First Columbia River Gorge hike in a while, another hike on the Wildwood Trail, some knitting, and neighborhood views

June 2, 2020 – Phlox Point, Beacon Rock State Park, WA

A quiet Tuesday. We met only a few other hikers on trails that are mostly wide equestrian trails until they switchback up Hardy Ridge. Lower slopes are shady forest, with shady forest blooms. We passed a few sunny open areas before reaching the rocky ridge crest with the wide angle view of the Columbia River Gorge that we have been missing these last few months of pandemic-closed trails. A mile north along the ridge are the rocky ledges of Phlox Point. I was very tired by the return, but happy to be able to hike here again. Hike #44, 8.5 miles, 2200 feet.

DSC01246

The wide angle view – Mt Adams, Table Mountain, Columbia River Gorge, Bonneville Dam, Hamilton Mountain, Mt Hood.

DSC01206

Hardy Ridge Crest intersection

DSC01220

Lunch view of a raven and Mt Hood.

DSC01231

Heading north along the ridge to Phlox Point.

DSC01242

Phlox, paintbrush, and parsley on the way up Phlox Point.

DSC01254

Hamilton Mountain, Mt Hood

DSC01250

Mt Adams

DSC01258

Northern Phlox Point ridges and view.

DSC01256

Some of the wildflowers:

June 10, Wildwood Trail again…

Today we hiked from the Springville/Trillium Trailhead on the Wildwood Trail, east to the detour at the Cleator Trail, and then back. We will have to skip the next mile of Wildwood Trail that is closed for repair. We have now completed approximately half of the 30 mile trail on our five pandemic Wildwood hikes. – Hike #45, 7.6 miles, 615 feet.

DSC01300

On the Wildwood Trail…

DSC01297

Salmon berries getting ripe…

DSC01316

A bridge

DSC01320

Green!

Knitting

Mitts and a new sock:

DSC01336IMG_0962

Neighborhood

IMG_0943

Another tethered horse.

IMG_0944

Interesting concrete

IMG_0941

Low light

IMG_0950

A colorful garden

A Black Lives Matter march appeared in our neighborhood. We were able to catch the tail end and join for a short distance, masked and separated, of course.

IMG_0956IMG_0957

 

Yellow bells at Tom McCall Point, knitting progress, and neighborhood sights

Tom McCall Point, March 18, 2020

DSC00541

Tom McCall Point, seen from near the trailhead.

We got to see the mid-March wildflower suite. Yellow Bells were sprinkled through the meadows at every elevation. I have never seen so many anywhere!

DSC00575

Yellow bells on the lower plateau, Mt Adams beyond.

DSC00588

More yellow bells, midway to the top.

DSC00618

Yellow bells and an early balsam root near the summit.

DSC00630

Compact early blooms of the purple Columbia desert parsley line my favorite trail segment that I call Parsley Alley.

DSC00633

Columbia desert parsley

DSC00606

There is a new geology sign at the summit!

DSC00620

Gold stars were sprinkled in some of the sunny spots.

More flowers along the trail:

DSC00640

Looking eastward toward Rowena as we return to the trailhead.

Hike # 33, 4.3 miles, 1300 feet.   We had no trouble keeping our distance from the few other hikers on the trail, and so far, we are still encouraged to get outside as long as we can keep our distance.

Knitting progress:

I finished the Geology Shawl.

IMG_0477

Geology shawl, pattern by Very Busy Monkey, Malabrigo Mechita, Ninfas colorway.

IMG_0496

I have been knitting the sleeves on my Meris sweater, put away since before our New Zealand trip.

IMG_0499

I cast on 390 stitches for the Which Came First shawl, using the Malabrigo Mechita Piedras that my daughter picked out.

Noticed while walking in my neighborhood:

New blooms:

IMG_0480

tulips

IMG_0483

anemone

IMG_0489

A camelia left in a hedge

New growth:

IMG_0495IMG_0491

IMG_0494

Tree trunk

A secret message, and interesting sidewalk cracks and patches:

IMG_0492IMG_0493IMG_0490

 

First Trilliums of spring

March 2020

On two hikes last week we saw the first trilliums of spring. I also went on the Rose City Yarn Crawl with knitting friends, and to the Portland Art Museum to see the exhibition in honor of the 40th anniversary of the eruption of Mt St Helens.

Tryon Creek State Park, March 4, 2020

Hike #30 of 2020, 3 miles, 400 feet.

DSC00293

Early trillium blooms scattered on the forest floor.

DSC00270

Trillium

DSC00282

Trillium buds unfurling

Other early flowers in the forest:

DSC00269

Indian plum

DSC00301

Skunk cabbage

DSC00307

Oregon grape

DSC00299

Salmon berry

DSC00309

Poetry in the park.

Angel’s Rest, March 9, 2020

Hike #31, 5 miles, 1500 feet.

DSC00395

Trillium and oak’s toothwort on the Angel’s Rest trail.

DSC00375

Trillium blooms on the forest floor.

We were treated to the usual stunning views from the top of Angel’s Rest on this sunny, calm day:

DSC00393

West toward Portland.

DSC00392

North to Silver Star Mountain.

