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Posts Tagged ‘hiking’

Ecola State Park, OR

September 6, 2021 Leave a comment

Our hike today at Ecola State Park had some terrific views. And some rough spots, the trail was steep and muddy. But the views were worth it. This park is near Cannon Beach, OR.

We shortened our hike a bit as I pulled my calf muscle a few days ago and it was acting up on me. Wouldn’t have been so bad, but the steepness coupled with slippery conditions made for a more tense hike, not good for a sore calf muscle.

We started out early, right about 10AM, and there were a few cars in the parking lot. But by the time we left at noon it was almost full. And coming back down the hike we saw quite a crowd of people. Last holiday of summer, nice weather, and everyone wanted to enjoy it. I’m glad we did!

A quick story about the Tillamook Lighthouse, also known as Terrible Tilly. Construction was started in 1878, and it took almost 2 years to build. Terrible storms and hurricanes made for some awful construction conditions. Once finished, there were always four keeper at a minimum. Their “shifts” were on the rock for 3 months, then 2 weeks off, and meant some terrible conditions for the keepers, both physical and mental. Some didn’t last more than a week.

The storms were terrible. The wind would tear chunks of rock off the island itself and throw them through walls, water tanks, even the lighthouse windows. Despite enforcements everything needed frequent replacement. Floating debris would plug the foghorn, which also required regular maintenance.

In 1957 the lighthouse was replaced with a red bouy. It was then sold to a private individual, but he lost title due to some serious swindling. The island then had several owners, each a story in itself.

Eventually it was turned into a columbarium. You could have your ashes stored there at prices from $1,000 and up. Unfortunately, the last owners lost their license to store peoples remain and the rock has been sitting empty since 1999. But it still is great for picture taking..

Mt. Baker, WA

August 7, 2021 2 comments

With the weather cooperating somewhat, we decided to hike the Alger Lakes trail on Mt. Baker. Took the back roads to get there just because I wanted to see Linden, WA. They have a large Dutch community so it was like a little visit home.

Then on the Mt. Baker. It’s a long drive but beautiful, alongside the Nooksack river. It has the unique blue-ish color of glacier fed water.

Artist Point on the top of the mountain was still closed so we stopped at Heather Visitor Center. Had a quick lunch, put on our boots and jacket, and did two hikes from the visitor center.

Hit some rough rocky sections, but navigated them without difficulty. There still is snow up there but it won’t last long with the moderate temperatures of summer. In fact, we had to take off our jackets when the sun appeared. Then back up the long hill to the parking lot and the drive home.

A nice full day of local agricultural scenery, mountain scenery, and an enervating hike.

Sacred Rim trail

As noted, we were staying in Boulder, WY for two nights. Now there isn’t much in Boulder, population 32, but it is close to the Wind Ridge Gorge. And that is where you will find many hikes of about any length or difficulty you want. As a result, even though this trail is a long ways from town, the parking lot was almost full.

We chose the Sacred Rim Trail hike, not the most well known but popular with locals. It is about 2 miles each way. We went about 1.5 miles, the altitude (9,500ft) was getting to me. But we had a chance to see the Gorge from the trail, really a beautiful area.

On the way back down from the trail head there were several magnificent views of the valley below. Didn’t realize how many lakes there were in this area!

Buena Vista, CO

We always enjoy Buena Vista, so we stopped by for a few days as we hear north and west. Managed to get an RV park near town, a little run down, but it had all the services we needed.

There is a favorite restaurant called Quincy’s. It is unique because it only has one item on the menu- filet mignon during the week and prime rib on weekends, with all the trimmings. We couldn’t pass up a prime rib night.

Good thing we also know some nice hikes in the area. BV has a river that is used for rafting and white water sports, and over the bridge there are many trails for hiking, biking and equestrian enjoyment. Part of these trails used to be a rail way originally used for transporting mine goods. They have been converted into riding and hiking trails.

So all told a pleasant few days with good eating and good hiking to work it off again.

Categories: Traveling Tags: , ,

South Fork, Buena Vista

July 13, 2021 1 comment

After the July 4th rally Romola and I drove to South Fork. It’s quite a climb over Wolf Creek Pass, we were down to 32 mph up hill. In South Fork, our RV site was right on the river, where we watched fly fishermen, birds, and amazing sunsets. We also stopped at the Grande Premium Meats, a store specializing in wild game meat and bought some elk, bison and venison.

A few days rest, and we drove to Buena Vista. We had dinner at Quincy’s, a favorite for filets and prime rib meals. And enjoyed several hikes up to the abandoned railway, originally used to transport mining goods to town. BV has quite an extensive network of hiking, biking, equestrian and Jeep trails. However, there was quite a bit of damage visible from the recent heavy rains and resulting landslides.

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Hiking, new friends

June 18, 2021 1 comment

We started off the day with an early morning hike. We chose the Dorothy Stewart Loop in the Santa Fe Forest. The loop is three miles long and has about 450ft of elevation gain, so another nice one as we acclimatize ourselves to the elevation and temperature. After all, we are around 7,500 feet above sea level.

We met a couple on the trail – Joanie and Jim – who live within walking distance and avid hikers. They are about the same age as we are and we shared a lot of common history. They know the area well and after a long trail side chat we exchanged information so we can stay in touch. In fact, we are meeting them for dinner tonight.

Finally, the temperature is starting to drop. The high today will be around 94 and tonights low a pleasant 62. Tomorow we go to Santa Fe’s excellent farmers market, looking forward to it.

Categories: hiking, Traveling Tags: ,

Volcano Trails hike

Like so much of the country, Albuquerque is in a record setting heat wave. So we left early for our hike, and found one close to where we are parked. We hiked the Volcano Trail in the Petroglyphs National Monument early in the morning. The three dormant volcanoes (JA, Black and Vulcan) we walked around or over are about 130,000 years old

This hike is in the open sun, no shade. It is 3.2 miles long and we had an elevation gain of around 500 ft. Most of it was packed sand and gravel, some pretty rough rocks and steep. We had some great panoramic views, especially from the top of Black. Normally you’d have a great view of Albuquerque, but the heat haze limited visibility somewhat.

We noticed some interesting plants, including a plant that looked dead but had pretty purple flowers….. and in the same plant yellow berries. These are silverleaf nightshades, also known as desert berries.

Sweet Creek Waterfalls

October 5, 2017 Leave a comment

This hike is close to Florence, near the Oregon coast.  This was one of the nicest hikes we’ve ever done.  It isn’t long, only about 2 miles each way.  It isn’t steep, only about 350 ft vertical.  It isn’t especially challenging, although there were some roots, rocks and catwalks.  And the whole route was under heavy forest growth.

But the waterfalls were amazing!  There are about 15 waterfalls along the two mile route, and rushing water all the way.  We did this on a beautiful day with our friends Jack and Sylvia Napoles. They bought a house in the area and will certainly do this hike and others in the Siuslaw Forest again!

Hiking Smelter Mountain

This was one of the most difficult hikes we’ve ever done.  Not because it was that far, or that high, but it was so steep and rocky.  It gained 1,000ft in one mile, all rocks and boulders. And in the full Colorado sun…. good thing we had lots of water with us.  It took us from the base of Smelter Mountain to the broadcast towers on the very top.

But we made it, and the effort was worth it, with spectacular views of Durango and the surrounding mountains.  The trip back down was anticlimactic, we just made sure of our foot placement and we got down no problems (well, maybe for 100 yards or so when we made a wrong turn).

Granted, we questioned our sanity several times on the way up (hey, we’re in our mid 70’s) but it was definitely worth the effort.

Hiking Engineer Mountain

Engineer Mountain is located about 50 miles north of Durango, is about 12,900ft high, and very popular with hikers.  There is a trail that leads through the forest to an open meadow right above the tree line, then to a viewpoint called Eagle Nest, and finally the mountain top itself.  Very few people attempt the top, as you pretty well need to go on all fours to get up the last steep part.

The parking lot is at 10,600 ft, the meadow about 2 1/2 miles in and about 11,400ft elevation, Eagles Nest another mile or so at about 11,800ft.  The peak is another 3/4 mile but goes up another 1,100ft!

It’s been almost 10 years since my quadruple bypass surgery.  We’ve hiked here before, and thought this would make a good test of my surgeons skills.  And, in fact, Romola and I had little trouble hiking — until we got within a half mile of the meadow.  It started to rain, and thunder was heard.  It never is a good idea to be on a mountain in thunderstorms so we headed back down.

So although we shorted our hike by a mile or so, it was very pleasant.  The wild flowers are blooming, with the columbine — Colorado’s state flower — well represented.