The Devil Can Wait

“Make me pancakes.”

That’s how my Sunday morning started. Lazing in bed, not really feeling motivated to get up, even though we were planning on going hiking. I told Michael to make ME pancakes. And this went back and forth for a bit. Finally, we agreed that I’d mix everything and he’d make the pancakes. Works for me. πŸ™‚

After breakfast we headed to The Gorge for a hike. The plan was to do Devil’s Rest via Wahkeena Falls. I’ve done Devil’s Rest once, by myself, and it was strenuous. I remember being crippled for days afterward. But that was also several pounds and several years ago, so I figured I was in shape enough to do it.

We ate our sandwiches in the car on the way to the site. It was a muggy, overcast day in Oregon but there were still a ton of hikers out on Sunday. Wahkeena Falls is a lovely, very steep, hike in the cluster of trails near Multnomah Falls. In fact, the cluster of hikes all connect to each other and you couldΒ start at one end and do them all. Wahkeena is nice because the waterfalls are all over the trail, including at the trailhead.

The first mile or so of the hike is paved switchbacks and it’s a heart-thumper. My heart rate spiked up to 150 or so (usually what my heart rate is when I run!) but it leveled out at a normal number after we got to the first summit.

The trail then turns into a dirt path with lots of rocks and tree roots. I would suggest wearing hiking boots with ankle support for this hike. As the path wound through the forest, there were several bubbling creeks, beautiful waterfalls and gorgeous views. The many scenic spots to stop make the difficult hike worth it.

There was a part of the trail where the path turned muddy and it looked like there was a recent landslide that washed out part of the trail. It was sketchy and a bit scary because I had to grip the muddy wall and be very careful with sure-footing to get passed the washout. The below picture is of the washed out trail. It’s hard to tell, but we had to pick up the trail just over the mound of mud. Scary.

This time of year the wildflowers are starting to pop up and I got some really great shots of the beautiful flowers. There was one in particular that was half blue and half purple. It was really neat looking. I wish I knew what these were. I’ve always envied the people that can look at flowers or plants and be able to identify them.

There were lots of dogs on the trail and I had to stop to pet and swoon over all of them! We’re getting closer to getting a puppy of our own and it’s kind of like baby fever–every dog I see I think “awww! Puppy!”.

The trail is very uphill for most of it, then the crowds thin out and there are less hikers the harder it gets. The trail eventually levels out and the path softens into the dirt and bed of pine needles in the old growth forest.

Then we came to a crossroads.

We could turn right to Angel’s Rest, or go straight to Larch Mountain, Multnomah Falls, or Devil’s Rest. We continued on to Devil’s Rest.Β The path started going uphill again and we reached another summit with another crossroads. I sat down on a rock to drink some water, rest my feet and make a decision. The trees dwarfing us were spooky and reminded me of the TV show “Twin Peaks” for some reason.

By this point we had been hiking for 1.5 hours. Michael and I had a decision to make. Continue up the even more strenuous trail to the Devil’s Rest summit–the very tip top–or take the flat trail to Larch Mountain.

Even though Devil’s Rest had been our goal, we both agreed that we’d be sore the next day from Wahkeena’s ascent and Devil’s Rest would probably just cripple us. So Larch Mountain it was. We walked for another twenty minutes or so before turning around to go back to the car. The path to Larch Mountain and Multnomah Falls was beautiful and fairly gentle. I definitely recommend it to other hikers.

The way back down the trail was almost harder than the climb up! It was so steep that I was leaning backwards to balance out my body weight as I climbed down. I just knewΒ my quads were gonna feel it the next day! I stopped to take a few photos that we missed on the climb up.

We stopped to rest just after the first big waterfall. We ate our pickles and drank some water, and then continued back down to the car. I was a sweaty mess and dying for a super hot shower.

What’s with Grumpers-McGee?! I have no idea why he was making a face. πŸ˜›

Stats:
Time: 2:31
Calories Burned: 787
Distance: 5-7 miles?

We got home and fixed dinner: grilling BBQ chicken, corn on the cob and salads. My spinach salad had broccoli, strawberries and gorgonzola cheese on it.

Michael and I may have been sporty matching compression tights for dinner…anything to prevent soreness…but sorry, no pictures of us in our spandex. Dinner hit the spot and it was nice to just sit on the deck with a cold beer and relax after a strenuous workout.

