Frenchmen’s Bar Area Hike with Visit to Vancouver Lake

Hike Distance: 9.1 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 356.7 miles

Elevation Gain: 549 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 47398 feet

It’s the beginning of the pandemic and I’m feeling the need to start isolating myself from people.  Being over 60 I feel so vulnerable and am hoping the whole thing blows over, but as of the time I’m entering this report we all know these are the worst of times, and it will only get worse (before anything will improve).  I thought I’d try hiking around the Frenchmen’s Bar area as the beach and dike is quite wide, and so is the trail that leads to Vancouver Lake.  Truthfully, it’s a gorgeous day and I just couldn’t resist the lure of the Columbia River.

My first instinct was to head over to Vancouver Lake, via the Frenchmen’s Bar trail, and get that paved trail out of the way.  While I love walking from Frenchmen’s Bar to Vancouver Lake, the asphalted trail is brutal on my joints. 😦  Seeing all the blooming trees and flowers lifted my spirits, and made it worthwhile.

So, I made it to Vancouver Lake and took some quick photos.  I’m just starting to explore the camera on my new Samsung S20 phone, and I’m liking the results thus far.  At this point my main gripe is that it’s difficult to keep the large glass cover, over the lenses, free of dust and dirt.

After some photos I walked back towards Blurock Landing and accessed the beach along the Columbia River.  I love this particular area of beach as the crowds are minimal during the week.  Today was no exception, and I lazily strolled along and just enjoyed the sunny crisp air.

Exiting back on the Frenchmen’s Bar Trail, I headed back towards the Frenchmen’s Bar park and headed south on the Dike.  I only saw a gentleman and his dog, but they kept their distance.  This dike area is great for observing the large flocks of birds that winter here, and on a clear day you can see three volcanoes too!

Things were going well and I didn’t see many people, and wasn’t concerned about contracting the virus.  So, I then walked north along the beach, and just loved the sand and Columbia River.  It’s easy to get lost in your thoughts here, and I quickly forgot about the pandemic, and other worries.

It wasn’t until I reached the northern beach section of the Frenchmen’s Bar when things got interesting.  I ran into a couple that had an extremely active dog running about without a leash.  The problem was that they were teasing the dog for about 20 minutes, while I watched.  The guy kept teasing the dog to jump in the air for a stick he was holding, but never threw it.  They knew I was waiting to get by, and saw me, but basically acted like I wasn’t there.  They very slowly moved along the beach, and I finally got by them, but I was fuming.  Yes, I could have turned around, but I can be stubborn, and wanted to complete this loop.

After looping around the beach I headed back toward my car.  Most of this hike was exceptional, and I won’t let the beach incident taint my experience!

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