Back to the sky/some sewing

8/31/2019 Cloud Cap/Timberline Trail High Point

We returned with friends to this same trail near Cooper Spur on Mt Hood that we hiked in July. Fewer flowers, less snow, still the sky, the swirling cloud cap, the views afar, the plans formulating to complete the Timberline Trail loop someday. Hike #42, 6 miles, 1650 feet.

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Once attaining the crest of the East Eliot Moraine, the Washington Cascade Peaks are on view to the north,

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and Mt Hood is ahead to the west.

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Low growing buckwheat, lupine and yarrow.

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Later in the day, clouds forming on the mountain, knotweed in the foreground showing fall colors already.

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My hiking companions resting near the Timberline Trail high point.

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And, almost back to the trailhead, high desert beyond.

Lookback: A couple of photos comparing snow levels with mid-July:

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View up the Eliot today, 8/31/2019.

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View up the Eliot seven weeks ago, July 12, 2019

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View to the south, toward Lamberson Butte and the Timberline Trail crossings, today.

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Similar view seven weeks ago.

Some sewing

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Two pairs of sleep shorts.

And a random Portlandia street art scene:

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Someone turned on the waterfall! June Lake and Chocolate Falls, Mt St Helens, July 4th, 2019

We went with good friends to the June Lake Trail northeast of Cougar, Washington, on the south side of Mt St Helens. Image 7-4-19 at 10.33 PMThe walk to the lake is easy, with flowers blooming along the way, and magical mirror reflections at the lake.

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June Lake

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Mirror reflections

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View to the waterfall across the lake.

In February 2016 we snowshoed to this spot – a couple of comparison look back views:

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June Lake and waterfall, July 4, 2019

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June Lake and waterfall, February 20, 2016

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July 2019

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February 2016

Today we continued beyond June Lake, up a steep ridge, to the Loowit (around the mountain) Trail, and walked east for a ways.

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Beargrass blooming at the edge of a lava flow along the trail.

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Large trees

We turned back west to visit the elusive Chocolate Falls. Our well traveled companion had never ‘seen’ the waterfall, although he had been there a few times. We arrived at the horseshoe shaped cliff, but there was no waterfall.

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Dry lip of Chocolate Falls, 2:44 pm.

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The waterfall is now “on”, 2:46 pm.

Then some nearby hikers noticed water beginning to flow in the channel above the cliff, and lo and behold, a couple of minutes later, water was plunging over the cliff through a well-worn, polished slot in the cliff edge.

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Looking upstream at the channel.

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Narrow but steady stream of Chocolate Falls

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Looking down at the polished slot at the lip of Chocolate Falls.

The snow fields on the mountain above had warmed enough to send fresh meltwater down the channel. Apparently this is a documented phenomenon here. To us it was a surprise, like a rainbow or a special wildlife sighting – a serendipitous moment of grace and beauty.

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Mt St Helens remained slightly cloud covered, with partial views. The temperature was perfect. Our plan to take the loop trail back to June Lake for the return hike also offered a ‘surprise’. This connector trail is really only a good option in the winter, on snowshoes or skis, when the lava flow boulderfields are snow covered. It took us almost an hour to navigate the half mile connecting trail, and we were very happy not to have twisted an ankle or knee in the process.

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Picking our way across the lava flow.

The unexpected elements, the waterfall and the boulder field, added to our adventures on a day suited to celebrating our nation’s commitment to protecting our wilderness areas! (Hike #30, 7.5 miles, 1500 feet)

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Mt St Helens from the south.

New or notable wildflowers today:

Knitting:

I have seamed and added the top edging to Le Petit Sac, and knit the icord strap.

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Wahkeena-Multnomah Loop After the Fire – A Glorious Wildflower Explosion Amidst the Blackened Trees…

June 6, 2019  – Wahkeena-Multnomah Falls Loop

This area was burned by the Eagle Creek Fire of September 2017. The trails above the waterfalls were closed for over a year, then have been reopened and closed periodically since fall 2018. Instability along the trail, falling trees and sliding slopes have been valiantly repaired by our intrepid trail keepers. The trails were open today. We hiked up Wahkeena Creek and down Multnomah Creek. Much of the understory removed by fire has returned as lush greenery. It was a beautiful hike on a beautiful day, and there were sooo many flowers!!! Of course, by the time we circled back around to Multnomah Falls there were also sooo many people, but most don’t  go above the Benson Bridge. I enjoyed my first foray back onto these trails. (Hike #26 for 2019, 5 miles, 1600 feet)

Wahkeena Trail

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Approaching Multnomah Falls from the parking area.

We started by climbing past Wahkeena Falls, and up several hanging garden switchbacks to  Lemmons Viewpoint:

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Tiger lily blooming near the viewpoint.

