Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Paradox in Hiking- Timothy Lake and Henline Mountain

Timothy Lake- Lakeside stroll through forest and flowers with an amazing view of Mt. Hood
It was a beautiful sunny day, so we decided to join the crowds at Timothy Lake on the south side of Mt. Hood. We put on our red adventure pants and hit the trail! What a gem!

A crystal clear lake and a hike on the PCT through forest.

Of course we found lots of logs to climb on as usual.

We stopped to admire a woodpecker.

We needed to "dip our toes in for a dabble". It was a cold and short dabble.

We saw lots of beautiful Rhododendrons.

This backpack is now about 60 lbs fully loaded and I am stretched to the limit carrying this kid. She can walk quite a bit on her own but was on the verge of getting sick and wanted to ride. We are going to experiment with some short backpacking later this summer and I think after this summer we will retire the backpack. I love that it gives me the freedom to do more difficult hike, but I am starting to wonder if this is really freedom :-)

There is a gorgeous view of Mt. Hood from Timothy Lake. The full hike around the lake is about 12 miles, which we did not have the time for, but we made it about six. I am thankful that my husband came on this hike. It is always a special treat to have him (particularly on an easier hike when he is not swearing!) It was an extra bonus to see the water spray from the dam

Henline Mountain: Difficult mountain climb through beautiful forest with views of Mt. Jefferson.
The Henline Mountain hike was the opposite to Timothy Lake in many ways. It was steep. There was no water to dip toes into (though we did find snow) and we pushed ourselves to the limit. My husband Gil WOULD have been swearing on this hike. I was attempting to prove to myself that I could still carry Amy up a mountain! I am so grateful to our hiking buddy Sarah who was also up to this challenge and too prideful to let a three year old or a woman carrying 60 lbs outhike her. Her encouragement helped us up the mountain.

This is what we were climbing up to.

One of the many water breaks. Unfortunately, Amy chose to ride in the backpack most of the way up, but she did make it up to switchback 4 of 20 (we stopped counting after 20) and some of the way down. The views into the Opal Creek Wilderness were spectacular.

Again the Rhododendrons were fantastic. We also saw Indian Paintbrush which is one of my favorite wildflowers.

Amy makes many stops to draw in the dirt and to "think of a clever plan of how to catch a Heffalump"!

All in all a great and challenging day. It took us 6.5 hours to hike about 6 miles. Here's to holding the paradox in the adventure of the relaxing lakeshore stroll and carrying 60 lbs of child plus gear up a mountain. Both have value and excitement. Seeing the world through 3 year old eyes is really quite amazing. Reflecting with Sarah I remembered that I thought having a child would mean I would not be able to go on challenging hikes and backpacking trips, but I feel I am a stronger hiker as a mom and am enjoying the woods so much more these days with Amy!

More of the incredible Opal Creek Wilderness- getting closer to snowline

4000 feet and snow! What fun to cool off in snow in July.

Sarah felt there were easier ways to see Mt. Jefferson, but this view helped redeem some of the pain!

Amy asked to build a snowman. We built this little one with moss for hair! The fun of hiking with a three year old!