Sunday, April 30, 2017

Spring Conditioning Hike without Kids- Bald Butte

The sun came out and I needed to climb something but I could not get anyone to join me on this 8.4 mile adventure so I headed out solo to a trail hood near Hood River.
The trail started through woods, scrub oak, and clear cut. I counted 10 Trillium.
I stopped on the way up to enjoy the views of Mt. Hood and the Hood River valley farmlands.
The climb was a relentless 2.5 miles but not too steap.
It was lovely to enjoy being close to Mt. Hood still covered in snow with just enough sun to enjoy but still cool enough to make the climbing easier.
I took a few breaks on the way up. The farm machinery in the distance was loud but I also heard roosters crowing.
At the top, I found some little snow patches and the trail flattened out for a mile.
I enjoyed the jaunt through the woods on the flat easier trail.
The view opened up again and Mt. Hood had a halo.
I was feeling grounded and strong- in my element.
I came out to some jeep track and power lines and also an excellent view of the mountain.
The farms spread out below looked a little like a patchwork quilt.
The last 3/4 of a mile was up a steep multi-use road.
At the top I found a little more snow.
There was also a nice view of Mt. St. Helens that I don't get to see quite as often.
Later, this meadow will be full of wildflowers, but now I just enjoyed knowing that I had made the climb and spent some time admiring the mountains.
I thought I saw Mt. Rainier peeking out in the distance.
There is not much left at all of the old lookout site that was here but I am sure the flowers put on quite a show.
I spent a little time cooking some lunch for the break and for some sustenance.
I headed back under the power lines and found there huge bases kind of interesting.
The downhill stretch felt nice. I was happy to have been on top of a butte! On the way down I enjoyed some birds in the scrub oaks. It was a lovely day.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Saddle Mountain Remembering Solo hike in the snow

It was my sister Amy's birthday February 25, 2017. She died 10 years ago and would have turned 48 today. I set off on a solo adventure to remember Amy and ground in nature. It was a bright sunny day and I headed to Saddle Mountain.
When I got to the trailhead I was surprised to see snow! I was glad to have my hiking poles and figured if the road was open and there were so many other unsuspecting hikers it would be safe to proceed with caution.
The snow and somewhat blue skies were beautiful. I was happy to be without kids as I headed up the trail.
While I know that Amy was not much of a hiker- her memory lives on in me and spurs me on at various times, sometimes when I am climbing a mountain! One quality I admire about her is determination which is necessary when climbing a mountain.
As I climbed higher up the steep trail it was great to see the nearby hills and their sprinkling of snow.
There were several dogs on the trail and I gave some love to a golden retriever, thinking of my sister's dogs that were such faithful companions and carry her memory so much.
There was a lot of water coming off the hills as well as these pretty icicles.
The snow got a little deeper as I climbed- Saddle Mountain is so exposed that snow does not often stick on its slopes.
I had not taken this hike since I was carrying baby Amy in a pack 7 years ago. It was good to be back.
I enjoyed seeing the fresh snow and just breathing in the high spring like snowy air.
I continued climbing and enjoyed admiring the cliff sides and feeling on top of the world!

The push to the top looking back.
The panorama view from the top. Today's clouds hid the high mountains in the distance.
I could still see the ocean and a long view from the top.
What a beautiful sunny day to be on top of a mountain!
I'm sure in Colorado on her birthday, my sister would not have been enjoying the ever present deep snow.
I enjoyed being on top of the world and felt good about climbing a mountain.
What a gift to take some time without kids. The view goes on forever over the far mountains and ocean.
Again admiring the snow covered hill I headed back down carefully!
I am grateful for the chance for some self care and to take some remembering time and time to breathe in the mountain air that gives me so much life.