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View across the Columbia River

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View upriver to Beacon Rock

The trail continues up Wahkeena Creek beyond Fairy Falls and onto the ridge between the drainages:

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Fairy Falls

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Millions of candy flowers line the burned forest floor.

The next section of trail, along the upper ridgecrest, has always felt very special to me – a quiet flat trail in the deep forest, high on a steep ridge above the river – immensely peaceful and idyllic. My first time through after the fire was trepidatious, but the trail retains it’s magical quality. Despite the scorched trees and more open view, the feeling of peace remains. These trees will all come down at someday. Today I marvel at the explosion of flowers the extra sunlight has nurtured.

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A couple of comparisons from a June 2014 Hike:

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2019

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2014

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2019

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View downslope to the river.

From here, the trail crosses a couple of flowery drainages before heading down to Multnomah Creek:

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Larkspur ahead!

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Arnica and columbine

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Arnica, bleeding heart

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Columbine, iris, bleeding heart

Multnomah Creek

The trail passes several waterfalls along Multnomah Creek:

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New sign, burned sign

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Multnomah Creek

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Flower lined trail

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Monkey and candy flowers

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Ecola Falls

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Wiesendanger Falls

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Dutchman Falls

A side spur leads out to the viewpoint at the top of Multnomah Falls (where the crowds of people begin):

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The top of falls viewpoint

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Looking straight down the falls

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View of the parking area, river and beyond

A dozen or so paved switchbacks lead down to the trailhead. Lots of people and flowers along the way:

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Rebuilt rock wall along the trail

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Burned trail post

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Approaching the Benson Bridge

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Looking down to the view plaza from the bridge

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Multnomah Falls from the view plaza

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Looking back from the approach area

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Burned trees along the ridgeline

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Trailmap

More flowers:

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

 

 

Return to Angel’s Rest (18-53)

Angel’s Rest Trail, Oregon   November 24, 2018

A few trails in the Columbia River Gorge that have been closed since the September 2017 Eagle Creek Fire were reopened for the first time this past weekend. We went to Angel’s Rest on Saturday morning, along with hundreds of other local hikers. It was with care, scrutiny, appreciation, and gratitude that we made our way up 1500 feet to the iconic views over the gorge. The trail was in great shape, thanks to the many trail keepers who have worked on recovery.

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Into the woods

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Views of Cape Horn, the Columbia River and Phoca Rock emerge on the lower trail.

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Coopey Falls

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Angel’s Rest – our destination.

The trail begins to switchback up the front of Angel’s Rest.

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Burned tree trunks and open views line the trail.

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First view west toward the trailhead.

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Well repaired trail surface next to blackened trees.

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Blackened stump.

Nearing the top, the views unfold:

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To the west, from near the top.

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The Hilary Step of Angel’s Rest – leads to the ridge crest. Sometimes there is a line of hikers waiting to go up or down.

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From the top, looking toward the overlook where many rest.

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Open view west – toward Portland, Cape Horn in Washington and Phoca Rock.

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Open view east – toward Hamilton Mountain in Washington.

We wandered around on top for a while, admiring the view from various perspectives, and found a place to eat lunch.

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Closer view of Cape Horn in Washington.

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The bench is still there.

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We saw a single blooming white yarrow near our lunch stop.

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Yarrow

We headed down, stopping for a few more views along the way.

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Looking back toward the top, where the first views are seen.

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My shadow in the low November light.

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My favorite sculpted shoreline of the Columbia River.

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View through the rock piles.

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Seasonal berries

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Trees that are burned, dying, no longer evergreen.

Looking back as we hiked down:

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Where we were – and much more visible with all the undergrowth burned away.

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White berries lined this part of the trail – not sure what they are – possible snowberries, or the dreaded poison oak.

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Golden Hike of the year, #62, 5.2 miles, 1500 feet.

Look back:

I found a couple of comparison photos from previous hikes – this one in January of 2013:

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January 2013 – the white tree trunks are left from a fire in 1991.

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November 2018 – the white trunks are blackened, and the green trees are now dying.

A closer view:

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January 2013

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November 2018

An image taken in 2017 from Cape Horn looking over to today’s hike to Angel’s Rest.

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Angel’s Rest, October 2017, From Cape Horn, WA.

Pumpkin Pie

A lovely Thanksgiving dinner with a small gathering of family and friends.

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Knitting

Another round cloth. Some new sock and hat yarn acquired from my LYS on Black Friday.

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Jane Austen House Cross Stitch

I have been rather obsessively cross stitching in the evenings.

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Neighborhood

Leaves fully gone from the flame ash tree.

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Other Adventures

It has been about a year since I was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor. I had another trip through the MRI this week to evaluate the tumor surgery site, accompanied by a Joni Mitchell soundtrack in my head this time. Fortunately, all appears well. And I could see all three mountains from the OHSU tram view patio.

