Tuesday, June 26, 2012


No, not the football! That thing you do when you walk in the woods.  For Matt's birthday we both took the day off and drove across the Interstate Bridge,
All the way to Washington,
Where we saw amazing, moving weather, 
And glimpses of fog coming down in the Columbia River Gorge.
Until we got to Beacon Rock State Park.
Which we drove past until we stopped in a parking lot so we could do the Hardy Ridge Trail hike.  As you can see, no one else was so similarly motivated.
Here we are at the start.  Notice my sunglasses.  I won't be needing those.
Bits of the Gorge.
Matt sets off.
More wisps of clouds in the Gorge.
We did not choose Hamilton Mountain, but instead took the Hardy Ridge Trail.
Here's the guidebook we used.  Notice the rain on the backpack.  It was a very dewy hike.
More walking.
If it were November, this would signal raw, cold and misty.  It is, however June and so it was moderate temperature and misty.
Matt waves through the mist.
Here comes the real rain.
And more rain.
Here is where a view would be.
Evergreen Huckleberries.  I have some of these in my yard.
More wildflowers.
We stopped at the ridge to eat lunch.  Eventually, the view cleared, the fogged over, then cleared again. As we ate, it changed again and again.  It did not rain, however.
From the ridge.
Our delicious sandwich lunch.
Foggy ridge view.
Clearing again.
After staring off into the brush across the way from where we were sitting, I realized the leaf pattern I was looking at was familiar to me. It's alpine strawberries!  There is even a tiny strawberry visible in the top middle part of the picture.  I grow alpine strawberries on my front porch.
More pictures from the ridge.
Failed endorsement for M&M's.  Matt had the peanut, I had the plain.
After we ate, we read about the rest of the trail.  Here's what we found out. "After about 0.4 mile, the good trail ends and you're on an old road that is both steep and rife with chest high brush.  Hopefully the park and the WTA [Washington Trail Association] will eventually rehabilitate this section.  In about another 0.4 mile, the way emerges onto another road.  Head left, now on much better tread and easier grade, only dealing with high grasses (avoid in tick season), and reach the first four-way junction after 1.3 miles."

I guess it pays to read about the entire hike before you start out on it.  "Is it tick season?" Matt wanted to know, when I read this section aloud to him.  Because neither of us are regular hikers, I had no idea.  We soldiered on.  Happily, it was smooth sailing the rest of the way back.  Apparently, the WTA had rehabilitated that section.

Last ridge views.
And we're done!
These two pictures were part of an effort to take timer shots from both our cameras simultaneously.  The first round failed due to Matt's timer malfunction.
Still no one in the lot.  "We could have done the whole hike naked!" I commented.

"That would have been cold." Matt reminded me.  I pointed out that we still could have.

Today's lessons:
Read the entire hike description before you set out.
If you are seeking solitude in the Gorge go on a rainy Tuesday in late June.

1 comment:

Sara K. said...

Looks like a beautiful day. That misty rain is really romantic and added such a dewy-goodness to the day. It didn't seem to dampen your spirits. And there is something to be said about having the trail to yourself. What an excellent birthday outing.