Tag Archives: Hood River

A tale of two mountains – Mt Hood, and Mt. Adams. Wy’east and Klickitat.

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A tale of two mountains – Mt Hood, and Mt. Adams.  Wy’east and Klickitat.

Sunday, 29-July-2018

 

The mountains of Eastern Oregon/Washington are beautiful; giant peaks that seem to scrape the sky, rising up high above the land around them.  When I first moved to Hood River, I was continually reminded of The Hobbit and the Lonely Mountain, since Mt. Hood seems to soar alone along the horizon.

We’d been stuck in Portland for a while, and feeling pretty antsy to get moving and exploring.  While Sarah’s leg wasn’t quite up to a full hike along the mountain, and I wasn’t up for a summit attempt, we were feeling like visiting the mountains in some manner.  Our plan – drive out to the base of both, and visit Hood River to let Ollie run around her old stomping grounds as a rest between the two.

 

I’m happy to report that the plan went off without a hitch!  Our drive to Mt. Adams was a bit rockier than planned, but the rest of the adventure went beautifully!

The challenge with Adams was that we’d forgotten about a big forest fire that’d happened a few years back, and had closed off some of the roads around the base of the mountain.  Specifically, the road that we’d planned on taking up to a pretty lake above the foothills of the mountain… we drove up it, but then (not literally, thankfully) ran into a literal wall of construction equipment blocking the trail.  Turns out that they’re re-building the road after the fire, and don’t want people driving up through their work area.  So, to make sure people don’t sneak in, they simply parked their massive bulldozers as a barricade, and called it a day.

So… we didn’t make it to the lake.  But we did get some amazing views, a chance to run around, and a very enjoyable stop out of the whole event.  I’ll call that a win.

 

From Mt. Adams, we headed South to a little town that we haven’t visited in a very long time… Hood River!

Our goal with Hood River wasn’t the town itself though – instead, we were going for our lovely little monster, Ollie.  When we lived in Hood River, her favorite place in the world was The Spit, where she could run and swim and jump and splash and chase dogs and chase birds and sniff and run and play forever and ever.  Since we needed to take the Hood River bridge, which is right next to the spit… it would have been mean not to go, right?

We went.  We walked, Sarah tried walking on different surfaces (Sand is pleasant, pebbles weren’t so much so), and we enjoyed being nostalgic about the summer nights and winter days that we’d spent exploring the spit, way back when.

 

With our walking done, and Ollie’s tweaking out needs satisfied for the time being, we continued on our adventure, heading southbound toward Adam’s companion mountain, Mt. Hood.  Our goal wasn’t anything super intense or special; we were going to one of the sno-parks, with the goal of playing in the glacial runoff and enjoying the views.

As you can see, we succeeded here, just as well as our other stops:

We… uhh… may have been a little loopy from the car ride, the lack of food, and the time we’d spent in the sun while walking on the spit.  I admit to nothing; we were having fun, and that’s what counts!

Another Mt. Hood Hike – McNeil Point

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Another Mt. Hood Hike – McNeil Point

A heavier hike up Mt. Hood

Thursday, 27-July-2017

 

I’ve been getting a lot stronger recently.  Running in the city, climbing at the gym, lifting weights again, and generally being more active has been boosting me up pretty well.  Sarah’s always been a much stronger hiker, so she’d been itching to head up something heavier…

 

Something heavier happened.  We hiked McNeil Point – a hike that Sarah had been telling me about since we first met.  It’s a gorgeous hike, but in the middle of summer it becomes exceptionally amazing, thanks to the huge alpine meadows full of wildflowers.  Sort of like Dog Mountain… If you look closely, you’ll notice that “alpine meadows full of wildflowers” is a theme to hikes that Sarah recommends.  A theme that I’m behind 100%.

 

The vital statistics of the hike are:

Distance: 10.5 miles

Elevation gain: 2200 ft, starting at 3900ft

Terrain: Pretty normal for this type of hiking

 

We packed up the car in Portland, and headed toward the mountain bright and early.  Our plan was to dodge the morning traffic, but also to make sure that we’d have enough time to be able to take it easy and enjoy a slow and steady hiking pace.  Which we did.

The hike itself was beautiful – the weather really cooperated with gorgeous skies and excellent views the whole way up.  We even got the chance to see some glacial tarns; small alpine ponds with tons of frogs and other interesting wildlife in them.

