Whipple Creek Regional Park Hike

Hike Distance: 7.2 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 533.0 miles

Elevation Gain: 1016 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 61473 feet

Trail system incredibly muddy on the seasonal trails. Plenty of Trillium but all past peak blooms. Cloudy but warm day. It’s nice to see all the green foliage coming out. All the Salmon Berry is in bloom. I visited the horses today and they’re just kind of relaxing to watch.

It’s warmed up quite a bit now and the sun is coming out a bit. I’ve seen several snakes warming themselves up on the trail and that’s a good sign. My back is doing a bit better today and I  added the one millimeter thickness to my right shoe, but who knows. I’m not going to be able to do as much cutting of Ivy because the stinging nettles are starting to come in in profusion and I really don’t feel like getting stung by them.

Lacamas Park Trails Hike

Hike Distance: 7.3 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 525.8 miles

Elevation Gain: 1149 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 60457 feet

Going to check out the Camas Lilies status in the Natural Area. They’re not blooming, except for a few, and will be ready in about 1-2 weeks. However, the Fawn Lilies are in profusion and are awesome!

I went for a loop hike and surveyed the northern area of the park. The home building is very noisy and looks horrible. It really ruins the the northern most trail, which sweeps very close to a home, and is an eye sore. It’s horrible what the developers and city have done.  Money over quality of life should be the motto for the city of Camas. 😦

Lacamas Creek was a torrent and the Upper and Lower Falls were impressive.

My back started hurting every step, after about 3-4 miles. It was very painful and felt like it did before installing the leg lifts in my shoes. I don’t understand it but it was a tremendous letdown. I tried to take it as a sign that I needed to install another 1mm thick insert in my shoes. This process of healing is so up and down, and frustrating.

I got back to level ground and the pain in my back subsided a bit. Just before leaving the park I ran into a disabled women in an electric scooter. She was smiling and telling me that she’s so excited to finally be able to get out, as the scooter has given her back some freedom. She said she was just so happy to be able to visit the wilderness again! You could feel her joy in being out here, next to Round Lake, under the trees. I was so moved by this meeting with her. I told her how happy I was for here and to have a wonderful day! I couldn’t help but cry on the way home. I wanted to go back and tell her “Thank you for such a special gift of perspective, and how to enjoy the little things”. My problems felt petty and minimal after that experience.

Salmon Creek Greenway Trail Hike including Couger Creek Trail

Hike Distance: 5.1 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 518.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 311 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 59308 feet

Late start. Went to Whipple Creek but forgot phone, so turned around to get it.. Salmon Creek much closer. Salmon Creek very high but not flood stage. Also went up Cougar Creek, and cleared branches from fallen tree. A tree falling also damaged the Cougar Creek Trail.  Started raining at end of hike. Nice day! Back was so-so today but not horribly bad.

Catherine Creek Area Loop Hike

Hike Distance: 6.9 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 513.4 miles

Elevation Gain: 1774 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 58997 feet

Our main reason for coming to this area was to escape the rain forecast  for the Willamette Valley.  We also love to visit the drier climate east of the Cascade mountains.  We parked at the Catherine Creek Day Use Area off of Old Hwy 8.  The parking area was almost full but we managed to grab a parking spot!

We headed north on the trail and quickly crossed the foot bridge over Catherine Creek.  The water was high and running fast.  We quickly looped around and headed toward the Catherine Creek Arch.  Some flowers were out, and there were plenty of people seeking to visit this area.

We were not in the mood to see so many people and decided to head north, and climb up the syncline toward Tracy Hill.  Our real goal was to reach the top of a very large grassy meadow, and loop around and then head back to our vehicle.  Unfortunately, we ended up following a game trail, which brought us to thick brush, so we made a smaller loop, which headed south, to find the correct trail.  We found what we thought was the correct trail, but this ended up leading to the same turn around point.  Where was the trail that lead up the syncline?

Just before turning around and heading back down the syncline we saw another hiker take what seemed like the trail we had been searching for!  It wasn’t obvious this was the trail, but it didn’t take long before we knew this was the correct trail!  As we climbed up the syncline we noticed huge storm clouds building north of us.  We weren’t deterred and kept climbing up until we reached the loop intersection we sought.  At the top of this loop turning point the views are expansive and breathtaking!  Looking east the Columbia River offers gorgeous scenery.  We could even see the base of Mt. Hood, through the storm clouds!!

We talked with the man that showed us the correct path and had a nice conversation.  Noticing the storm clouds were heading our way, I put on my rain pants.  The trail we used ran parallel to Major Creek, and is the eastern most trail at Catherine Creek.  We started to look for the intersection that would return us to a trail that led to our car, but didn’t find it.  So, we had to bushwack across a field containing high grass and a creek crossing.  My main concern is that this is an area with a huge number of Ticks. 😦  We used the GPS and quickly found the cut-in to the trail we wanted.  I later found out we were way off from the intersection we wanted to take.

We returned back to our car in a  relatively quick time.  I should mention that we only saw a few people on the remainder of our hike, and it was awesome.  We didn’t get any Ticks, and our Insect Shield clothing protected us well.  Also, there were only a few raindrops that fell on us.  A truly wonderful day. 🙂


Forest Road Hike

Hike Distance: 7.8 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 506.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 1322 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 57223 feet

Nice cloudy day but no rain.  I just remember  this as a nice forest road, but with some new gravel placed on it.  I suppose there will be some logging going on soon. 😦   My back did okay today.