Tag Archives: hiking

Smith in September

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Smith in September

 

Monday, 25-Sept-2017 through Thursday, 28-Sept-2017

 

It’d been a while since Sarah and I had done a dedicated climbing trip – we’d been kind of hesitant, since we weren’t really sure what my knee could do, and that hesitancy had bred just enough inertia that we’d become complacent and okay with sticking in town and playing on the plastic of the climbing gym.

No more.  No more would we be captives of our own inertia.  No more would we be slaves to complacency.  Instead, we would blaze a trail of adventure and excitement!

 

So, a quick summary:

Monday

Arrive mid-morning, after depositing our finally-returned security deposit from the house in Hood River.

Crush a few routes in the more popular areas, since they’d be empty mid-week.

Side note: Ollie was amazing.  She hasn’t forgotten her crag-dog training, and relaxed like the best pup.

Head back to camp, and make a group dinner with the friends who we were meeting up with.

Sleep like logs, and start to fix our messed up circadian rhythm.

Tuesday

Wake up, have breakfast, and do some hiking.

Tuesday was a relaxation day – I read, Sarah painted, and we wandered around with the puppy.

Hit some quick climbs at the waterfall slabs, just to keep energy up.

Glorious dinner and gloriously early bed.

Wednesday

Dawned hot… hotter than expected.

Bust out a climb at the Dihedrals… then skip out to the shade.

Climbed at a new area… new to us, at least.  Sarah led a 5.10!  Ben followed!

Read and draw some more, climb a little bit more, then another early dinner.

Super early bed – we were seriously in the tent falling asleep by 8:30.  What.

Thursday

Pack up, head out back toward Portland.  Get coffee a few times on the way, because we missed coffee shops.

 

 

Climb details:

We honestly didn’t climb as much as we’d expected.  I guess that inertia that I mentioned above still held sway over us… But hey.  We hadn’t been out on a trip like this in a while, and we needed the chance to re-connect to our more energetic selves.  This was the perfect opportunity too, since the park was nearly deserted, and the weather was glorious the whole time.

What we did climb though…

 

Monday

5 gallon buckets, 5.8, Sport.  Sarah led, Ben seconded.

Left Slab Crack, 5.4, Trad.  Sarah led, Ben seconded.

Easy Reader, 5.6, Sport.  Ben and Sarah led.

Tuesday

9999, 5.6, Sport.  Ben and Sarah led.

Amelia Dearheart, 5.7, Sport.  Ben and Sarah led.

We also did a few variants of each, for giggles.

Wednesday

Purple Headed Warrior, 5.7, Sport.  Sarah and Ben led.

Nacho Libre, 5.6, Sport.  Ben led, Sarah seconded.

Float like a Butterfly, 5.10b, Sport.  Sarah led, Ben seconded.

How low can you go?, 5.7, Sport.  Ben led, Sarah seconded.

Rope de Dope crack, 5.8, toprope.  Ben and Sarah climbed.

 

What else… The trip was excellent!  We had a great time, enjoyed cooking food over a fire, and doubly enjoyed the pizza and mozzarella sticks that we had on the last evening we were there.  We climbed well, hiked well, and felt really good.  My knee didn’t give me any trouble the whole time, and actually felt better than it had in a long time.  I think that means that I’ve been under-exercising it, which is definitely good to know.  Means I can push harder, and maybe even start doing heavier lifting… deadlifts, here we come!

An adventure to the Ocean – Taking Daniel to the Pacific

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An adventure to the Ocean – Taking Daniel to the Pacific

Wednesday, 06-Sept-2017

 

As mentioned in the previous post, Daniel came out to visit for a week!  We’d made plans to do some awesome basalt climbing near the house, and then do some hiking up on Mt. Hood.  Unfortunately… there were fires.  Massive wildfires, that dropped Portland air quality into the “unhealthy” category.  And worse, literally burnt huge swaths of the Columbia River Gorge.

So climbing in the gorge was out.  Mt. Hood was in the smoke zone too, so that was out.

 

What wasn’t in the smoke was west of us; the beach and the Tillamook State Forest.  We’d already tried hiking one of the mountains in the forest, which didn’t quite work, so the next logical step was the beach!

Unfortunately, the air quality by the water wasn’t super good either… it was clear enough that Daniel, Ollie and I could breath pretty well… but Sarah was still pretty well hampered by it.  To keep her asthma as down as possible, she ended up hanging out and doing some drawing and writing at a coffee shop in town while Daniel and I took Ollie for a run up and down Cannon Beach.

It wasn’t quite the same without Sarah… but Ollie still enjoyed herself, and Daniel and I got an amazing chance to catch up, which was really amazing and much needed; though I don’t know if either of us realized that at the time.