DSC00385

East up the Columbia River.

Knitting

DSC00374

Buttons from Twisted and Close Knit in Portland, and Blizzard in Vancouver.

Portland Art Museum: Volcano! Mount St. Helens in Art

This exhibit marking the 40th anniversary of the Mt St Helen’s eruption is multifaceted – videos, photography, and paintings, depicting the mountain before and after the eruption. We did not live in the area at the time, but have hiked around the mountain often in the past ten years. My favorite paintings were these two vibrant depictions of the eruption:

Meanwhile, in Portland…

Back in Portland after our trip to New Zealand, we were greeted by blooming daffodils, hyacinths and wind flowers.

Catherine Creek hike, February  27, 2020

We went to Catherine Creek in the eastern Columbia River Gorge to see what early blooming spring flowers were still on view. We lucked upon a windless, blue sky day, with Mt Hood reflected in the Columbia River. DSC00152Grass widows were waning, desert parsleys, gold stars, yellow bells and buttercups were emerging.

We hiked the lower paved loop, then the upper Bitterroot Trail above the fairy ponds all the way up Sunflower Hill to Atwood Road. We walked down the connector trail to Rowland Wall, for the first time.

DSC00248

Trail connection to Rowland Wall

DSC00249

DSC00255

Going down Rowland Wall.

We still want to try the inside out switchback on the upper Shoestring Trail that we missed last time. I love that there are so many trails to follow in this area, and that each visit during the next couple of months will present a different wildflower suite.

Image 2-27-20 at 9.33 PM

Hike #29, 5.5 miles, 1300 feet.

Knitting

I knit a small amount while in New Zealand.

DSC00267

Geology shawl, and my current traveling socks.

Hamilton Mountain, WA, and first knit socks of 2020

January 3, 2020 – Our first hike of the New Year was to Hamilton Mountain in Beacon Rock State Park on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge. We’ve been many times, usually to see the cliffs become hanging gardens in the spring. Today we had perfect winter hiking conditions – not too cold, a bit muddy, full waterfalls, clear views from the top.

DSC05264

The first summit of Hamilton Mountain, as seen from the power line cut on the lower trail.

DSC05296

Approaching the upper cliffs, eastern gorge beyond.

DSC05301

Bonneville Dam, with Mt Hood appearing to the south.

DSC05315

First view from the summit- Mt Adams glowing in winter white beyond Table Mountain.

DSC05317

Wide view from the summit.

DSC05324

Mt Hood to the south, in low winter light.

After lunch at the summit we continued the trail to the northern saddle/plateau –

DSC05334

A last look back at Mt Hood.

DSC05344

Western gorge, filling with mist and a painterly sky.

DSC05332

Columbian lewisia foliage in the saddle.

DSC05351

Crossing over a very full Rodney Falls on the return hike.

Hike #1 for 2020, 8.2 miles, 2250 feet.

Knitting

IMG_0266

First knit finish in 2020 – traveling socks that I started last May.

Christmas Eve at Dry Creek Falls, and knitted ornaments

December 24, 2019, Cascade Locks, Oregon

A foggy day – a good time to head into the forest. The trailhead park at the Bridge of the Gods was decorated for the holidays. We hiked in the other direction, south on the Pacific Crest Trail, and up hill away from the Columbia River. It is about 2.5 miles to this lovely waterfall that pours over a columnar basalt cliff. We had it to ourselves for lunch and a photo session. Then back down the trail, back to town, to finish up some elf work.

DSC05200

Bridge of the Gods trailhead

DSC05203

DSC05167

Into the foggy forest that is scarred by the 2017 fire.

DSC05170

Dry Creek just below the waterfall.

DSC05191

Dry Creek Falls

DSC05177

Closer views:

DSC05188DSC05180DSC05196

IMG_0176

Still foggy on the cliffs as we drive home.

IMG_0174

Hike #58, 5.5 miles, 1050 feet

Back home, I baked a few cookies, wrapped a few presents, and constantly rechecked the airline website as our daughter’s flight from DC was on a long delay. She eventually arrived about 1 am. Her visit for the week is the best present!

Knitted ornaments

DSC05207

I made a little acorn for my friend’s tree – a last minute project. I collected the acorn caps last year after seeing some knitted acorns on Ravelry. It was a very quick project, using a bit of scrap yarn.

DSC05213

A knitting group friend gave us all ornaments that were knitted by a mouse.

 

Up the Labyrinth and down Coyote Wall in fog and sun

12/13/2019  Coyote Wall, Washington

Once again we drive through the foggy, rainy Columbia River Gorge to the east side of the Cascade Mountains…

IMG_0119

Rainbow over White Salmon, from the Hood River Bridge.

Once again, we walk along Old Highway 8, parallel to the Columbia River…

DSC05058

Look Lake reflections.

DSC05063

Columbia River, Oregon beyond.

DSC05061

Geese on those rocks above the river.

Once again we hike up the winding trails of The Labyrinth, through layers of shifting fog.

DSC05064

Red Oregon grape along the trail.