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Mt St Helens on the left; the top of Mt Adams just right of center on the horizon. Tillikum Bridge over the Willamette River on the right.

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Tillikum Bridge on the left; Mt Hood on the horizon – looking east from the OHSU tram patio.

Coyote Wall, WA (18-49)

As we drove toward Hood River to cross the bridge to the Washington side of the gorge, we noticed fire burning high on the slopes above White Salmon. We realized it must be a controlled/slash burn, not a wildfire, thankfully.

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Little Moab and Old Ranch Road Trails, November 3, 2018 (#60)

We walked up Coyote Wall about half way on an overcast day.

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Walking along Old Highway 8 to the trail up Coyote Wall.

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First view to the east – a different perspective on the fruit orchards east of Mosier from our Catherine Creek hike last week.

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Approaching one of the viewpoints over Coyote Wall on the Little Moab Trail.

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Looking over the wall and up. The sky is a bit smoky from the fire above White Salmon, just over the hill.

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We begin to see the shoulders of Mt Hood under clouds to the south.

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Junction of Little Moab and Old Ranch Road trails. We are headed up.

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Lunchtime view to the east

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Lunchtime view to the south

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Lunchtime view up Coyote Wall

We decided to head down, as the wind was picking up and blowing more smoke toward us. 4.3 miles, 1000 feet for the day.

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Looking back up to where we had been on Coyote Wall from the trail head.

Lookback:

Comparing fall and spring views:

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View to the east, October 2018

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April 2017

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View toward Mt Hood, October 2018

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April 2017

Knitting

I am blocking the Ivy Cardigan, and I finished another round dishcloth.

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Neighborhood

The fall colors have been a pleasure to walk through – my camera can’t quite catch them and yet I try.

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Some quilting! and Chinidere Mtn hike (18-26)

Quilting!

I started the Pinwheel Baby Quilt I am making for an expected family member.

Chinidere Mountain    6/22/2018     (Hike#38)

This trail starts at Wahtum Lake, on the upper end of the Eagle Creek fire zone. The area has been off limits since last September, but this particular trail recently reopened to public use. Connecting trails down Eagle Creek are still closed.

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6 miles/1200 feet

The trail immediately descends down 250 steps to Wahtum Lake.

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From the shore we can just see the rocky promontory that we are hiking to – Chinidere Mountain.

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(Photo taken on the return trip after the fog had lifted)

We continued on the Pacific Crest Trail around the east side of the lake, through an area with several hanging gardens and lots of flowers.  The Chinidere cutoff at about 2.5 miles switchbacks up the side of this rocky promontory that stands above the forest. When we arrived, the top was still covered in fog and a cold wind swept the spine of the mountain.

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Approaching the top

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Cliff penstemon

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Summit

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Flowers, fog, wind

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Mt Hood beyond the clouds

Just 10 feet away we could sit comfortably in the windless sunshine and enjoy our lunch, hoping for the clouds on Mt Hood to lift.

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Wahtum Lake from the summit

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Wahtum Lake after the clouds lifted

Below us to the north, we could see the mosaic burn of the upper part of the Eagle Creek fire.

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Brown areas burned by the Eagle Creek Fire

As we headed down the trail we walked out onto the ridge viewpoints to admire the wildflowers growing in the sunny rocky meadows and watched the clouds blow across Mt Hood.

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Lots of wildflowers today – lovely.

 

By the time we drove down the road the mountain was free and clear!

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Lookback:

On a clear day we could see all the volcanoes, north and south, from the top of Chinidere Mt.

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June 2016 – Mt Hood and Mt Jefferson

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June 2015 – Mt St Helens, Mt Rainier and Mt Adams

 

 

Spring Flowers, Mitchell Point, Oregon (18-13)

Mitchell Point trail          3/31/2018                       (#13)

Mitchell Point is a steep promontory east of the burn area and west of Hood River on the Oregon side of the Columbia RIver Gorge. It has been closed since the fire last fall, but has recently reopened. We took this short, steep hike (3 miles/1300 feet) to both upper and lower points.   Oaks toothwort, Oregon grape and red currant were blooming along the lower trail.

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View of Mitchell Point from the trailhead

 

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red currant

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Oregon grape

After crossing the rocky scree slope I found one trillium, my first of the season, in the upper wooded trail on the way up.  

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Hounds tongue and glacier lilies were blooming in the upper saddle and power line corridor.

 

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hounds tongue

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glacier lilies

At the top we enjoyed the steep hillside meadows full of gold stars, grass widows, prairie stars, yellow and white parsleys, slender phlox, blue eyed Mary, popcorn flower, filaree, and saxifrages.

