Lacamas Park Hike

Hike Distance: 7.1 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1276.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 1068 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 168578 feet

Definitely a gorgeous day.  Water flow was low in Lacamas Creek, and so the waterfalls appeared much less dramatic.  The new bridge over Lacamas Creek had a small dedication arrangement for an obvious drowned teenager.  Very sad. 😦  Don’t know why people are jumping off the bridge but I have seen plenty of teenagers doing it, at least before this incident.

WSU Campus & Pleasant Valley Park Hike

Hike Distance: 5.8 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1269.4 miles

Elevation Gain: 708 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 167510 feet

What a freaking hot day!  I just decided to stay close to home so I could get in and out as soon as possible.  As usual I pay the parking fee to park at WSU since it’s probably much less likely have my car broken into.  It was surprisingly crowded at the university but that didn’t affect the trail system. 🙂

I started out just walking through the main campus and then heading out to the Pleasant Valley Park.  There are huge opportunities for pictures of Salmon Creek in this area, and I took advantage of that!  I bumped into a Clark County employee and asked when the closed trail with the fallen tree would reopen?  He said they were trying to get companies to quote a price but that there were no takers.  I asked why Clark County couldn’t do it, since they have all the equipment, and he mentioned that they just want to subcontract it.  Oh well.

The heat was bad but I kept very hydrated and made sure I ate plenty to restore electrolytes.  I stopped to switch out my second quart of powerade and discovered I only had two quarts!  I thought I had three quarts but was mistaken. 😦

I continued back to the WSU campus and started the long counter-clockwise loop around the campus.  I was going through my fluids quickly, and then noticed my pee was very golden, and that’s not a good sign.  I decided to terminate the hike and took a shortcut back to the car, which went through a cooler stand of trees.  My bad in not making sure I had enough fluids.  I drank another quart of powerade as soon as I got to my car.  This heat sure sucks, but getting heat exhaustion is worse, and isn’t an option.

Battleground Lake State Park & Chelatchi Prairie Railroad Trail Hike

Hike Distance: 7.3 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1263.6 miles

Elevation Gain: 882 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 166802 feet

My wife started work again today but came home early, and we decided to go to the Battleground Lake area.  It started out as a cool day but turned very warm later in the day.

We initially went around the lake, and noticed that a new dock and fishing pier had been installed!  They looked very good and the pier was especially robust.  We didn’t stay in the beach area very long as it was very crowded, being the last full day before school begins.

Next, we headed around the upper lake trail and then headed out to the Chelatchie Prairie Rail Trail.  As I mentioned a while back, the owner of a lot that borders this trail had started a new subdivision, and the road has already been completed.  There are street lamps along the road, and there is even a cedar chip path that leads to this trail, but the gate was locked.  I wonder if the tentative new home owners realize that they will be sandwiched between two busy rural roads and an active railroad line?

We headed back to the car on the quick side as my wife’s feet have been very sore since our vacation to Eagle Cap Wilderness!  A nice day.

Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge Hike Carty Unit & Beyond

Hike Distance: 6.2 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1256.3 miles

Elevation Gain: 430 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 165920 feet

My son and I went out to the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge to investigate two things: The Carty unit Oaks to Wetland trail had reopened after all the fir trees were removed, and second was to investigate the new trails that border the southern end of the wildlife refuge.

We started out by crossing the bridge and heading north on the Oaks to Wetland trail.  It was a clear beautiful day so the views were initially gorgeous.  We then came to the sign for the recently opened Oaks to Wetland trail, and it looked closed per the sign, but looking closer there was a sheet of paper covering the Open sign!

The carnage started as soon as we crossed the wood walkway.  I was expecting to see a few trees to be removed, but instead it looked like an awful clearcut.  To say this area was devastated would be an understatement.  It’s true that all the Oaks were still standing but the number of fir trees removed were in the hundreds! 😦   Many of these trees were Old Growth, and it saddened me.  The trail was now defined by sticks on either side of the trail.  In addition, there used to be access to a few viewpoints that gave views of large bodies of water, but all spur trails were removed!

I guess the good news is that eventually this area will be a revitalized Oak Wetland with plenty of animal species inhabiting it, but probably not in my lifetime.  Also, the trees were given to an indian trible to help with salmon habitat.  Mind you, I’m not judging why this was done but rather am turned off by the magnitude of how much had to be removed in order to restore the habitat.  I personally won’t be visiting this area very much as it depresses me.

After completing the Oaks to Wetland trail we headed south on the trail past Carty Lake.  This is a very nice hike and the lake is beautiful.  There were some Egrets feeding in the lake so birding would be fun now!  We soon reached the new southern entrance into the wildlife refuge.  There are some trails south of the wildlife refuge that provide views of Lake River.  There are actually a few trails to explore south of the wildlife refuge, and we walked all of them.  It’s also interesting to note that the main trail, leading south, ends at a picnic area near a marina on Lake River and a Kayak rental/launch is also there!

A nice day with some exploration, and a bit of heartache over the clearcut, but still fun to be with my son in the nice weather!

Whipple Creek Regional Park Hike

Hike Distance: 4.4 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1211.0 miles

Elevation Gain: 608 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 157652 feet

A quick loop hike with my wife!  Cool enough under the canopy, with an occasional breeze.  The rebuilding of the old mill structure is coming along nicely!  Almost no people on trail.