Jun 202017
 

On Saturday we drove out to the Gorge to go for a family hike. We intended to do Dublin Lake Hike but I think we ended up doing Tanner Butte, or part of it anyways. The trailhead was Tooth Rock, right of I-84 at the Bonneville Dam, and it was a huge parking lot and apparently there were several hikes that started at that trailhead. You can read about it here.

We left the parking lot and walked about 1/4 of a mile on the Gorge bike trail (paved) and then there was a side trail (that we almost missed!!) for Tanner Butte. It was pretty overgrown at the beginning.

It started out as a pretty strenuous climb right away.

About 1/4 mile up the trail we came to several downed trees (why do we keep going on hikes that have fallen trees blocking the trail?!?). The first one was the only difficult one to get around. I crawled underneath it and then took Logan in the back pack while Michael crawled under. The other fallen trees (like the one above) were easy to get around.

It was a really great hike! It was quiet and peaceful and really pretty. Once we got away from the highway you couldn’t hear the cars at all and we only saw two other hikers on the trail.

The trail kept climbing up. We got to a clearing that had a view.

Then we got to another fork in the trail. It was kind of a maze of different forks. I tried to follow the instructions for the hike we wanted to do but I am still not sure if I did it right! We went up on this fork:

Bella having a blast:

We got to some switchbacks and then we got to the end of the hike–landslide! The trail was gone. So we had to turn around and go back down. It was too dangerous with the dog and baby to try and traverse the landslide, washed out part of the trail.

The climb back down was pretty easy.

We didn’t see anyone else on the trail. I’m surprised because it was such a nice, quiet hike.

Back down to the fallen trees:

And then we were back to the paved path. I saw this cool little plaque:

And there were lots of wildflowers blooming.

Logan did great on the hike! Not fussy at all. I think our hike was a little over an hour, so it was the perfect time and distance.

We got back to the parking lot area and let Logan run around on the trail and explore a little bit.

He was loving it!

Then we sat at the picnic bench for a picnic lunch. This was really nice! It was quiet, the sun was out, we were able to just relax and eat and Logan had fun too. 🙂

Here are the stats:

We hiked about 3 miles total.

It was a great hike! It’s free, 45 minutes drive from Portland and a good workout. (FYI there is no bathroom at the trailhead.) We plan on going back again in a few weeks to check out the other fork in the path.

May 302017
 

Yay for long weekends!! I got off work a little early on Friday (not by much) but it was enough to beat some of the traffic getting out of downtown. Michael and I chilled outside on the deck in the sunshine after Logan went to sleep and it was so lovely!

Saturday I went to the gym and did some weights. Then that even some friends came over for dinner. Michael made homemade pizzas and we ate outside on the deck.

They brought some salads from Pizzicato (they make amazing salads) — I had the pear and bleu cheese salad with candied walnuts–and we all had some beers. It was my “cheat day” so I happily ate REAL pizza and had beer! Carbs!! YAY! 😉

It was a really nice night–a little on the hot side but I’m not complaining. Memorial Day Weekend is notoriously rotten in Portland. It’s usually cool and rainy. But we lucked out this weekend and it was sunny, hot and clear.

Sunday I went for a swim and then we went to a friend’s 1st Birthday party. It was in a park over by SE Hawthorne.

Ice cream face!

Sunday night we had another dinner party! Two couples came over, one was visiting from Seattle with their kids. We BBQ’ed outside. I made two baked beans, a srichacha one (very spicy!) and regular.

We did chicken drumstricks–half spicy, half not spicy. I love the srichacha BBQ sauce from Trader Joe’s. It’s one of my favorite sauces.

The corn and the baked beans put me WAY over my carbs for the day! Ooops. 🙁 But it was all very tasty. And it felt like summer! We had gelato for dessert.

On Monday I got to sleep in a little bit and then we packed everything up and went for a hike. We drove to Estacada to do the Clackamas River Trail. Michael and I attempted to do it a million years ago, when we were first dating, in January of all months. It was horrifically freezing with an icy headwind so we didn’t make it very far.

This time the conditions were much better! It was kind of overcast and misty on the drive there but once we arrived the sun was coming out.

