Sunday 12/22/13 we went to Klickitat to hike out another section of the Klickitat Trail. Last time we hiked from Lyle to MP 7 & back. This time we drove up to Klickitat at MP 13 & hiked down to MP 7 & back again! This section isn't as interesting as the first 7 miles but still a good walk on a cloudy Winters day plus our first ever visit to Klickitat!
Last Sunday we set off on our annual hike to the hidden Christmas ornament trail in the Multnomah Basin. this year we combined it with a pot luck lunch at Nesika Lodge. Good food & a good time was had by all, just over 12 miles were hiked & an undisclosed number of calories were consumed :)..
Saturday Chiyoko & I headed out to scout around Multnomah & Wahkeena Falls for a couple of hours in preparation for our planned hike up to the Multnomah basin on the Sunday. We found the Wahkeena Trail to be ice free but there was still a lot of ice hanging on at Multnomah & up the first few miles of the Larch Mountain trail. We decided that Wahkeena would be the safe route for Sunday!
Saturday Morning was the third day of a deep Freeze! Our coldest temps in in Western Oregon for 20 to 30 years depending on where you live. Perfect weather for visiting frozen waterfalls in the Columbia Gorge so we donned a few extra layers of clothes & off we went!
Sticking with last weeks theme I set off with Chiyoko & Shelly on another hike I hadn't done since 1986, The Eagle Benson Loop. Clear sunny but freezing weather meant that we had to navigate some ice on the Eagle Creek Trail. We then took the 3 mile trail from Eagle Creek up to Camp Smokey on the Benson Plateau, a 3000' climb. We then crossed the plateau & hiked down the Ruckle Creek trail to close the 17 mile loop with 4700' of EG.
Somewhat hidden in the Salmon River Gorge are a series of 6 waterfalls that unless you are a white water Kayaker are hard to get to. Last Sunday we set out to find one of the them, Frustration Falls, we were rewarded with success!
The Falls of the Salmon River Gorge were not even named until 1963, for some history & old photographs of the naming expedition up the canyon check out this site. You can find the rest of our photos here.
Our first hike in the gorge in a while. Veterans Day weekend meant no dreaded Discover Pass required to park at Hamilton Mountain so we made a quick loop up & over the top. We also checked out the old abandoned now almost collapsed Hamilton Cabin.
Sadly no Bonfire or fireworks for the Meacham's on this years Guy Fawkes Day. Mirranda & Tyler came over for dinner though. We made Mirranda Roast Chestnuts on the Fire & Chiyoko made Bakewell Cup Cakes! I did manage to resist the temptation to watch V for Vendetta again ;)..
Last Sunday Chiyoko & I went & checked out the upper 4 miles of the Pioneer Bridle Trail from it's junction near highway 26 and the Kiwanis Camp Road up over Laurel Hill to Enid Lake. The route follows parts of 4 other old roads up this hill to Government Camp. The Oregon trail, the Barlow Road, the 1866 Stage Coach Road & the 1925 Mt. Hood Highway. You can still see & walk on parts of all these old routes along the way!
Mt. Hood hiding in the clouds from 5100' on Lamberson Spur
It's been a fantastic fall Hiking Season up on Hood but it is finally drawing to a close! Last Sunday we first checked out Tamawanas Falls & then headed up the little used Lamberson Spur trail for the first time. It's was an "Heinze 57" kind of weather day! We enjoyed Sun, fast moving clouds, strong winds, rain and even a snow shower!
2013/10/13: Chizuru, Chiyoko & I took advantage of another great October weather day & hiked up Barrett Spur from Vista Ridge on Hood. We made it up to 7300' for some great views of the mountain covered in fresh snow. We did fight some clouds, cold wind & ice on the way up but broke through the cloud layer just before reaching the end of the hike. Perfect timing!
2013/09/27: We were rained out of the Woods last weekend & this weekend promised to be even worse! With a rare Friday off work we decided to see if we could get a quick hike in Friday morning before the deluge of rain began.
We managed a quick 6 mile loop from Timberline Lodge over to the Zigzag Canyon then up the Canyon side then back cross country to the Silcox Hut. We got back to the Lodge just as the rain was beginning! There we met Youshi Kasai (Wonderer) who had come over from Japan to through hike the PCT. We wished him well & good luck in getting through Washington State before the snows arrive.
After a wonderful Saturday we woke Sunday to drizzle & the promise of rain! Still we took our chances by heading around to the East side of Hood & hiking from Laurance Lake on the High Loop trail to it's end on Bear Creek Rd. We then bushwhacked our way over to Perry Lake. From here we went up the Old Vista Ridge trail to Owl Point for lunch. 11.6 miles & 2350' of EG.
The bushwhack section of the hike from the end of Bear Creek Rd. to Perry Lake was about 1.5 miles and wouldn't take much work to open it up & extend the old Vista Ridge trail all the way to Laurance Lake!
A few months ago I learned that a new State Champion Western Red Cedar had been discovered in Oregon. The old record holder is along the headwaters of the Clackamas River past Ripplebrook on the Mt. Hood National Forest. This one is on the coast not far from Cannon Beach. Luckily I had map to show me where it was!
Less than a mile off Highway 101 on State Forest Land is a grove of these ancient trees that are probably 800 to 900 years old & somehow survived being logged, most are in decline now with dead tops but they are still very impressive to see. The Champion scored 810 points on the Champion Tree Registry!
Chizuru, Chiyoko & I headed out on an adventure September 1st to find the Bandit Boulder. The name given to a giant boulder that sits at about 7600' at the foot of the Clack - Newton Glacier. Getting there involved an off trail trip of about 0.75 of a mile & 700' of climbing from the Timberline trail at the top of Gnarl Ridge. An interesting area of the mountain that we hadn't checked out before.
On the Friday before the Labor Day Weekend Chiyoko & I headed up to Mt. Hood with Nancy for her last hike on the mountain before heading home. The weather didn't look promising when we left but as we made our way up the Climbers trail to the McNeil Shelter we broke through the clouds into bright sunshine! The weather at the end of the upper McNeil trail was perfect, sunny warm & no wind! We also got some great views of the Sandy Glacier Ice Cave. Rather than return the same way we scrambled down the ridge line on the Glisan Glacier side & rejoined the trail at the point where the side trail goes down to Glisan Creek.
We then made our way down to the Timberline trail along the banks of a secondary creek with some great wildflowers. Before heading for home we also tagged Cairn Basin & Eden Park. Probably because of all the rain the day before even the usually problem free creeks like the Glisan had a lot of water in them. For the first time Nancy had to wade a creek on Hood!
For the last day at Elk Lake we went on hike to find Broken Top's hidden No Name Lake. A 14 mile round trip from the Todd lake trailhead. The lake is hidden high at the foot of Broken Top at about 8000'. From there you can climb up onto the ridge between Broken Top & Broken hand for spectacular views of the Sisters.
The South Sister is the Mountain that I have Climbed the most over the years, I'm well into double figures, even Chiyoko was on her third climb in the 5 years since she has been living in Oregon! The views from the top never disappoint!
Day 2 of our Elk Lake trip we woke up to clouds & drizzle, not a day for high altitude hiking so we settled on checking out the Green Lakes area. The trouble is when it's cold & cloudy you don't stop on the trail for much & we soon found ourselves past Green lakes & on the way to Park Meadow, about 9 miles in. Just before reaching Park Meadow we took an unofficial side trail to Golden Lake & then from there another semi hidden trail up to two tarns sitting at about 7000' on the slopes of Broken Top. It turned into a 19 mile day hike but we saw some interesting country on a mostly cloudy day!