Tag Archives: Dog Mountain

Hiking Dog Mountain! First major post-injury hike!

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Hiking Dog Mountain!  First major post-injury hike!

Sunday, 11-June-2017

 

I hiked Dog Mountain with a dog!

This was a pretty brutal hike, I won’t lie.  In retrospect, probably a little too brutal for my poor healing knee.  But there was no permanent damage, and it gave me an excuse to chill and relax for a few days afterwards, to recover, so I won’t complain.

What were the vital statistics, you might ask?  Well.  I’ve got you covered:

Length: ~8 miles.  Websites say anywhere from 6 to 7.5… but let me tell you.  I’ve got the GPS track to prove it.  They lie.

Elevation: 2800 ft.  This one… pretty accurate.  It was rough.

Beauty: tons-a-pretty

The hike was awesome, even with the toughness in mind.

Sarah had been watching Instagram, keeping tabs on the status of the meadows at the top of the mountain.  Because, if you haven’t heard, the meadows at the top of Dog Mountain are why you hike it, and why June is the ideal time to hike.  Why?  Well, in June the wildflowers bloom.

 

We started up the trailhead at 6:30 in the morning, just after sunrise.  It was cold, and bleak, and we were a little sleepy from the drive from Portland.  I was cranky, because one of my breakfast protein bars had vanished.  Seriously.  I still haven’t found it.  Ollie says she didn’t eat it… but I know the truth.

The walk up was pretty solid – Sarah and I chatted, Ollie ran, and we made it to the summit meadows by 11:00 or so.  Just in time for the sun to finish burning off most of the clouds, and for the flowers to come into full bloom.

 

A bit of lunch refreshed us – doubly so, since Sarah had packed a surprise block of cheese and log of summer sausage.

 

Then down the mountain we went, passing by the massive throngs of Portlanders who were making the pilgrimage to the Instagram capital of the area.  Seriously… we saw so many people posing, re-taking, and battering their photo buttons.  I mean, that’s kind of awesome, since it means people are going outside and getting into nature.  But still – it’s fun to watch people repeatedly posing, trying for the perfect shot.

The hike down was the hardest part… arguably one of the toughest trips since my accident.  The first few miles were fine, but once we got to the last mile and a half, the elevation really started getting to me.  Sarah and Ollie held true, and stopped with me every few hundred yards.  My trekking poles took the brunt of the battle, and slowly but surely we made our way back to the car.

31-May-2016, A second hike of the weekend – Dog Mountain!

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31-May-2016, A second hike of the weekend – Dog Mountain!

Monday, 31-May-2016 (Memorial Day)

 

What’s the best way to celebrate Memorial Day?  How about doing a long hike with a heavy pack?  Especially a day after doing an even longer hike, but with a much lighter pack.

 

Yeah, I think that’s a slightly nuts way to spend Memorial Day too… but what can I say? I’m slightly nuts.

I didn’t get up early, as one should expect from me, but I did get up and get myself moving. I loaded my pack with a standard kit… not light, but not excessive or training weight or anything. Just enough to keep it interesting, you know?

 

Then a drive, a hunt for a parking spot. A short walk from the spot I finally found, and the start of the trail.

Soon enough, a test appeared.  A split, with one arrow pointing toward the “less difficult” section, and another one pointing toward a “more difficult” section.  Obviously I took the more difficult… I figured that I’d do it as a loop, and that tackling the more difficult section first would make life a bit simpler… right?

Meh, I can’t say much toward ascending the less difficult side, but the more difficult one wasn’t anything special.  The hard part was (opposite to most Gorge trails) near the end, after the two reconvened.  That part was steep.  But the payoff was worth it… Wildflowers!  

 

The trail dumped me into a steep meadow, going as far as the eye could see… even onto some of the other peaks and ridge lines in the distance.

It. Was. Glorious!

 

So I rested up top, read a bit (until the bugs got too much), and headed down the “less difficult” section.  Really… the pictures here are the story.  Not the writing.  So enjoy!