30 May 2009
An article in the newspaper piqued my interest in exploring the Clackamas River Trail today. So, just before 8 am I set my sights on Estacada and hit the road with a goal in mind: hike to Pup Creek Falls.
A sign at the beginning of the trail warned about debris from winter storms, and there was plenty of it. Fortunately, most of it had been cleared by a diligent soul.
Still, there was a lot of rock hopping and log shimmying in some places in order to keep moving forward. I was just about to turn back when I saw the tiny turnoff sign almost 4 miles into the hike:
I was beyond ready for a snack at this point, and upon reaching the falls threw myself onto the log bench hewn into the mountainside for a much needed break.
I had the falls to myself, and tried to capture what I saw with my inadequate camera lens. At least the picture will spark the memory of the actual beauty.
On the (long) hike back to the car, I was accompanied by the occasional flotilla of rafters passing by:
7.7 miles later, I was parched, but happy. This is not an easy trail for the casual hiker. You definitely need plenty of water, sturdy shoes, and some protein-based snacks in your backpack. And don't forget to purchase a National Forest day pass ($5) at the ranger station on your way into town!
25 May 2009
Last Saturday was the perfect day for a driving trip. I chose to go to the Columbia River Gorge and cross the river over into Washington. I felt like such a rebel. Crossing state lines isn't something I'm allowed to do on work time. So, I've always admired the gorge from the proper Oregon side of the river.
I explored the tiny, twin towns of Bingen and White Salmon.
They were s l o w l y filling the local pool for the season.
I then meandered along Highway 14, following the Columbia River back to Vancouver. When I saw a rather curious sight...
And wondered what would happen as the schooners drifted west, and the paddle boat pressed on to the east...
Phew! Crisis averted.
It was a beautiful day to be on the river no matter the form of transportation.