Three mostly repeat hikes in October: Vista Ridge on Mt Hood, Indian Heaven Wilderness in Washington, and Oaks Bottom in Portland.
10/3 – Vista Ridge, Mt Hood
This is one of my favorite hikes on Mt Hood – especially during wildflower season. Today we enjoyed the fall colors in the burn zone – bright red huckleberries, white pearly everlasting, pink fireweed; and greeted a few of my haunted tree friends.
We stopped in Wy’East basin (5800 feet) for lunch, then hiked a little higher, toward Barrett Spur.
We returned back down the Vista Ridge Trail, about 6.5 miles, 1500 feet for the day.
I stopped to look more closely at the fireweed – the four-petal flowers produce curly and fuzzy seedheads. On closer look, I noticed the seed casing split into four strands that curled away as the fuzzy seedheads emerged. I am not a botanist but found this fascinating.
We took a moment to look out east from Vista Ridge, toward The Pinnacle and Mt Hood, and the remains of the Dollar Lake Fire of 2011.
Farewell for the year to the haunted trees, by now knee deep in snow….
10/11 – Thomas Lake to Rock Lake to the Old Cascade Crest Trail, Indian Heaven Wilderness
A beautiful fall day. We found the huckleberry foliage still changing – some bright red, some still green, in the faded summer meadows, and no mosquitos!
At the trail junction, we headed north again to complete the loop. The Old Cascade Crest Trail is still used, and easy to walk, though it does not show up on recent trail maps.
10/17 – Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, Portland
The standard 3 mile loop around the Wildlife Refuge, partly on the bike path, partly on dirt trails around the wetlands.
Later in the month we went to Washington, DC, where there were some long city/mall/museum walks, and to Shenandoah National Park, VA, where there were three other hikes, described in the next post.