We just walked.  Ollie frolicked and chased seagulls, maintaining a 300 yard seagull-free zone around us as we explored up and down the beach.  It was excellent.  Daniel got to take photos, I got to relax, Sarah got some alone time, and Ollie was able to get the zoomies out.

Or at east get some of them out… right?  Right?

She’ll be tired tomorrow, right?

(Ed Note: Ollie was not, in fact, tired the next day)

Henry’s visit – Hiking on Mt Hood!

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Henry’s visit – Hiking on Mt Hood!

Sunday, 13-Aug-2017

Sarah’s brother came to visit!

I’d met Henry before, but this was going to be the first time that we got to spend time together her in Oregon – Henry was out for a conference, but had scheduled some extra time to hang out and go on some adventures with us.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to spend the whole time hanging out, as I had to fly back home for an unexpected funeral, but we were able to get a few adventures in before he flew back to Australia…

 

Mt Hood is an amazingly gorgeous spot, and Portland is perfectly situated to take advantage of this quick escape from the confines of city life.  Hence why Sarah and I have been doing so many hikes on its slopes recently.  Since Henry was in town, and wanted to do some adventuring, the only real question was which trail to take.

After a bit of research, we stuck with the trail through ZigZag canyon and out to Paradise Park – Unlike McNeil Point, paradise park can be terminated in a ton of various places, all with amazing viewpoints and relaxing rest spots.  A great route to take pictures, enjoy Mt. Hood, and for Sarah and I to experiment with carrying slightly heavier packs than normal.

 

Morning came, and morning found us in the car, heading South and East.  We’d packed up most of our gear the night before, though we did do a small bit of packing the morning of.  Including, of course, some silly posing with said gear.  Because that’s always important.

Once we were underway though, the first bit went quickly.  We drove, arrived, and started down the trail toward little ZigZag canyon.  We did run into one bit of excitement as a Search and Rescue patrol passed us coming out, but since they mentioned that they were just on a training drill, we didn’t think much of it.  Aside from that one excitement, the start of the hike went easily.  We walked, took pictures, and Ollie ran and frolicked as much as her puppy heart could hope for.

We hiked.  We worked our way through little zigzag, and then had some lunch on the precipice of ZigZag canyon itself.  It was starting to get late, or at least too late for us to make it all the way to Paradise Park, so we changed our destination slightly: instead of going down into Zigzag and then back out to Paradise, we aimed for turning around at the base of Zigzag.

 

Which we did!

The hike down into the canyon was gorgeous – lots of really cool vegetation and moss and little waterfalls streaming down the sides of the canyon.  Which only got muddier as we got closer to the main river… added a bit of an adventure to it, but we all had some form of hiking poles: Sarah and I had traditional poles, and Henry had his camera tripod.  Turns out, tripods work really well as walking sticks.  Who knew?

Once we were at the canyon floor, we took a short break and got hit with a little rain.  But nothing too bad, since we’d all packed in rain gear… and it added a nice little refreshment to the midpoint of the hike.  And gave us a great chance to take a ton of really good pictures!

 

After wandering around for a while and enjoying the light rain and the spray from a rather beautiful waterfall we started back up the trail the way we’d come.  I won’t lie – it was a long walk.  I’m still regaining strength and endurance, and the amount of walking wasn’t super within my normal day-to-day activity.  It wasn’t too far outside either though, so we pushed through quite strongly, without too many issues.

Ohh, we did have some.  When Ollie saw a deer, for example, and went tearing off into the brush after it.  Thankfully for us though, she’s not too good at predictive pathing… and so ran to where she’d last seen the deer, instead of where the deer was actively running toward.  And since deer are much faster than her anyways… well, she didn’t come anywhere close to it, and honestly never could have in the first place.

It was enough to give us pause though, and enough for us to put her back on the leash for the rest of the hike.

 

Once the hike was done, puplette got sequestered away into the car for some mandatory rest while the three of us headed into the Timberline Lodge.  Our goal was either a light snack, or possibly even dinner, at one of the restaurants inside.  The Timberline Lodge is honestly one of my favorite places as far as architecture goes – it’s built in this massively excessive form, very akin to an ancient dwarven fortress, or huge viking hall.  The geometric patterns, huge fireplaces, and sturdy wooden beams are exactly what I’d love in a house of my own.

That architecture doesn’t come cheap though… as we found out the hard way.  We headed back to the car, tails between our legs, after reading the prices on the menus.   To say nothing of the dress codes that we almost certainly would have failed to meet.

 

Instead, Dairy Queen called out to us.  Which was completely okay with Ollie, who got to join us and help us finish our french fries.