Saturday and Sunday, 29 & 30-June-2019
I honestly don’t even know how long it’s been since Sarah and I went backpacking… a year? More?
We needed to get out of town, and get into the woods.
We packed up our bags, tossed them into the car, and headed toward Mt. Hood. Our target was a nice and easy hike that we’d both done before, but never as a backpacking trip – Elk Meadows, on the East side of Mt. Hood. A nice approach, and hopefully some wildflowers for Sarah to paint.
“But Ben, the title of this post says “Three Corners Rock”, not “Elk Meadows”!” you say.
“Well hold on, because this story is about to get icy!”
By “Icy” I mean, “we got hailed on like the sky was selling ice pellets”. It was bad enough that we were wondering if we should seek cover to protect the car from getting dented… way above what we were comfortable backpacking in, to say the least.
We didn’t even get out of the car, I’m almost sorry to say. But, discretion is the better part of valor, especially when trekking into the woods, and so we decided to pack it in for greener pastures… or at least, less violently raining pastures.
Our new goal – Three Corners Rock, the place Ollie and I had hiked the weekend before. It’s not technically a backpacking trip, pre-say, but I had found a really pretty meadow near the top that I figured would make a good campsite. And, since Sarah was looking for wildflowers and good views, I couldn’t think of a better place than the top of the rock pinnacle.
After stopping into Hood River to quickly check the weather, we headed onward, to the trailhead!
The hike itself was pretty simple – it’d been ages since we’d backpacked together, as I mentioned, so we walked pretty slowly. Enjoying the forest, the light, and the fact that we were finally out of the city and in nature. We still made good time, somehow, and found ourselves at the final trail junction right as the sun was about to set.
Instead of setting up camp first, we dropped our packs near the top and hustled up to the main rock to catch the sunset – and what a sunset it was! Last weekend was foggy and cloudy and gross, but this weekend was amazing. Perfectly clear, we had amazing views of all four major mountains nearby – Hood, Adams, Rainier and St. Helens, all in view from the top.
Once the sun had set and we’d started getting cold, we packed in our books and art supplies and headed back to our packs to set up camp. Sarah set up the tent and sleeping bags, while I cooked us up some food. Or, more accurately, I boiled water and watched the stove, making us our evening mountain house ration and our cup of cocoa. It was amazing.
The next day dawned with the usual fervor – Mostly on Ollie’s part, wondering why we were still asleep when we could instead be running around and sniffing all the things.
We had a lovely breakfast, followed by one last trip up to the top of the rock to read and paint a bit more.
The trail home was quick and simple, as going downhill usually is. Then a jaunt in the car, some stops for wildflower meadow frolicking, and back to town to wash up and get ready for the week ahead.