park would be crowded, on such a beautiful day, but went anyway. This was a complete circum-navigation of the park in a clockwise direction.

I typically gain access to the forested section of the park, and then follow the Lewis River around to the SW portion of the hike. I next continue around and through the second half of the forested trail section, to complete the loop.

The Lewis River was a bit lower than it has been. The views of the river were stellar and I stopped often to enjoy watching the flowing water. I also took plenty of pictures.

Although crowded today, it was still quite enjoyable. I’m so glad to have gotten out, for just a short stroll. You can’t go wrong in this regional park!

Beacon Rock State Park Hike – Hardy Ridge Loop

Hike Distance: 8.7 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 549.3 miles

Elevation Gain: 2237 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 64698 feet

This is the first of two hikes I’m doing with my son this weekend, to allow him to preview hikes he’s leading with the Mountaineers at the end of May.  The Mountaineers is similar to the Mazamas but is located in the Seattle area.  There is a group of people that are coming to the Columbia River Gorge area, to experience hikes here, and my son has volunteered to lead two of the hikes.  I helped him select a couple of hikes that aren’t being led by other people from the Mountaineers group.

The Hardy Ridge trail is a less used, but still popular, trail at Beacon Rock State Park in Washington.  The views along the Hardy Ridge Trail are some of the best in the Columbia River Gorge, but will take some effort to ascend the 2200+ feet of elevation gain.  In my opinion the views are completely worth the effort.  Hiking poles, good hiking shoes (preferably rigid soles) and long pants are a necessity as there is much brush along the ridge, and some of the ridge trail is sketchy with some steep ascent on scree and loose rock!

We started at the Equestrian TH off of Kueffler Road.  There is plenty of parking but could be crowded on a weekend.  You will also need the WA State Discover Pass, and can pay for a day pass at the parking area.  The park rangers actively check for passes, and WILL ticket you if a pass isn’t displayed in the car window!!!

We walked past the gate and ascended up the road for about 1.3 miles.  Turning left onto the Hardy Ridge Trail (signed)  we continued on this road for about another 1+ miles.  There is another sign that points to the trail that leads up toward the ridge.  This is a true dirt trail and it switchbacks up to an intersection that leads up the ridge.  As you climb up the switchbacks you’ll be afforded west looking stellar views of the Columbia River Gorge and hills.  Near the intersection, you can see a view of Mt. Hood on a clear day, but not for us to view today. 😦

At the intersection we turned left and headed up the ridge.  The trail is quite steep and the bushes line the trail and are a nuisance.  I actually spent quite a bit of time pruning the branches away from the trail, so people won’t be poked in the eye or slapped by a branch! 🙂  As you ascend the ridge you’ll continue to see better and better views of the surrounding Columbia River Gorge and Mountains!  We were also delighted to see the Glacier Lilies were growing around all the rocky areas, and even on the trail.  It was beautiful!

The ridge trail is about one mile in length, from the intersection, and you can stop at several places to have a bite and drink.  Just realize that the ascent gets more sketchy the further you go, and my son didn’t like the rocky areas as they were steep and crumbled at times.  We made it the entire way up the ridge, and there is a somewhat level area that is a perfect endpoint.  I took plenty of pictures and we rested after this huge effort.  The view from this location is expansive and breathtaking.  You’ll fell like your on top of the world, and the view is almost 360 degrees!

Our descent down the ridge was slow, especially in the rocky and steep areas.  I’m glad that I pruned the bushes on the way up as they weren’t an issue on the descent.  Once we got back to the intersection, we turned left and descended .  This path allowed us to complete the Hardy Ridge Trail loop.  There are a few intersections along the descent but you’ll turn right on the next two intersections, to head back to the Equestrian Trail.  There are signs along the way that will help you with getting the directions correct.

The day was quite amazing and I had a great time with my son!  My back was fantastic on this hike and the pain was minimal. 🙂  A completely successful day in Beacon Rock State Park!

Battleground Lake State Park & Chelatchie Prairie Railroad Trail Hike

 

I hiked around the shoreline of Battle Ground Lake and looked for the changes made by all the heavy equipment I saw last week. It looks like all they did was install the pylons in the Lake and nothing more. At this point there’s a huge amount of area that’s blocked off by the orange tape. A huge number are people fishing from kayaks on the lake and along the shoreline.

I’m walking along the rim trail a Battle Ground Lake and not seeing any people, but there are plenty of Trillium along the way. A lot of older trees along this section of the trail. There’s also some benches and there’s no one here to enjoy them.   It would make a great resting area.

It’s a hot day today and I’m sweating but still enjoying the sun and warmth. I’m also starting to remember all the spider webs that will be going in my face and to put my hiking stick up to keep them off of me. It’s well worth it to put up with all this just to be outside in this beautiful park!

I’m thinking about my PCT hike this summer and wondering if I’m actually going to be able to go on it. I’m also skeptical as to whether I’ll be able to backpack with my son but we’ll have to just wait and see. Sure seems like the healing process for my back is going to take a long time and it’s actually not surprising given I’ve had an issue my entire adult life, and I’ve been experienced pain for six or seven years. Why would I ever think that it would go away in a few months after putting on leg lifts?

I’m on that chelatchie Prairie Trail now and there’s a ton of rabbits around here and I think it’s because this private landowner, that took down all these trees?

So I got done with the chelatchie railroad Trail and then decided to do the outer loop around Battle Ground Lake. Nobody is on this trail system for the most part. I’ve seen one small family and two groups of people on horseback. This has made for a really great day and fair amount of Solitude.

Getting a headache because I haven’t had much to drink. I started out by chugging 2/3 of a quart of water.   Beyond that I’ve had another quart of Powerade with me, but that’s obviously not enough in this heat. I’ll need to start carrying more water with me or bringing a filter with and using it on the trail.