Weldon Wagon Road, WA

5/10/2019

We walked Weldon Wagon Trail on a hot day in May. Balsamroot beginning to fade in the heat. I craved the shade, wished for a breeze in the still air, unlike the windblown walk last week at The Dalles Mountain Ranch. Lupine, clarkia, manroot, various parsleys, cutleaf violets, no sasquatch sighting this year. An enjoyable walk with friends. This will likely be my last of the balsamroot hikes this year! (Hike #22, 5.5 miles, 1300 feet).

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Lupine along the trail in the lower woodlands.

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First view of the open flowered slope.

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Our trail ahead across the balsamroot slope,

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and a view of Mt Hood across the valley.

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Friends ahead.

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Balsamroot

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Looking straight up at the steep slope above.

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Turnaround point

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And back the way we came,

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Back into the shade on a hot day.

New or notable flowers:

Neighborhood and Garden

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Birthday bouquet

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Our rhododendron in bloom,

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And our native irises.

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Giant camas in a neighborhood garden.

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Local fairy garden.

Knitting

I finished the Frost Slippers. The fit is a bit tight, but they should fit someone! Interesting construction, including stranding, steeking, and seaming, and I used up a lot of the leftover Dr Who Scarf yarn.

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Yarn for travel knitting!

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((This post has the first photos using my new camera (Sony HX90V).)

White River, first crocus

1/24/2019 White River Snowshoe, Mt Hood, OR

We started in mist with promise of sun breaking through. As we walked up the snow covered braid plain of the White River, the glowing peak of Mt Hood showed in silhouette, then in clarity against clear blue sky.

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Looking back to the start point, fog lifting.

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Clear blue skies over Mt Hood.

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We hiked up onto the ridge and continued toward the mountain.

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Approaching Boy Scout Ridge, near our lunch stop.

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Lunch stop view point. A large group was already there, and the mountain peak was glowing ethereally as the sun came in through the clouds.

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Lunch view.

Return down the White River, high clouds forming.

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Tree shadows on the snowy moraine surface.

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Last look back at Mt Hood.

(Hike # 5, 3.3 miles, 750 feet)

Winter Bulbs Blooming

The first snowdrop and crocus bulbs have opened in the garden this week.dsc01372img_1836

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Pink and blue striped sky, half moon hanging above. From January 12, 2019.

Memaloose Hills Hike, and Christmas (18-59)

Memaloose Hills Hike, Oregon 12/27/2018

We went east through the gorge again to the sunny Memaloose Hills, and walked 3.2 miles, 600 feet, through the dormant winter landscape. (Hike #65 for 2018). This area is known for abundant wildflowers in spring.

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View north, with a peak at Mt Adams, from the upper trailhead on old highway 30.

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Ponderosa bark

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Trail up to the lower viewpoint.

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Chatfield Hill – our upper destination

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Dan heading up Chatfield Hill in the dormant winter.

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Same view in springtime….

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View to the east and lower viewpoint.

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View to the west from the top

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Northern view toward Mt Adams

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Mt Adams

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Mt Hood

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An apple tree and Mt Adams, on the return hike.

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Apple tree

Dalles Dam

Another hiker reported seeing bald eagles at the Dalles Dam, so we drove to the Visitor Center to see them. We walked some of the paths in that area and saw interesting views of the infrastructure, but no bald eagles.

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Under the freeway bridge

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Looking toward the dam

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A dusting of snow in the hills

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Mt Hood in the distance

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Zooming in – Mt Hood and The Dalles.

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Bald eagles should be here

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Fishing platforms

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Another westward view in the low winter light.

Driving Landscape Views

I snapped photos from the freeway as we drove back through the gorge. There are great views of our hiking spots on the Washington side of the Columbia River, and I thought I did fairly well at freeway-speed photography!

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Lyle Cherry Orchard

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Lyle, Washington

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Catherine Creek

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Rowland Wall

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The slope above Coyote Wall

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Coyote Wall

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Coyote Wall

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Snow dusting the black-fringed cliffs above Cascade Locks

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Corbett Point

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Closer view of Vista House

Knitting

I knit a star ornament for my friend who has made the costumes for a local production of Mary Poppins, I finally finished seaming the Ivy Cardigan, and I finished another round washcloth.

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Mary Poppins Star

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Ivy Cardigan

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Wash cloth

Christmas

Lovely quiet Christmas with family and friends.

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Our tree.

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My only new ornament – from the Jane Austen Museum in Bath, England.

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Viburnum in my garden

 

 

Trapper Creek Wilderness, WA (18-46)

October 20, 2018 – Observation Peak and Sister Rocks

We hiked up and down this roller coaster trail, through autumn light and sun, to viewpoints of the surrounding Cascade mountain peaks rising above a bluish haze.

