Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mount Adams Weekend Pt 2

We headed out from Morrison Creek campground on the South side of Mt. Adams toward the Yakama reservation. We found a shortcut that cut off some miles rather than going back through Trout Lake. I was the leader in the Suburu. Mike and Janelle's tire had a slow leak and they were behind me.

We got to one particularly tricky hill with car swallowing potholes. I took a running start and made it to the top! Mike did not! Fortunately there was a forest service worker on top who gave directions . Mike and Janelle's vehicle went back to the main road and around. They met us later at the trailhead.

There were still huckleberries galore! The kids were amazing at finding patches. It made for slow, but yummy, hiking. The youngest, Elijah, took his berry picking VERY seriously!

The kids found lots of rocks to climb on. There was water everywhere, which was quite a contrast from the dryer side of Mt. Adams we had been to yesterday.

We enjoyed a waterfall at lunchtime and took in the bright red paintbrushes. Amy did a great job hiking, trying to keep up with Isaac, the "fast train". Both Isaac and Amy got breaks to ride on parents, but Carolee had to hike the whole way. She did amazingly well and was a great example to the younger kids.

As the day wore into afternoon nap time, the huckleberry picking breaks got longer and closer together. I always remind Amy to "save some for the bears" and that "the bears will be sad if there are no huckleberries left". We also continued the ongoing debate regarding whether "Care Bears say Rah". Janelle decided it would be caring to say "rah" when someone has the hickups. Amy thinks this is a great theory.

At one point we heard very happy barking from up the trailhead where Haley dog had found a water hole.

We came to the edge of Bird Creek Meadows and enjoyed the beautiful Mt. Adams view and the wildflowers. Then, just when kids were getting tired and needing a break, we came to a beautiful, small waterfall which was like an oasis. It was a wonderful place for dabbling.

When we got back down to the large lakes, Haley dog decided to swim. She was so happy about all the water and very fun to watch. Amy and Carolee did a little playing in the mud and water, but all three kids were a bit tired at that point.

We headed back to the campground in time for a little cooler, cloudier weather and enjoyed dinner and a fire. We really did enjoy every sunny minute of the last days of summer!

The next day, we headed back to Hood River for a quick spot at our favorite Hood River Bagel Company and then on to the Fish Hatchery to watch the salmon jumping and see the large sturgeon.

What a great weekend! We will definitely be returning to Mt. Adams! It was nice to be there late in the season with no bugs! What an incredible area.

Mount Adams Weekend Pt 1

I took Friday off and headed north to Mt. Adams for the last sunny weekend of the year! We met up with our friends, Mike and Janelle, and their three kids at the ranger station in Trout Lake. This was my first time to Mt. Adams, and I was very excited.

After some consultation and studying of maps, we grabbed some firewood and headed up to an undeveloped campground, Morrison, on the way to the Mt. Adams South Climb point.

When we arrived, we found a wonderful group camp site next to a stream. The kids had a great time dabbling and exploring. I was quite amused by how much mud Amy was able to get down her backside.

After sufficient dabbling had occurred, we were off for a hike to the round the mountain trail. We saw a few folks coming back from summiting. Both Mike and I had visions of doing the round the mountain trail that night but leaving four kids with Janelle would have been slightly unfair, but our kids added so much to the experience! Isaac is a "fast train" when he hikes, which Amy decided to try. Of course they had to explore all the rocks along the way.

The mountain views were incredible and there were still some wildflowers. When we got back to camp we had a nice dinner and made a fire.

It was great to see how the kids interacted. Amy really looks up to the oldest, Carolee, and they were frequently going to the meeting place to have private meetings and make mud cookies!

Amy was in bed before S'mores, but the rest of us enjoyed the stars and the campfire.

It was a wonderful night of sleep and preparation for a new day's adventures on the Yakama Reservation.

Spawning Salmon, beautiful forest, and rainy river dabbling

It was our first real fall feeling Saturday, with cloudier, cooler weather, and some drizzle. I was inspired to head to the Salmon River in search of spawning salmon. I wondered if I would really see salmon spawning in the wild, but thought even if they weren't this would be a lovely old growth walk. We are not fair weather hikers!

Amy found an excellent climbing rock. Though she is a great climber, I still was getting a little nervous.

The trees and moss were delightful. It was a beautiful, misty forest to walk through.

Of course there were many water breaks as we admired the forest.

Looking down at the river, there they were! Many salmon, swimming upstream, some as large as 3 ft or so. It was great to see them outside of the dams and fish ladders actually heading up to their spawning grounds. We spent a long time watching and admiring their struggle.

After climbing for a bit, we decided the opening in the trees was a good destination. We headed back down the trail to find the swimming hole we had passed on the way up.

Even though it was too cold for dipping toes in for a dabble, that did not stop us from a shallow dabble and frolicking on the rocks!

Sarah got a little camera happy and took lots of great pictures of Amy in her element.

What a fun fall hike to remember that there are so many great adventures yet to come, even in the cooler weather.