Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Angel's Rest Loop

Angel's Rest Loop
March 14, 2010
Southern Jim and myself (hikin_mike1960)
Distance: About 8 miles

Angel's Rest is located in the Columbia River Gorge, take the Bridal Veil Exit on I-84 and turn right. The trial head is on the right hand side of the road. You can not miss it. The trail starts out with an uphill climb for about 2.3 miles which brings you to Angel's Rest. It is a rock outcropping sticking out over the gorge. The view is well worth the climb. From there one has a choice to go in many directions, back down the hill or take a back trail to continue on to other adventures.

Today, we were greeted by high wind gusts that only the Columbia River Gorge can give you. With the tempertures in the 30's to 40's and the strong wind gusts our body heat was sucked from us very quickly. Also, it felt like we were going to be picked up and floated up and away. I am greatful I packed my shell to help protect me from the bite of the wind. With the weather conditions as they were, we decided not to work our way to the point of Angel's Rest. It is a great view but not worth the chance of being tossed off into the gorge by the wind. I think Miss Robyn would a little bit unhappy with that.

As we trudge along the trail it gave use a chance to think and visit. It has been awhile since Southern Jim and I had hiked with just the two of us. Usually Kpine and Luna the Wonder dog comes with but she decided at the last second to be sick. I guess I will not give her to bad of a time for not feeling well and eleceted to stayed behind at the last moment. Ok,Ok....I know we will rub it in on now great the day was who am I kidding here.

We stopped and had lunch at the springs that feeds or creates Wakeenin Falls. It amazes me on how much water flow out of the ground there. It was a nice place to relax and take some pictures. I will be posting some on my webpage ( later for all to view.

I have to laugh at how it is a small world at times. We were about 4 miles from the trail head and we ran into a couple of hikers coming up a different trail. We stopped and chatted for a bit and one of them said, "Hey, I know you. You are Mike right?" After the surprise wore off, it took me a bit to releaze who he was and where we had met. He is another fellow who took recovery by the trail and hung on. By doing what he was told by the people before him, he can enjoy the beauties of what life gives him instead of crawling into a bottle or bag of dope. I love to see that happen to people. It proves to me being sober works if I work the deal. We parted with smiles on our faces and hope in our hearts.

Now one of the things about hiking in the gorge is every hike starts by going up hill. Many of these trails must have took some very creative thought and engineering to make. Sometimes the trail runs along side of a rock face or up a draw. But one of the worst engineering uses for trail constuction is the "Switchback". I understand why the engineers use them. One hikes back and forth on these things for about a mile then looks down the hill and see you have only gone up about 100 ft. Oh that sucks because you know there is at least another 3000 ft to go until you get to the top. So more back and forth we go hoping this will end soon. Do not get me wrong, I would rather climb uphill then down. It is much easier on my body.

We finally got to the bottom of the Multnomah Trail completing another beautiful day of hiking. As we neared the lodge, one of the bestest smells in the whole wide world hit us.... "COFFEE". It drew us in with a blink of an eye. What a great treat at the end of a great hike. The only thing better would have been ice cream. The simole things are always the best.

Well another hike done and I have ran out of things to say. I hope to see you on the trail. Be safe and alway walk with Mother Nature and find peace.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Miss Mimi's First Hike

Tualitan River Wildlife Refuge
Febuary 28, 2010
Miss Mimi and me (hikin_mike1960)
One very long up hill both ways and if there was snow on the ground, it would have been six feet deep. (one mile if we were lucky)

Ahhhhh, what should one do on a sunny Sunday afternoon? Well, I have the best answer for that one, lunch and a first hike with my bestest buddy in the whole wide world. My three year old daughter (Miss Mimi) who is learning to love the great outdoors. She loves to help dad setup camp when we go camping, throw a bobber into the lake with her fishing pole and just be with dad. We got her own daypack for upcoming hikes this christmas and she wears it all the time.

But today she only brought along her handy binoculars to view the beauty around her. She saw hundreds of geese, hawks soring high above, singing song birds, hungery chipmucks and a ball of snakes. She was all smile a mile wide and in a constant state of move. I showed her animal tracks which brought on a new learning adventure for her. In time the excitement and the great distances (about one mile total) caught up with her. She hit the wall of tried, We walked back to the truck holding hands and dragging feet knowing a cold juice box was waiting for her. Yes, my friends she slept very well that night.

She is becoming an outdoors girl before our very eyes. She is excited about this years camping adventures and the next walk with Mother Nature. Oh and how can I forget about fishing. She brings on a whole new meaning of the word "DUCK!". Miss Robyn and myself are not brave enough to load her pole with hooks and bait yet. But a bobber makes her smile. Maybe this year if the fish are biting we will try.

These are some of the reasons I love life to pass on the love of the great outdoors to others and watch the seed grow. This summer will be intersting full of fears, excitement and lots of laughs. I am looking forward to it. Be safe out there and take a walk with Mother Nature and find peace. I have.