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7 miles, 1575 feet (#58)

Driving to the trailhead on Dry Creek Road we passed through a tunnel of yellow trees.

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View through the front windshield…

Bunchberry and huckleberry along the trail provided some color.

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At the top of the first ridge, the views from the rocky outcrop are to Mt Rainier and Mt Adams.

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Mt Rainier

We then took the side trail to Sister Rocks, with a great view of Mt St Helens and Mt Hood. Lunch stop.

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Dan atop Sister Rock; Soda Peaks on the left.

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My shadow and Mt St Helens

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Closer view

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Mt Hood

The intermediate high point on the Sister Rocks spur provides an excellent view of Mt Adams.

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Mt Adams

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Returning to the main trail, we headed down hill, then back up to the views from Observation Peak of four tall volcanoes rising above the forested landscape.

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Mt St Helens, Mt Rainier, and Mt Adams from Observation Peak.

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Mt St Helens and the Mt Margaret backcountry

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Mt Rainier

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Mt Adams

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Mt Hood

As we departed Observation Peak I spotted what may be the last blooming aster of the year.

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Mirror Lake

The lake is at the base of Vista Point in Rooster Rock State Park. As we drive through the Columbia River Gorge on I-84 we sometimes see swans here in winter. This morning, no swans, but the fog was lifting poetically, so we stopped to look at the light.

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Knitting

Another dishcloth finished, and I frogged and am reknitting the front of the Ivy Lace Cardigan.

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Owl Point and Hoyt Arboretum, OR (18-45)

Owl and Alki Points and the Rockpile from Vista Ridge   October 12, 2018

This was our first hike on the Owl Point trail, which follows the northern edge of Vista Ridge and leads to views of the north side of Mt Hood and the Clear Branch valley below. Much of the lower elevation landscape was burned by the Dollar Lake Fire in 2011.

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The first views from the 0.3 mile trail junction display the luminous seed heads of abundant fireweed at the edge of the burn zone.

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Pearly everlasting and fireweed

The trail leads along the ridge, mostly through forest with a few viewpoint and meadow openings.

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A meadow

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Fungus along the trail

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Beargrass and huckleberry

The first major viewpoint along the trail is called The Rockpile:

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Approaching The Rockpile

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Dan at The Rockpile

We went on a short way to Owl Point where we had lunch and signed in at the trail register.

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Owl Point

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Dan at Owl Point

The next views are a panorama from northeast to south:

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Upper Hood RIver valley in the distance

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Laurance Lake

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Continuing south – Clear Branch Valley

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Lower flanks of Mt Hood and the Dollar Lake burn

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Mt Hood

Leaving Owl Point:

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Finally we went on to Alki Point which let us look north into Washington on this brilliant blue day.

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Alki Point – first Mt Rainier (behind Mt Defiance) and Mt Adams come into view.

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Farther out on the point, we can also see Mt St Helens.

On our return, we stopped at the 0.8 mile overlook with a better sun angle. The one yellow tree, possibly a larch, stood out in front of The Pinnacle in the grey foothills leading up to the mountain.

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Barrett Spur in front of Mt Hood

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Coe Glacier close up

We enjoyed this trail for great views of Mt Hood from a new aspect.

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Huckleberry foliage

5.4 miles. 800 feet.  (#56)

Hoyt Arboretum   October 14, 2018

We also took a three mile wander with our son along trails in Hoyt Arboretum in the west hills of Portland to see the fall colors. (#57)

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Aralia with birds eating the berries:

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Sassafras

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CRAFTING

I finished the Fiore Washcloth.

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Cloud Cap and Timberline Trail, Mt Hood, Oregon (18-37)

Eliot East Moraine and Timberline Trail High Point     8/31/18       (Hike#46)

We have hiked here a few times. This is our first time taking the Eliot East Moraine trail along the crest of the moraine.

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Once up the steep sandy ascent to the crest of the moraine, there is a fabulous view to the Eliot Glacier, and the glacial valley below, the entire way to the Cloud Cap Shelter.

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Mt Hood and the Eliot Glacier

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Looking east to the high desert

I enjoy zooming in on the textures, crevasses, and steep edges of the Eliot Glacier and the rocky exposed top of Mt Hood in late summer.

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The moraine trail joins the Timberline Trail near Cloud Cap Shelter:

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Approaching Cloud Cap Shelter.

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Cloud Cap Shelter; Cooper Spur and Mt Hood beyond.

After visiting the Cloud Cap Shelter we continued south on the Timberline trail, up and down the wrinkles of the mountains’ flank, to the 7300’ high point of the trail. Clouds intermittently floated across the top of Mt Hood. We could see the faraway peaks of Mt Adams, Rainier and Jefferson above the blanket of clouds in the distance.

