Whipple Creek Regional Park Hike

Hike Distance: 6.3 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1547.1 miles

Elevation Gain: 1250 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 202181 feet

So I’ve decided that for this blog my time is best spent generating a more detailed trip report on the hikes that are out of the ordinary.  The hikes that I go on often really don’t need an in-depth report, and so I will try to keep it short and sweet.  I’ll try this out for a while and see where the direction of this blog goes?

On to this hike.  A gorgeous Fall day and I decided to stay close to home.  It was extremely crowded (more than I’ve ever experienced) but all the people I met were very friendly!  I met a few people experiencing the trail on horseback; Sarah, Don and Beth.  I also met a very nice group of hikers, and talked with them.  I specifically talked with a gentleman by the name of Rod the most.  At the end of the hike I met a very nice woman named Holly, and we talked quite a while about so many topics, and greatly enjoyed the conversation!

A fantastic day, with gorgeous Fall colors, and one I’ll remember. 🙂

Frenchmen’s Bar Loop Hike

Hike Distance: 5.4 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1540.8 miles

Elevation Gain: 193 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 200931 feet

I made a quick loop using the Frenchmen’s Bar trail and the Columbia River Shoreline.  Definitely a gorgeous day and nice to be breathing some fresh air.

I saw a coyote on the drive out to the park, and as luck would have it, saw a deer grazing next to the entrance when I left.  I also was swarmed by lady bugs while hiking on the dike!  In addition, I spent time creating some high speed  movies (called hyperlapses) of the Columbia River Shoreline and dike area.  I’ll try to hyperlink these, but haven’t done it before, so hopefully it will show up?

The highlight of the day was seeing a very odd boat on the Columbia River.  I bumped into a nice woman along the shore, and we discussed what type of boat it could be?It turns out the boat is used by the U.S Navy seals and is called the “Alligator” with an official name of “Sea Lion”!  It is meant for a stealthy delivery of Navy Seals and a quick extraction of the same team.  The boat has a super low profile and even has ballast, for lowering itself deeper into the waterline.  Really, it looked like a Star Wars type vehicle and was weird seeing it in the Columbia River.  It turns out that the Oregon Iron Works builds these vehicles for the government.  I included some photos of this weird boat!

 

Frenchmen’s Bar Trail Hike & Beyond

Hike Distance: 7.3 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1475.9 miles

Elevation Gain: 261 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 193907 feet

I’m going to preface this hike trip report with a bit of a rant.   So I’m considering cutting back on my blog trip reports, at a minimum, and at a maximum I’ll be shutting down this site.  I constantly feel like I need to update this blog, and it’s seriously stressing me out.  I’m going hiking anywhere between 4-7 days per week, along with personal and family activities, and finding the down time for updating the blog is difficult.  I appreciate the people that are following my blog but there are only 19 people signed up after almost three years.  I tried letting people know about my site but it seems the interest level just isn’t there. 😦  I had noble intentions in setting up this site, but it’s just too much of a time sink to generate an exciting trip report when I go on 250+ hikes per year.

I always intended this blog to be something I could look back upon, and remember so many fond memories.  Having people following my blog was a secondary objective, and it’s my fault the number of followers is small.  I don’t solicit this website and most people I have told rather not follow me for the remainder of my goal, over the coarse of years or more than a decade.  I get it, and it would be impossible for me to follow other people on a regular basis without eventually losing interest.

My 25,000 mile goal is important and exciting to me, but I can’t go on new and amazing hikes just to generate trip reports to keep people interested, multiple times per week.  Since I’m not using this site for an income, I really need something else to motivate me often,  I’m somebody that really appreciates feedback, and I don’t get much, to stay motivated.  I don’t blame or expect this from anyone, but I’m losing money and time keeping up this site, without much interest by anyone else (including my family).  Again, I’ve never expected people to continuously pump me up, but I wouldn’t turn down a few likes (which unfortunately rarely happens).