We took our lunch, as well as a nap, at McNeil Point itself.  We rested in the small stone hut there, enjoying the mountain air and letting Ollie run and play for a bit before heading back down.  There’s another trail that leads up a bit higher, but we held off on ascending any further… we were already pretty tired, and still had the whole descent to do.

 

What else…? Not much, honestly.  The nap was invigorating, and the descent was just as beautiful as the ascent.  Tiring, but beautiful.  And afterward, we got to have chili cheese dogs at the house in Hood River!

Bill and Greta visit Hood River!

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Bill and Greta visit Hood River!
May 19, 21 & 21st, 2017
Sarah’s parents came to visit this weekend!
I didn’t have surgery on Thursday, either!  So… two pretty awesome things, right?
When Bill and Greta first mentioned that they were coming out, we weren’t quite sure as to the surgery… everything was still in the air, and all we knew was that my ACL was damaged, and that I’d probably be all kinds of drugged up when they got here.  When we pushed the surgery back, and I was able to walk, it opened up a whole new world of possibilities for us.
Which, obviously, start with a good breakfast.
On Friday, we were in Portland.
Wait, that’s not the beginning.  The beginning happens on Thursday evening, when Sarah, Ollie and I arrived to the airport late (technically early, but they’d gotten an earlier flight.  So now late.  But was early.  But still late), and had an adventure trying to find our way through the rental lot.  It honestly went pretty well, and seeing Ollie freak out over seeing Bill and Greta was definitely worth the stress and challenges of tracking them down.
Then home, a quick nightcap, and sleeping.
So that we could wake up… and have a good breakfast!  At our favorite dog-friendly spot called Tin Shed; we ate probably a bit too much, and Ollie was even given like… five pieces of bacon, over all.  Which makes for a pretty good day in Ollie-land.
Then; Cannon beach.  It wasn’t my first visit since the accident, so I knew that I’d be able to safely walk on the sand; but it was still a nice workout for me.  Everyone else seemed to have a pretty solid time as well; we walked close to 5 miles on that sand, back and forth and around through the waves.
The evening took a classy turn with dinner, taking a nice change in pace from having sandy beach food for lunch to getting dressed up and having a fancy dinner at a restaurant overlooking the Columbia River.
Saturday started with a good breakfast too, but this time we made it ourselves, as a way to start the morning off slowly before doing… even more walking!  Specifically, two trails across the river on the Washington side, called Catherine Creek and Coyote Wall.
Catherine Creek turned out to be a bit of an easy stroll… in fact, it was fully paved and barely over a mile long.  It was pretty though, and gave us some amazing views and photo ops, which made up for the less-than-extreme workout that we got.  Coyote wall, on the other hand, kicked us back after just under a mile.  It was noticeably more intense, and a lot more rugged, and had some pretty significant elevation gain… at least for someone just learning how to walk again.  I mean, Ollie could have sprinted it in roughly 20min, if we’d let her, but…
Since it had gotten pretty hot by then, we made a bee-line for the waterfront.  We’d made plans for dinner with Sarah’s cousins, but still had a few hours to kill before we were slated to be at their house… so we relaxed.  Had some pizza, walked along the water, watched a wind surfing competition (Hood River, right?), and even took a quick nap at the house.
Then Enchiladas!  Enchiladas for dinner, with Quesadilla and salsa and beers, hanging out with Jeff & Maggie and family.  Even got a game of Gubs, in… which is clearly the key part to any evening.
Sunday!  A slightly sad day, since it’s the last one that Bill and Greta would be in town, but we made do by having a pretty excellent day of adventure and sightseeing.
And by sightseeing, I obviously mean more walking around, and a trip down to Parkdale to eat pulled pork and get amazing views of the mountains!
Walking around was a hike down Indian Creek trail – I thought I’d been down to the end of it, but Sarah led us down a turn I hadn’t noticed before, which led to a whole new leg of the trail!  Then out to Apple Valley BBQ, another place I hadn’t been to before… do you ever notice that you never really explore your home town, until people come to visit?  It’s kind of crazy, but also makes a bit of sense.  Especially this time: this would be the last time Bill and Greta would visit us in Hood River (probably, since my contract is almost up), so we had to get all the adventure in now, while we could.
The rest of the evenings was relaxation O’clock – Halibut steaks on the grill, watching Moana, and stretching out on the back porch while the sun lasted.