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yellow parsley, prairie stars,

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grass widows, yellow bells, salt and pepper

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lots of gold stars

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phlox, blue eyed Mary, grass widows

The upper trail traverses the spine of the ridge, with great views in every direction along the Columbia River. We stopped for lunch on the rocky crest.

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Yellow meadows near the top

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West view from the top

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North view

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East view, with saxifrage

On the way down, I found two fairy slipper orchids in the upper wooded trail area where I remembered them being abundant the last time we were here in April of 2015.  

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fairy slipper

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douglas fir

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saxifrages

We crossed the rocky scree field again.

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Trail across the scree slope

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Looking directly up at Mitchell Point, where we ate lunch

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NW view

We then took the spur trail to the lower point, and found another grassy and flowered meadow, and also some blooming larkspur and a good view of where we had been. We missed this trail the last time we were here.

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Mitchell Point from the Spur Trail

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The grassy slope of lower Mitchell Point

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View across the river and meadow flowers

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Looking east

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Looking back up at Mitchell Point

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Closer view of the top

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Balsamroot

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Tomcat clover

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Larkspur, gold stars

Lookback:

In midApril of 2015, the tiny meadow flowers were past bloom, but the balsam root was in full flower. Since one can’t be everywhere at once, it is a joy to see each location in a different season of bloom.

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March 2018

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April 2015

Easter eggs

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Garden

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Tulips

Weldon Wagon Road (18-12)

Weldon Wagon Road trail     3-25-2018      (#12)

Early flowers were out  along this trail through the oak woodlands and open slopes in southwest Washington above the White Salmon River near Husum. This was my most elevation gained so far as I recover (4.5 miles/1300 foot rise), and I felt good. Progress!

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Lower trail through oak woodlands

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Views to the open slopes ahead.

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A seat with a view at the halfway point

Last spring,  the exposed upper slopes were a bright green and yellow balsam root meadow. Today we saw just one plant blooming along the trail,

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and otherwise, the meadows and woodlands were still waking up, sprinkled with grass widows, buttercups, a few prairie stars, toothwort, yellow bells, blue eyed Mary, and Columbia Desert Parsley.

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Heading down in the afternoon

LOOKBACK: to May 2017 when the balsam root was in bloom-

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May 2017

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May 2017

Knitting

Another scrappy tortilla washcloth for the 2018 stack:

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I reknit the toes of the socks I finished last week so that the stripes would match.

Elgol Cross Stitch update

I have been filling in the foreground with shadows and light – mostly pinks:

Cross stitch depicting the view from Elgol on the Isle of Skye.

Blooming in the garden

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Tulips opening

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Euphorbia

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Shadows on a neighborhood stair

 

Rooster Rock and Memaloose Hills (18-11)

Rooster Rock      3/15/2018       (#10)

We took a short afternoon to explore the trails at Rooster Rock State Park. To the east, the beach trail gives views of Sand Island and the burned skylines in the gorge.

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Looking east toward Sand Island and the beach trail

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Sand Island

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Burned Angel’s Rest and trees along the skyline

To the west we hiked to a close view of Rooster Rock. This park is very popular in the summer, but quiet today in the off season. (3 miles).

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To the west

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To the east

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The waterfall above Hidden Lake

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A robin

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Looking east, Rooster Rock

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Reflections

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Rooster rock

Memaloose Hills       3/18/2017      (#11)

This is the earliest we have hiked this April-May wildflower eden between Mosier and Rowena in the eastern gorge.

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Pinnacles along the lower trail between I-84 and Rt 30

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Grass widows, gold stars, and a view across the Columbia River toward the labyrinth.

From the ledge above the lower trail one can look over to a cliff that hosts a great blue heron rookery. We only saw a few birds here today (grey spots), but in a previous year there were countless herons on this cliff.

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Look for the grey blobs on the green slope near the top of the cliff

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From the Hwy 30 Memaloose viewpoint one can look directly across the river at Catherine Creek in Washington.

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It was interesting to see the early season flowers – gold stars, yellow bells, glacier lilies, early buttercups, Columbia desert parsley, and a few others.

We hiked up a nearly barren Chatfield Hill, with extensive views at the top.

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Hiking up

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View to the west from the top

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To the north and east

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To the east, Tom McCall Point and Columbia desert parsley

Since the full flower bloom was not out, we returned by the loop through the oak woodlands on the north side of Chatfield Hill. DSC01798

I hope the next time we take this hike it will be in full wildflower glory: a view from today compared with April 2015.

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March 2018

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April 2015

4 miles/800 feet.

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Quilting

I spent a day photographing 13 of my quilts, and adding labels where omitted. I am getting closer to writing the stories of these quilts, which is why I actually started this blog!

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Knitting

I finished the Strong Heel Socks, though I plan to reknit the toe where the knot in the yarn interupted the stripe sequence.

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And in the garden:

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Star magnolia

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