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The only snowfield we crossed this year.

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North view to Mts Rainier and Adams

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South view to Mt Jefferson, Lamberson Butte and the Timberline Trail continuing south.

By the time we retraced our steps north, the clouds had diminished.

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Cloud Cap Shelter again.

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The high desert beyond the clouds

We saw a marmot on the Eliot Moraine, and a blue bird on the Timberline Trail.

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marmot

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blue bird on the rock, Mt Adams beyond

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Not many flowers.

The rusty, red and yellow fall hues are beginning to color the vegetation on the rocky alpine slopes.

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6 miles, 1600 feet.

Lookback:

I like to review my photos from previous hikes to compare conditions. There was a lot more snow during our hike a month earlier last year.

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Mt Hood from Timberline trail, August 31, 2018

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Mt Hood from Timberline trail, July 28, 2017

And a lot more flowers, and a better view of the distant mountains last year.

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August 31, 2018

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July 28, 2017 – lupine, Mt St Helens, Rainier and Adams

CRAFTING

I cast on another round washcloth, and I have been swatching the Song yarn, trying decide what to make with it.

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We walked through the Art In The Pearl street fair on Labor Day and admired the beautiful artwork. This piece, by artist Kathy Ross, I found especially inspiring.

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Kathy Ross, artist, Art in the Pearl, Portland, Oregon, September 2018

 

Fringed Grass of Parnassus at Burnt Lake, Mt Hood, OR (18-36)

Burnt Lake Trail.    8-24-2018        (hike#45)

The Burnt Lake Trail on the west side of Mt Hood leads through a quiet green shady forest that was ravaged by wildfires over a hundred years ago – offering an interesting historical perspective on the present day fires. The trail climbs at a gentle gradient for the first 2.5 miles through second growth forest along the Lost Creek drainage. Sounds of water are never far.

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Green understory foliage includes a plethora of plants with white blooming spring flowers (trillium, vanilla leaf, inside-out, bunchberry, Solomon seals, lilies, oxalis).

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Today we only see the pops of color that are seeds and berries.

After crossing Lost Creek we pass several giant burned out trees – remnants from the Victorian era fire that burned this forest.

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The last mile of the trail is steeper, and traverses many creeks and springs with a few flowers still blooming – though red berry clusters of Devils club are the most noticeable color along the trail today.

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Fireweed and cloudy horizon

 

We drop down into Burnt Lake basin and are awed by the mist rising from the lake and roiling about on its surface while we walk the half mile shoreline trail.

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Although the promised reflection of Mt Hood eludes us, the misty atmosphere creates its own moment of grace. We sit quietly for our lunch break and hear a few fish jump, watch the concentric ripples expand and interrupt the reflections and mist patterns.

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Fading pink spirea line the lake shore path that leads past a small bog near the inlet where we see, for the first time for me, a wildflower called the Fringed Grass of Parnassus.

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Cascade Fringed Grass of Parnassus

Such an elegant name – it has been on my watch list. The flower heads were much bigger than I imagined, and deserve a great name! The white petals are indeed fringed elaborately and glow in the light. I am glad to have finally seen this flower!

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8.3 miles/1600 feet.

CRAFTING:

I finished another tortilla dishcloth

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I added some cross stitched foliage to Jane Austen’s house.

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I am still trying to decided what to cast on next…

Smoky week in Portland / Return to Vista Ridge (18-35)

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Northward view from the Timberline Trail on Mt Hood. Mt St Helens, Mt Rainier and Mt Adams float above the gray smoke layer.

August 16, 2018

I mailed the baby and Welcome Blanket quilts while breathing wildfire smoke. While feeling a papery dry sand feeling in my mouth. While watching the blood red sun set though the haze.

Today there is an orange sky at noon. It is too hot to go outside, and there is an ashy taste on my tongue.

It’s wildfire season.

Smoke is disseminated through the atmosphere blotting out the sun, the views, and the cool air we are supposed to get from the ocean.

If this keeps up, if  global temperatures continue to rise, will we find out what it was like to be the dinosaurs when they died?

It was supposed to be a meteor, but there were also Deccan flood basalts, and/or a climate change with wild fires – all valid hypotheses and maybe all had a combined role…

Meanwhile, oppressive haze and heat keep me indoors instead of outside where I could be walking, hiking or gardening.

The air feels dusty and my lungs feel the burn –

It reminds me of the San Fernando Valley of my youth, before cars had smog devices, when we could hardly ever see the Santa Monica Mountains, or the San Gabriel Mountains, but on really bad days we couldn’t even see the Mission Hills.