DSC05067

Labyrinth waterfall

DSC05075

Fog ahead

DSC05078

My favorite oak grove

DSC05082

The sun is trying

DSC05084

Mt Hood’s flattish top peaking in and out at us as we go higher.

DSC05089DSC05095

DSC05085

Our favorite landmark tree viewpoint – one moment in the fog, 

DSC05096

then clear skies for a while.

Once again we hike higher, then across Atwood Road to the sudden cliff edge of Coyote Wall.

DSC05114

Cliffs of Coyote Wall are just beyond the oak tree

DSC05124

Coyote Wall, Look Lake, Columbia River.

DSC05115

Looking north to the upper slopes of Coyote Wall.

DSC05125

Eastern Columbia River Gorge.

Once again we hike down the ankle breaking bike trails, one called the Crybaby trail, while the fog layers shift and disperse.

DSC05141

East view from Old Ranch Road

DSC05142

Looking back up the wall, fog descending again.

DSC05145

Summer parsley.

DSC05152

Looking East toward the Rowena orchards.

DSC05161

Almost back to the Coyote Wall trailhead.

(Hike #57, 7 miles, 1500 feet)

Knitting…

IMG_0164

Button bands on the Meris cardigan done; and about two thirds of a Rafa Hat.

Reflections and birds at Steigerwald Lake, WA

11/23/2019

This is the place we go to see upside down trees that don’t exist except as reflected imagery in water.

DSC04768

Mt Hood beyond the lake.

DSC04775DSC04780DSC04781DSC04826DSC04835DSC04837DSC04840DSC04848

And birds. We enjoy spotting them in their home, though we are not true ‘birders’.

DSC04805

Northern Harrier

DSC04810

We saw this Great Blue Heron several times from different vantage points:

DSC04761

DSC04830

Hiding in plain sight. I didn’t notice the heron in the middle of the picture until I was looking at my photos later.

DSC04849

DSC04855

Green Heron

DSC04744

Egret

Steigerwald Lake Wildlife Refuge is in the early stages of a major overhaul. Dikes to the Columbia River will be breached, the lake will be enlarged, and wild salmon will return to the streams in the surrounding hills. Trails will be rerouted. Today we see early work – large logs have been placed to provide underwater wildlife habitat throughout the area that will become the enlarged lake.

DSC04740DSC04863

Hike #54, 3.8 miles

Knitting, etc

Cold front in Portland this week, Thanksgiving supplies are in – I am chopping and baking and decorating for a small gathering.

IMG_0079

One pair of sock toes mended so far.

IMG_0083

Chocolate silk pie!

Two Columbia Gorge Hikes and more witches in PDX

Tom McCall Point 10/21/2019

Beautiful fall colors on a trail we usually hike during spring wildflower season.  Hike #48, 4 miles, 1050 feet. A few comparison photos:

We are going to the top of Tom McCall Point:

DSC04312

October 2019

DSC03720

May 2017

Looking west toward the Memaloose Hills from the trail:

DSC04377

October 2019

DSC02846

April 2016

Looking northeast across the Columbia River to the Lyle Cherry Orchard where we hiked last week:

DSC04338

October 2019

DSC03607

April 2019

Oak trees:

DSC04330

October 2019

DSC03618

April 2019

And a few lingering  fall wildflowers:

Angel’s Rest 10/24/2019

Another favorite hike with outstanding views! Hike #49, 5 miles, 1500 feet.

DSC04400

Coopey Falls

DSC04402

Fall reflections in Coopey Creek

DSC04405

DSC04408

Angel’s Rest –  our destination.

DSC04412

DSC04428

Eastward view of the Columbia River; Mt Adams peeking above the Washington Gorge topography.

DSC04417

Closer view of Mt Adams.

DSC04429

Western view of the Columbia River.

DSC04430

Trees in the burn zone – 2017 Gorge Fire.

DSC04437

Heading down on a beautiful fall day.

Neighborhood walk and more witches!

IMG_0351

First fall for this new black tupelo

IMG_0274IMG_0291IMG_0326

IMG_0276

Hiking to Lyle Cherry Orchard, WA, and knitting a peach

October 11, 2019 – Green vegetation of summer transitioning to autumn hues: golden grass, yellow big leaf maples, orange oak, and the luring leering red of poison oak against the black cliffs. The ‘Cherry Orchard’ consists of a few ancient snags at the far end of the trail on top of the cliffs….the rewards are the blue sky and river views from the cliffs. (Hike#47, 6.3 miles, 1300 feet)

View of the cliff tops from the Convict Road.

Convict Road below us now.

Big leaf maple

Oak

Acorns on the trail.

Poison oak

Lots of poison oak all the way up…

Lunch view toward Lyle from the cliff top.

One of the remaining cherry trees.

End of the trail – west toward Rowena.

End of the trail, east toward The Dalles.

Almost back to the trailhead.

Knitting

I interrupted my other projects to knit a peach from the pattern Peached by Hunter Hammersen – who is donating the proceeds to RAICES and The Southern Poverty Law Center in aid of immigrants. I sent it to my daughter in her birthday package.

Meanwhile, I have made progress on a cardigan and a cowl.

Meris Cardigan

Spiral Cowl