I hardly had time enough to clean my pickup up from our California trip before I headed out to Vancouver to hike the Columbian Gorge with Terry and Mt. Hood withBill. Now that I’ve purchased an Off-season States Park Pass, I can stay at any open State Park for free, or for $10 if I connect up to electricity or water. Hopefully that means I’ll be able to hike the Columbia Gorge or Mt Hood more this year, at least when the weather cooperates.
Unfortunately, in my rush to throw everything together I left my camera in the camper when I hiked Multnomah Falls to Wahkeena Falls on the first day with Terry, which, as it turned out, might not have been entirely a bad thing. Terry was obviously in much better shape than I was, weighing 147 pounds and with a resting heart rate of 47. Even without a camera he had to wait several times on the uphill grade while I stopped and gasped for breath. I’m sure lugging a camera and an extra lens along would have made it even harder to keep up. It was a great day, though, and I was thankful that Terry had agreed to take me along with him. It took a couple of years for us to put a hike together because the weather has been remarkably uncooperative in the past. Hopefully we’ll be able to get together again this winter or next spring.
I wasn’t about to forget my camera two days in a row even though I knew I would probably have as much trouble keeping up with Bill the next day as I did keeping up with Terry. Knowing I’d hiked the day before, Bill chose Tom, Dick, and Harry Mountain, a hike we used to do in late Spring or early summer when the mountain snows were just beginning to melt. Even though it’s at a higher altitude than the Gorge hike, it was shorter and, I think, less steep, though I certainly wouldn’t swear to it as we climbed steadily.
Luckily it was relatively cool, and the dense forest at the beginning of the hike helped keep it that way. I love walking in Pacific Northwest forests.
As we approached Mirror Lake we could look ahead at our destination, Tom, Dick, and Harry Mountain. It didn’t seem nearly as close as it looked here when we started the climb, particularly when we emerged from the forest into the clearings on the top of the ridge.
There was no arguing, though, that the views from the top were worth the effort, though Mt. Hood looked as bare as I have ever seen it in the 40+ years of hiking it.
I was better able to appreciate the Fall colors on the way down than on the way up when I spent most of the time staring down at the trail.
We stopped at Mirror Lake to get a shot of Mt Hood peeking over the firs. Unfortunately, there was a little too much breeze for the lake to live up to its name.
It made me resolve to get back here in Fall or early Spring when Hood has more snow on it to try to get a better shot of Hood and its reflection.
It was another great hike, though my legs felt a little the worse for wear after two days of the toughest hiking I’ve done all summer. Walking on flat trails or indoor tracks, even when you jog part of the time, is not the same as hiking up and down steep trails. I need to do a lot more trail walking.