The trail starts pretty easily. It’s across the street from the parking lot and it’s flat and wide through the forest. Then it starts to get narrow and it goes along the river. 

There were a few spots you had to cross on rocks over a creek.

There were some beautiful views of the Clackamas River:

Then the trail started to climb and it went up and up and got narrower and narrower and there was a sheer drop off on the side. It was very freaky! I hate these kinds of hikes. I have a fear of heights and I can do ok as long as I’m not right on the edge of a cliff and the trail was too edge-of-the-cliff for me.

I didn’t get any good pictures of the narrow, scary, edge-of-cliff trail because I was too freaked out to stop and I was trying not to look down!

The trail did some switchbacks and then switchbacks down and we stopped for lunch at a little picnic/camping area right by the water.

We were about a mile from the waterfall but we decided to turn around after lunch and head back. And good thing we did! We climbed back up the trail and got just passed the cliff area and some hikers told us a tree had fallen across the path–they hadn’t seen it happen but they heard it fall! We were like “ok thanks” and continued on. We honestly didn’t think anything about it. Like–it’s just a tree we have to climb over, or go around or something, no big deal.

Another couple told us about the tree and we started to wonder how bad it was. Well, we turned a corner and there it was. No more trail. I did not get any good photos of the fallen tree or what we had to do to get over it because–it was freaking HARROWING!

That picture doesn’t do it justice at all. So I gave Bella to Michael and scouted it out. I went down and tried to break some branches and stomp on things to get through. Then I got to the actual tree and it was HUGE. And it covered the entire path. There was no going down to get around it. Another couple was climbing up and over the top of where it fell and it was precarious-looking on the side of a huge, steep hill.

FUCK.

There was really no good, easy or safe way to get across. But we had to. There was no other way to get out of the canyon and back to our car. I decided to go first. One of the other hikers helped me up and then I grabbed hold of a tree branch that wasn’t going to snap off (after falling several times, scraping up my arms and getting thorns and splinters in my hands). There was no where great to put your feet, either. You couldn’t tell what was solid ground, rock, or just moss and leaves. UGH!

So I JUMPED to get momentum, flung my body on top of the tree (it was huge), held on to a branch, scooted up a bit to get some more traction, flung my leg over the side and straddled the huge tree. Then I looked down to try and figure out where to put my foot. Again, it was impossible to tell what was solid and what wasn’t. So I figured it out and got to the other side, hanging on to the fallen tree and the side of the steep hill, trying not to fall down.

We tried to get Bella to go underneath the tree but she was freaked out and too scared. So Michael had to pick her up and kind of fling her up onto the tree, I caught her and then she jumped down and scrambled up the side of the mountain. Then Michael took the backpack off and lifted Logan onto the tree and I lifted him over and rested him on the branches and rocks next to me. PHEW. I stopped freaking out a little bit once he was safely with me on the other side of the tree.

Then Michael had to climb over the tree. He got over and got Logan back on his pack and then we had to scramble up, over and then down the side of the mountain–nothing really to hang on to, footing unsure, I basically just kind of crawled and butt scooted from rock to tree and tried to get down.

The photos don’t really show how big the tree was, how deep the gully was around the tree or how steep the hillside was to get down!!! It was quite the adventure. We were safe, we got over and down to the trail with minor scrapes, bruises, cuts and splinters but Logan and Bella were safe so that’s important. It was FREAKY!

We hauled ass back to the car. I had splinters all in my hands, Logan started getting fussy, the strap on the baby backpack broke, and we were all just done with the day!

4.6 miles hiked, 706 calories burned, I think part of my calorie burn was the panic attacks I had on the cliffs and then having to traverse the fallen tree!!

I’m not exaggerating when I say the tree part was pretty freaky. I think we were both rattled. And I was particularly rattled about the idea of being IN the forest, on a hike, at the exact time a tree falls on the trail. Scary! There was no cell service for at least 5 miles and once I had service I tried calling the local ranger station to let them know but they were closed for the holiday, so I called the Estacada Fire Department and they said they’d let the rangers know. I really hope no one got hurt or stranded on the trail!

Anyways, that was our weekend!