Also, WordPress, the company that hosts my blog, shows me every visit to my site, and what pages are being visited.  Most people take a look at my Welcome Page and never come back.  I also have mostly blank days with no visits.  My most visited pages have to do with thru-hikers, from the PCT, visiting the page to look at themselves and re-live their glory days, but they don’t follow me.

At this point I have to weigh the time spent generating trip reports, that nobody looks at, with living my life to the fullest.  It sure doesn’t look like a tough decision when I re-read what I just wrote.  If there’s any feedback you might have I’m willing to listen?

So, on to this trip report.  At this point my goal it to reach a mileage that will take me under 10,000 miles remaining.  That should be this Saturday! 🙂  I parked at Frenchmen’s Bar and walked over to the inlet into Vancouver Lake.  I then walked south along Clark county property, where a faint trail exists.

This faint trail is typically used by owners with their dogs, but I only saw one such group today.  There is also a small loop into the grassy meadow, east of this path, which has been mowed for this purpose.

I spent most of my hike playing with my Osmo Pocket Gimbal, taking pictures and movies.  I have mounted a clamp on my backpack that holds this camera.  I use my smartphone, with bluetooth, to access all the features of this gimbal.  I’m getting the hang of this and will be able to utilize this on future hikes to get impressive panoramas and stabilized movies.  This camera is much better than using my smartphone, with a better feature set!

Lacamas Heritage Trail Hike

Hike Distance: 7.6 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1468.6 miles

Elevation Gain: 864 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 193646 feet

The last time I came here my wife called and let me know our car had died!  I had to terminate the hike.  Thankfully, the cause of the car dying was a dead battery, so that was easily remedied, after it was towed to our mechanic.  I finally made it back here to complete the entire Lacamas Heritage Trail.

The hike highlights were as follows:

  1.  The water level of Lacamas Lake was very, very low, and there was a disgusting green algae around the shoreline.  I noticed a sign indicating there could be dangerous blue-green algae in the lake, and to stay away.  From pictures I’ve seen this is the deadly algae. 😦
  2. It was a cloudy day but there was no rain, and it was a comfortable temperature.
  3. The trail was crowded on the southern end, but the northern end had far fewer people!
  4. I met a wonderful couple, named Ron and Jenny, and we walked together at the northern end of the trail.  We also talked quite a bit at the northern parking area.  I really enjoyed our talk and hope to see them again on the trail! 🙂

It was a great day and I wasn’t pushing speed today, and that was nice.  My heel is doing okay today, but I had a bit of pain about two-thirds the way through, but that went away.  I banged my heel on the sharp point of a drawer corner yesterday, near my achilles tendon, and it appears (?) to be okay?  I’ll be watching that area to see if it develops into something worse, but the bleeding stopped quickly and it appears to be healing.

Forest Road Hike

Hike Distance: 8.6 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1461.0 miles

Elevation Gain: 1140 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 192782 feet

So this morning I banged the back of my heel on the very sharp edge of a drawer!  My, did it hurt, and it drew blood.  This is the part of the heel where the Achilles Tendon attaches to it.  I was quite worried that I had done a huge amount of damage, even  though the pain was limited.  I decided that I was willing to try hiking but would bail out if there was any pain.  The spoiler is that there was almost no pain, with only a few twinges that went away quickly. 🙂

We stayed close to home and just drove north on I5, and then turned east and headed out on a forest road.  Some areas were completely forested and others were in open areas.  The open areas didn’t have great views and I only included one photo of that.

We’ve been in this area before and it’s an okay area, and with much solitude.  The only people we saw today were two kids on dirt bikes.  Other than them, it was so nice to be alone. 🙂 The weather was nice, if not a bit too warm, but that’s fine.  I had to wear my orange jacket, since it’s hunting season, and that warmed me up a bit too much.  My heel did fine and it gave me confidence that perhaps the damage wasn’t too bad?  A very nice day.