Thursday, November 5, 2015

Surprised by September Snow- Unexpected Adventures

 We took a drive up toward Mt. Hood via Hood River and included our new international student friend, Abanezer for an adventure.  We wanted to stop at Multnomah Falls but the parking lot was full so we kept going.
After a stop at a fruit stand we headed toward the Lookout Mountain Trailhead. We took a wrong turn and ended up in the little farming town called Friend, OR.
We enjoyed this little historic schoolhouse in Friend.
We headed back and found a trailhead along Fret Creek. It had been warm and in the 60s in Hood River, but at higher elevations it was much cooler.
Though this hike was rated moderate, Kitt and Abenezer were both up to a challenge.
Analise was hiking with her broken arm and as determined as ever.
Thought it was somewhat dry, we enjoyed hiking along the little creek.
We took lots of breaks and had a bit of elevation gain.
As we climbed, we found fresh September snow! Analise decided that she needed to poke it.
The forest was very pretty.
Amy wanted to be a tree hugger and wore her Reed sweatshirt in honor of our special guest!
Despite the dry year, there was still some signs of growth and life in this forest.
We continued the slow climb toward the lake, taking lots of breaks for pictures and to catch our breath.
The girls really enjoyed the early snow.
Abenezer was very cold but was a good sport!
We made it up to the lake and ate some hot food to warm up a little.
I enjoyed assisting Kitt, sometimes step by step, down the steep hill.
Together everyone had a good time together and we made a fantastic team as always even though we never found the Lookout Mountain trail we set out to find.  It was fun to be surprised by September snow.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Siouxon Creek Grounded Old Growth Breath

We took the long drive through farmland into Washington to one of my favorite trails, Siouxon Creek.
It was mid October 2015 and the first really rainy day of fall. I braved the potholed filled road and thought it was so worth the drive as soon as I stepped into this beautiful old growth forest.
We saw lots of mushrooms and moss along the way.
The big trees made me feel at home and like I was in a sacred place.
We continued through the forest toward the creek.
Much of this forest feels like the Olympics and many other special Washington forests.
Analise was not so sure about the rain at first because she was tired and cold.
This forest is incredibly resilient despite the dry year.
The moss was lovely along the trail.
There were a few big leaves interspersed with the evergreen trees.
The creek raged below.
I love this "nurse stump" that another tree had wrapped around.
We had a yummy lunch at the waterfall.
On the way back, Analise had made peace with the rain and was determined to walk through every mudpuddle with her new boots.
I am glad to enjoy the fullness of fall in this lovely place with my girls.

Falls Creek October Camping Renegades

 We wanted to enjoy a last hurrah of camping a few weeks ago in early October. Since Sarah was already in Eugene, we went in search of a campsite along Fall Creek.
Though my book indicated one campground open in October, we found it closed but there were two free campsites near the creek and trailhead. We joined Sarah and made our camp. We had a lovely meal and got to meet a new friend who was with Sarah from a dragon boat race.
We enjoyed a fire and a good night's sleep and headed to the mid point of the fall creek trail.
We hiked to a cave that used to be a Native American sacred sight. We did not see many other hikers but did hear gunshots in the distance from hunters.
We enjoyed hiking along this little creek and through closed campgrounds in the off season.
After exploring the cave, we drove back to another part of the creek in search of an afternoon swimming hole.
Since I had forgotten her backpack, Analise had to use her two feet which was a little slow going since she was needing a nap.
The forest was lovely. I enjoyed the green and the moss.
Fall Creek was pretty to hike along.
I continued to admire the big trees and the light shining through.
Analise kept up a good pace with the promise of a swimming hole.
We saw quite a few mushrooms along the way.
Finally we settled on an excellent swimming hole. Sarah and I were both thinking October cool air and swimming do not go together but the girls were excited to play in the water.
I made hot lunch while Analise and Amy played in the shallow water and "painted" rocks with water.
We all took some time to play and just to be while admiring the free flowing stream.
Swimming did not occur but much water playing and creek gazing happened.
Back on the trail Amy found her bed in the woods.
Analise played with her magic wand/ fishing pole/ walking stick.
It was most definitely nap time by the time we got closer to the car. Sarah makes as good a bed as any.
Amy climbed one last rock and we headed back home.  It was a good last camping trip and a lovely fall day.