Now we have fire season. Our beautiful forests burn and the smoke infiltrates our adjacent valleys, so even though we are not in the burn zone, we must breathe the smoke or alter our activities to avoid breathing outside. This is the second August in a row that has been the season of burning, of wildfires, of dreading the views of the torched landscape, not to mention the threat to lives and livelihood of those that live closer to or in the forest. Of knowing that the beautiful places that we hike into for recreation and healing are changed beyond recognition, and though they may return to green someday, they will not be a comforting place to go for years….

Return to Vista Ridge    8/17/18     (Hike # 44)

Speaking of burn zones – this is our sixth year hiking up Vista Ridge on Mt Hood.  Today the regional smoke and heat have decreased enough to allow us to go for a hike.

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Pearly everlasting and fireweed along the Vista Ridge trail.

Once again through the burn zone with fireweed and pearly everlasting, huckleberries, goldenrod and berries of Sitka mountain ash.

Once again through the meadows along the Timberline Trail, this time to the west, toward Ladd Creek.

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Mt Hood from the Timberline Trail near Wyeast Basin

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Close up of Coe and Ladd Glaciers

 

By the time we reached the Ladd crossing it was too late in the day, too deep to cross without wading.

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We stopped there for lunch then retraced our steps, back to the Wyeast basin with far reaching views of snow capped peaks floating above the smoke shroud that covers the Washington landscape.

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Clear Branch Creek in Wyeast Basin. Mts Rainier and Adams beyond.

Back down through fireweed in the burn zone, we say ‘Hi’ to a few ghost trees again, nibble the huckleberries, and make our way to the trailhead.

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My legs were feeling it today – I am getting back into shape, but still have a ways to go to recover my fitness. Photo note – many of the photos in this post were taken by my husband – I only had my cell phone with me.

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8 miles/1600 feet

Knitting

I finished the Cornwall socks!

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Elk and Summit Meadows, Mt Hood, Oregon, and ‘Tour de Craft’ (18-29)

Elk Meadows trail  7/13/18 (Hike #41)

We started this hike on a hot day. The shade of the forest didn’t really take the edge off and my “condition” has been affecting me this week.

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By the time we started up the eight long switchbacks, about a mile and a half into the hike, I realized I was never going to make it to the top of the hill. We decided to turn back. I had been hoping to see bog orchids and gentians, but I did see the mountain blue bells for the first time this year.

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Lots of other flowers along the way:

Meanwhile, we braved the log crossing on the Newton Creek twice.

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Here is a “real” cairn doing a cairn’s job – marking the trail to the log crossing.

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Zooming in on Mt Hood’s Newton/Clark Glacier:

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Today we only went 3.2 miles, 500 feet. Last year we made it all the way to Elk Meadows and saw all the flowers.

Summit Meadows

We stopped and poked around in this meadow off the Trillium Lake road on our way home. We have skied or snowshoed this road a few times,

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November 2017

and always wondered what the meadows would look like in summer.

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I think we are late for the bigger bloom, as the paintbrush were faded, but the pink spirea along the road were lovely.

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Paintbrush

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Aster

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Spirea

I zoomed in on Mt Hood for a closeup view of the ski area above Timberline Lodge.

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Tour de Craft

I have only dabbled in spinning, so can’t really participate in the Tour de Fleece, but I do love to watch the Tour de France – for the views of France, and the drama and the stunning athletic effort that goes into these races. We DVR the coverage, then watch/fast forward through in the evening while I knit or quilt.

I have made a lot of progress on my Welcome quilt – I was planning to whip it together quickly, but I keep getting new design ideas….but that is the point for me – to play with the fabrics till I am satisfied and have learned something new by trying something new. Fun.

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And I finished the first Cornwall sock and cast on the second.

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Garden

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Lookout Mountain hike (18-27)

Lookout Mountain, east of Mt Hood   June 30, 2018   (Hike#39)

Walking through High Prairie,

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Lots of purple shooting stars and yellow cinquefoil

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Heather

up a gentle grade through the forest to the ridge punctuated by red volcanic soil and a pinnacle.

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Views of Mt Hood all along the ridge:

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The top of Lookout Mountain comes into view:

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From the top, views as far south as Broken Top,

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Broken Top, North and Middle Sisters, Mt Washington, Mt Jefferson, Badger Lake, and a resident chipmunk.

and north to Mt Adams with lenticular clouds.

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Mt Adams

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Mt Adams

The eastern high desert:

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Plenty of flowers, but there will be more! based on our past visits. 3.9 miles/800 feet.

Crafting:

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Pinwheel quilt basted and ready for quilting.

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Jane Austen’s House emerging in cross stitch.

In the Garden: