Whipple Creek Regional Park Hike

Hike Distance: 6.1 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 899.7 miles

Elevation Gain: 860 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 112861 feet

Another day I stayed close to home, as I had physical therapy for my back in the morning. Beautiful day and I had to get out even though I was planning on staying at home and doing chores.

A fairly uneventful day. The only thing of note is that I bumped into a man and as he passed by he smelled so strongly of weed that it was overpowering!  haha   I actually don’t care but it just stunk so much.

I went down to the Gazebo Trail and there were blackberries draped across it along most of its length! I ended up using my pruners to cut them back and get them off the trail. There must have been 30 to 40 shoots I had to cut back!

Beacon Rock State Park Hike to Hamilton Mt. Saddle & Beyond

Hike Distance: 9.4 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 893.6 miles

Elevation Gain: 2051 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 112001 feet

It was a gorgeous day and my son and I decided to hike in Beacon Rock state park.  This was a typical loop I’ve done and we stated at the Hardy Creek Horse Camp TH.  We ascended until we reached the Hamilton Mt. Saddle, where we took plenty of photos of the vast landscape and profusion of flowers!  We lingered at the saddle to enjoy the breeze and just take in Mother Nature’s beauty. 🙂

We next hiked the Upper Hardy Creek trail and crossed over the bridge to the west side trail system.  We followed this around and then headed back to our car.  Almost nobody on the trail system and the solitude was awesome.  It’s days like these that make you feel good to be alive!

Forest Road Hike

Hike Distance: 8.2 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 884.2 miles

Elevation Gain: 1061 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 109950 feet

This forest road was a mess and the landscape was logged off and not terrible impressive, or worth mentioning.  The highlights were a very limited view of Mt. Rainier, and the Foxglove was in bloom.

Columbia River Gorge Hike – Angel’s and Devil’s Rest

Hike Distance: 8.0 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 876.0 miles

Elevation Gain: 2549 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 108889 feet

Since it was Friday my son and I decided to try hiking to Angel’s Rest and then head out to Devil’s Rest.  I haven’t done this hike in years, and my son has never hiked it.  We drove to the parking area and got the last spot (lower lot), and felt very fortunate!

This is my first time in the Columbia River Gorge since the fire, a couple years ago.  I was interested to see just how damaged the trail was.  The trail pretty much just climbs up for about 2.25 miles.  We passed by a beautiful stream, with a nice bridge crossing.  As we ascended some views were peeking out into the gorge.  It wasn’t until we hit the switchbacks, below Angel’s Rest, that the evidence of the burn became apparent.  However, the vegetation in this area was extremely thick and the flowers were in profusion!  The number of people on the trail was significant.  People were passing by very often, and it was evident that most other hikers don’t know about trail etiquette.  Ugh!

As we got closer to Angel’s Rest the views became breathtaking!  The Columbia Gorge was…..gorgeous, and the flowers were in bloom everywhere!  I simply couldn’t take enough pictures, and the photos will never do this justice.  The views were worth dealing with the crowds, at least on this nice weekday.

We made the turnoff and headed out to Angel’s Rest.  There’s a small scramble to get up to Angel’s Rest, and we don’t like it, but it’s not too bad.  Angel’s Rest was crowded, and it felt like a zoo, but we got the pictures we wanted.  We even had some food and hydration at this great resting stop.  Many of the people left before us, and it felt a bit less crowded, for a few minutes.

Moving on, we took the trail heading towards Devil’s Rest.  It’s not an obvious trail that will lead there, and there’s no sign.  We continued to see the effects of the burn, and it looks pretty bad in spots.  However, the ground level foliage is very dense, and the flowers continued to be amazing.  We did notice some Poison Oak, and it will be thick and a nuisance, in the coming years! 😦

There were almost NO hikers on the entire Devil’s Rest trail! 🙂 We only saw three other hikers on this entire, almost two mile, section.  We bumped into the same couple about three times, and talked with them extensively on Devil’s Rest.  After about 1/2 mile on the Devil’s Rest trail the forest became lush again, and only the base of some trees showed burn marks.  It was surprising to see so much forest, still fully intact, all the way to Devil’s Rest.  The Devil’s Rest trail has many level areas and only the last 1/4 mile is a very steep climb.  As I said, we got to Devil’s Rest and talked with a couple, and after they left, with a guy, for some time.  It was cold up there, but got warm as we descended.

There was so much solitude on the way back down the Devi’s Rest trail.  This is what I needed.  Unfortunately, getting back on the Angel’s Rest trail only threw us back into the crowds.  We descended on the slow side as there is some scree, and rocks, and it wasn’t safe to go quickly.  There are some unsafe areas next to the trail, and I would not recommend this for small children (my opinion).

An absolutely fantastic day and so glad we decided to give these trails a try!

WSU Campus & Pleasant Valley Park Hike

Hike Distance: 7.5 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 868.0 miles

Elevation Gain: 841 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 106340 feet

Another doctor appt. this morning, to the allergist, and so I got out late.  It’s interesting to find out I’m allergic to Oak and Birch pollen, but he doesn’t recommend allergy shots since I have no other allergies.

The WSU campus is close and so I headed there.  It was quite a bit cooler than the last couple of days, which was pleasant.  I basically took a counter-clockwise loop around the campus, and took a short jaunt over to Pleasant Valley Park to add a couple miles to the hike.  There was a nice view of Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens while on the west side of the campus, although a bit of haze made for marginal photo clarity.

There’s a lot of construction going on at N.E. 50th Ave. as WSU is constructing a large building there!

Very few people on the campus as they’re between school seasons.  One interesting experience I had was coming upon a guy with two dogs, near a Mill Creek access point.  His dogs were off leash, but mellow, and just standing there looking at me approaching.  This guy was oblivious to me, and on all fours having difficulty sticking his face into the creek to get a drink!  He was kind of crawling along the river rock, making a lot of noise, and trying to find a good place to sip the water…from this less than clean creek.   It wasn’t a pleasant sight, and after about 5 seconds I turned around and just left.

Other than that it was a pleasant hike, and just a mellow day.