Tag Archives: great views

Hiking the Top Spur trail to some amazing views of Hood

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Saturday, 18-July-2020

 

After climbing at French’s, we were tired.

 

But, Bri is a somehow near limitless font of energy when it comes to climbing and hiking, and insisted that we do a quick trek to see a viewpoint nearby.

Man, do you think I’d say no to an extra viewpoint, just because I’m tired? Heck no!

 

We put away the climbing gear, put the top down on the car, and drove.

The poor Mustang didn’t know what it was in for – if I thought the roads in Northern California were rough, this road showed me what the Mustang could really do. Ditches, rocks… heck, man, the Dawn worked its way around every single one.

 

(Ed Note: If you don’t remember, Ben’s Mustang is named the “Forward Unto Dawn”, since it came to him at a fairly major turning point in life, transitioning from a really rough time into a really great time)

 

We made it to the trailhead after much careful piloting, and were even able to find a parking spot right near the signpost – there were cars for nearly half a mile down the road in each direction, but thankfully it was late enough in the day that the lot was thinning out pretty impressively. We parked, refilled our water, and headed in.

The hike itself was pretty mellow, and the enjoyment was primarily from the conversation, and just being out in the woods. It was lovely, and I enjoyed every minute of being shown a new trail to explore. Bri led the way, and I was perfectly happy to just tag along and explore a new place.

 

When the view arrived, I wasn’t expecting it. It was absolutely one of those “la la la trail trail BOOM AMAZING VIEW” situations. Out of nowhere – full view of McNeil Point, and the summit block of Mt. Hood. It was glorious, and I absolutely understood the popularity of the trail in that single view.

It was a good hike, to say the least.

 

 

After the hike, I drove home and saw a funny sign at the gas station.

Then I made dinner.  I didn’t make a healthy dinner.  But it was a tasty dinner!

Hiking Coyote Wall, in the Fall

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Sunday, 16-Sept-2018

First off – There were no Coyote sightings at Coyote wall.  Weak, I know, but hey.  C’est la vie.
Second off – woo hiking!  We’re still doing our training hikes, building our endurance and strength back up, and this was one more step on that ladder – a bit longer, a bit higher elevation gain, slightly heavier packs… slowly but surely, you know?
Coyote Wall is something that we’ve hiked before, but hadn’t made it all the way up to the top of before.  It’s out in the Columbia River Gorge, it’s got great views, and it’s just long enough and has just enough elevation gain to make it a legit challenge for us right now.  It’s pretty ideal, honestly.
We started in late, as a way to dodge the morning rain, and arrived just as the sun was starting to burn through the clouds.  It was beautiful, and we started into the hike with extremely high spirits, and energetic squealing from both Sarah and Ollie.  I, being the professional adult of the group, merely squeaked under my breath and smiled a lot.
The start of the trail is a bit dull, thanks to it being a section of the old gorge highway… but it’s still pretty beautiful, since I use “highway” very loosely here… we’re talking 1.5 cars wide, semi-paved… this isn’t a modern road, but one of the original roads going down the gorge as a pleasure road instead of a working road.
But once we broke onto the main trail (with a little bit of help from a random trailrunner), the views and the terrain took a huge turn for the impressive.  We worked our way up an endless series of switchbacks, constantly moving upwards along the ridgeline toward the trees in the far distance.  The terrain was mostly grasslands with random spurs of rock sticking out – Ollie’s ideal running ground, incidentally – with almost nothing blocking our views of the gorge stretching out below us.
As we got higher we started being able to see the edge of the Columbia Gorge Plateau in the distance and the vineyards dotting the landscape in between… it honestly seemed like something out of a fairytale, or maybe Lord of the Rings?
Anyways, the weather held out on us, staying beautiful right up until the point when we stopped for lunch.  We’d decided that it was about time to turn around anyways (a late start means a late lunch, which means tired legs), but the rain definitely helped us feel better about our decision.
It didn’t last long, thankfully, but it did seem to have kept everyone else off the trail for the day… we’d seen the weather report of course, but had decided that the middling chance of rain wouldn’t be enough to stop us from taking a day hike.  But I guess other people didn’t feel the same way, because we saw almost no one for the whole trip; it was beautifully abandoned, which just added to the sense of wonder and fantasy that we’d felt on the way up.  And the views were even better on the way down too!  Since we were facing down-hill, toward the Columbia River itself, we were able to spend the entire time just watching the landscape… it did make placing our feet a little tough, I’ll admit, but the distraction was absolutely worth it 🙂