Thursday, November 28, 2013

Neahkanie Ocean Views and Toes in the Sand

This trip happened in May.  Analise was 8 months old.  The spring weather turned warm and it was time for a trip to the coast.  I hoped that the cool breeze and sunshine would entice Amy to the short climb up Neahkanie Mountain.

We started by walking a little way to a viewpoint overlooking the ocean.

As is her favorite pastime, Analise was excited to play in the dirt and rocks.  She was also fascinated by my hat string.

The ocean view was beautiful.  After soaking it in we headed to the south trail head and started our gradual climb to a viewpoint.

There were still some late Trillium hanging on.  We enjoyed the sun shining through the trees and mossy branches.

Analise got a few chances to wiggle with her sister.

We headed up the final scramble to the viewpoint.

We would have enjoyed the view more but there were very large flying ants.  Amy was very unhappy about this and wanted to head back down quickly.

We went back down to the trail head and drove out to a good beach access spot.

It had already been quite a long day so we were not able to give the beach as much time as it deserves but we really enjoyed playing in the sand and the ocean view.

Amy is rather scared of the ocean but she was pleased to have a stream to play in nearby where she did not have to contend with waves.

Analise had been to the beach once before but this time she really was able to experience sand between her toes.

Amy enjoyed writing in the sand and hugging one of the giant trees on the way back to the car.

It was a day full of small mountain climbing, breathing in the ocean air from on high and down below, avoiding flying ants, and playing in the sand.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

On top of the world- Breaking in Celebrity

 It was a sunny warm fall October day.  Everything in me needed to get to the woods.  I invited our International Student Celebrity to head out on her first real hike in Oregon!

We headed toward Mt. Hood and up the Mirror Lake trailhead.  Getting to Mirror Lake is a treat and I thought we might get all the way to Tom Dick and Harry Mountain for a wonderful view.  I only had one child for this adventure, baby Analise, now one year old.

When I don't have Amy I look for a challenge that I could not do as easily with her.  Climbing with 45 lbs on my back is hard as well especially if the load is grumpy!  However, it is often easier than motivating a five year old who is tired.

We made good time up to the lake.  When we got there, Celebrity practiced skipping rocks and baby Analise played in the rocks and dirt and practiced her walking.

We decided we had plenty of energy for continuing up to the top.  Celebrity did great.  Analise complained bitterly about getting back in the backpack and would have preferred to wiggle at the lake.

We climbed the 1.5 more miles up to Tom Dick and Harry Mountain and were rewarded with an incredible view!

Mt. Hood was very close but we could also see Mt. Adams, Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Jefferson.

Celebrity did a great job with the climb.  It was a great start to much more hiking together to come.  I don't think I scared her off as I have with many first timers with my overly ambitious hiking plans.

We enjoyed playing with rocks on the top and soaking in the amazing sun and mountain views!  The season for getting up to high places is close to over, so I was so happy to have this chance to get to a new high destination!

We saw the lake below and eventually left being "on top of the world" back down to the trailhead.  Very soon we will be snowshoeing near and on these mountains.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Community and Nature in the Gorge

Last April, I had been looking for other families to hang out with and noticed that Reedwood Friends was hosting a family trip to Bonneville Dam.  We did not get on the bus but we caravaned with them and had a great time enjoying the salmon and playing pass the baby!

After visiting and enjoying the dam we headed to a new hike- Tooth Rock

The rock work was pretty and we hiked along the closed old highway.

Baby slept the whole time.  The hike back through the forest was more challenging but our five year old expert was up for it!

We enjoyed the beautiful green moss on this spring day.

What a wonderful playground so close to Portland to have the Columbia River Gorge.  Thank you Reedwood for giving us some families to be with before this lovely little adventure!

Cascade Head and fun in the sand

 We headed toward the coast for a day of ocean fun!  It was the end of October and the very end of the season the road to Cascade Head's upper trail is open.

We got to the trailhead to meet my mom and her long time friend, and went for the short mile long hike through the mossy forest.

Once at the windswept upper viewpoint we stopped to enjoy it.

Baby Analise took steps in the grass.

Amy enjoyed her Nana.  We all enjoyed watching the girls and the view.

Possibly against better judgment we headed down the steep hillside toward the lower viewpoint since we needed more of a challenge!

Nana took the course of wisdom and stopped at the warning- steep trail sign with the picture of people falling off a cliff.

The rest of us trekked down but I spent too much time arguing about safety with Amy who was convinced she should be the leader down the steep hill.

After seeing the view from below we slowly trekked back up the steep trail- meeting up with Nana and headed back through the woods where we enjoyed the nurse logs.

We drove to Neskowin where Nana was staying and had a great time at the beach house and on the beach.

We walked on the sand, explored, built sand castles, demolished sand castles, and made sand angels.

The ocean was beautiful and the company was amazing!

Baby Analise is doing a great job with her walking.

On the drive home I even snuck in some Stumptown Coffee!  An excellent end to an excellent adventure.