Monday, October 24, 2016

Paradise Park at Mt. Hood- One Hard Core Mama and her baby

 I needed a challenge in August 2013. I was longing for high places and decided to try out on of my "bucket list" hikes, Paradise Park, with my almost one year old.

Paradise Park is a pretty hard core hike at Ridge line on Mt. Hood. I took my baby Analise "along for the ride".

I did indeed find high places on Mt. Hood and snow! The first bridge-less stream crossing warns against crossing alone. I wasn't alone, exactly...Analise was cheering me on from behind.

The mountain was amazing. I really enjoyed being so high on a bright sunny day.

The wildflower meadow was so beautiful! My heart was happy!

Analise and I took a break to take it all in and catch my breath!

The high country and the climb to get there were both breathtaking!

I could not attempt this with kids who are walking until they are much older. At every stage of hiking with kids I think I will have to give something up. I have learned to adapt and "hike my own hike" at each stage.

It was nice to have this special time with Analise who was a very challenging baby but much happier when she was outside and moving.

We made it to the top of the world. I say Paradise Park is named well!

I enjoyed the mountain view and the high meadow very much.

All too soon it was time to start heading back down. I felt like a "hard core mama" carrying my baby 10 miles to the high country paradise.

We had to take one last dirt break before heading to the car.

The Search for a Campground and a Great Brushy Ridge Hike

In Summer 2013 we headed out late Friday afternoon to try to find a spot at a first come first serve campground in the Opal Creek Wilderness. Thus began our misadventures!

 When that campground did not have a spot, we tried two more. On the third try we learned that popular Detroit Lake, still 20 min away, had two spots left.

The race with the boaters was on! When we arrived there was still a spot! We set up the tent in the dark with MANY other campers and the baby in the pack in play in hopes that sleep would occur. There were a few fireworks and it did not really feel like wilderness.

In the morning, the free coffee at the camp store and the lake redeemed the crowded campsite somewhat.

We spent some time enjoying the dock (and the coffee) before heading to find our trailhead.

We said farewell to Detroit Lake and drove up the forest service road to a little used trailhead to French Creek Ridge.

The wildflowers were beautiful (and above five year old Amy's head!)

Though there was technically a trail, it felt very much like bushwacking!

Determined to find the viewpoint, we pressed on through the overgrown trail, much to five year old Amy's chagrin!

Our hard work and persistence paid off as we found the beautiful viewpoint.

We took some time to enjoy the view before heading back through the long grasses and overgrown trail.

Baby Analise enjoyed the ride!

Mt. Jefferson loomed large in the distance.

We enjoyed the view of Detroit Lake without all the other campers.

Though it was not our first plan, it was quite a memorable weekend and we continue to tell the story of chasing the boats to get the last campsite at Detroit Lake.

Suspension Bridge, Three Story Ladder, Stream crossings, and Cave- Lava Canyon Magical Day

Amy: Me, Mom,Dad,And Analise Went To Lava Canyon south of Mt. St. Helens This Time. Yes,You Heard Right,Dad Went To Lava Canyon Too.(Hee Hee Hee) We Started At 11:00 And Ended At 2:30.
 Amy- This Is A Picture Of Analise Hiking With Dad.
Amy-This Is The Suspension Bridge That We Crossed. I Was Scared Of It's Rocking.
 Amy- This Is Me Before The Suspension Bridge.
Amy- This Is A Pretty Cool Twisty Turny Waterfall. 
Amy- Mom And I Made It Past This. In Case Your Wondering, That Black Thing Is Made To Help People Get Across The Waterfall.
 Amy- That's Me Over There!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Amy- The Three Story Ladder Is So Far Down. It Doesn't Look That Far Down, But It Is That Far Down.
Mel- I was so happy to be in this beautiful place near Mt. St. Helens on a sunny day with an 8 year old ready for some hard core adventure.
 Gil and Analise continued on the relatively safe loop and we continued through streams, down 3 story ladder down to the bottom of the canyon.
 Mel- This is the trail flooded with water. We continued past the point we were trying to find but were excited to be having this adventure together.
 Mel- We found a big mushroom.
 Mel- I am not sure if this was petrified but looks like a tree that "survived" the blast.
 Mel- We continued deeper into the canyon.
 Mel- We ended up hiking 5 miles with very wet feet but happy hearts.
 Mel- We enjoyed this beautiful view of snow covered Mt. St. Helens.
 Mel- I really enjoyed this adventurous hike with my 8 year old wonder. We took a minute to take a selfie before climbing out of the canyon to meet back up with the rest of the family.
 Mel- On our way up, we enjoyed the rushing water and took good care with each step on the trail.
 Mel- After we finished our climb out, we took some time to eat and headed to the Ape Cave
Mel- Though we had wet feet, we convinced Amy to explore the cave because her sister still had a lot more energy. Amy said she was glad she took the time to explore the cave.
Mel- We did not get pictures of the cave, but enjoyed the darkness and exploring little holes in the side of the rock.
Mel- Analise said she "loved Saturdays". She was glad to see us when we came out of the canyon and enjoyed our cave time as well. I am grateful to Gil for supporting this adventure and was glad for the time all of us had together!