What a great hike! The Devil will still be there next time, and hopefully we can tackle it.

QUESTION: What’s the longest and/or hardest hike you’ve been on?Β 

30 Responses

  1. Beautiful hike! I hate hikes where I don’t know what to expect. Last summer we took a hike on a trail near our house, without looking it up ahead of time. It was a level 3, 4 mile trail that we were just not prepared for. It was miserable.
    Susan recently posted..Egg Muffins

    1. I am always skeptical of the ratings, too. There have been many hikes that Michael and I have been on that were classified as easy or moderate, but were more difficult. Like Multnomah Falls is considered “moderate: but I think that’s only because it’s ONLY a mile to the top and it’s paved. BUT that mile is super steep and there’s always someone who tries that hike and is carried down on a stretcher. No matter how fit someone is, Multnomah Falls will make your heart work hard!

  2. That looks like an amazingly beautiful hike. I am really jealous of all that beauty you have to hike through!

    I actually just wrote on my blog that I was excited that summer was here so I can start hiking to waterfalls again soon!

    Last year I was really out of shape and there is a waterfall around my area called Bassi Falls. It is downhill there, but up a huge hill to get back, I was so out of shape that hill kicked my butt, I had to stop so much. This year I am hoping to tackle it and not stop as much, especially since I have been getting stronger. That hill was my tipping point last year, let me know that I had gotten way out of shape and needed to start working harder to get back to healthy.
    Finding a skinnier me recently posted..Breaking up with a scale…

    1. We are definitely spoiled in the NW with beautiful scenery for hiking and other outdoor activities.

      I think your goal of completing the Bassi Falls hike is a good one. I had a similar goal when I was trying to lose weight. There was a hike that I could never do because it was so hard and I’d have to rest every few steps. That first time I was fit enough to hike the whole thing felt AWESOME! You can do it!

    1. Yes, it definitely feels good!

      I never used to have knee issues, especially not with hiking, but just in the last year or so. I have to be careful. Man, old age…. πŸ™

  3. I think Devil Rest to Angles Rest is the hardest hike I’ve ever done. The elevation change is a butt kicker! And to add to it when we went in March there was close to 3 feet of snow near Devils rest! But this is also one of my favorite hikes ever.

    1. Oh! Thank you for saying that! I was feeling kind of like a wuss….

      I can’t imagine hiking it in the snow. We’ve turned around a few times when Wahkeena was too muddy.

  4. Looks like a lot of fun!! And YAY for almost puppy-parenthood! You’ll love it…after they learn the basics. πŸ˜‰

      1. I have 2 doggies πŸ˜› we adopted Jack as a 9month old dog and Daisy as a 2 mo puppy. Puppies are harder! And more expensive! Daisy had to see the vet for shots every 2 weeks!! Then she had to get spayed = $$$! But once they are big enough and house trained it’s MUCH more fun/easier πŸ™‚ Don’t buy peepee pads! Your dog will just eat them (if you get a puppy). I suggest adopting if possible. Too many dogs need homes. And they are cheaper than a breeder and typically better dogs without inbreeding issues. And I’d suggest doing a training class like Petsmart’s since if nothing else it’ll force you and Micheal to practice training the dog…something we didn’t do with daisy but did with jack and it paid off! And get ready to invest in paper towels until house trained. Not trying to scare you – Dogs are AWESOME! the puppy stages are just a little tough πŸ˜‰ But you can do it!

        1. Thanks for the tips! We are definitely going to get a dog from the Humane Society. I believe very strongly in rescuing animals. I would be open to an older dog, not necessarily a puppy. My only concern is that an older dog may not have been raised around cats and I want the transition to be as pain-free as possible for my kitties.

          1. Most of the animal shelters will be able to tell you if the dogs are cat friendly or not. Petfinder.com is also a good source with cat details, too. And no matter the age, an older dog can learn new tricks – as long as you’re patient πŸ™‚ Good luck!! How exciting!!

  5. Your pictures of nature is breathtaking! I personally prefer the mountains over the beach. I get too much sun where I’m situated at anyway. : )

    1. Thank you Lisa! I love taking nature photos and it makes me happy when I get a few good shots!

      I love the mountains too. But I’m also a beach person. It’s a hard decision for me. πŸ™‚

  6. Your pancake story reminds me of when I make cookies. I have no problem whipping the dough together but then I don’t have the patience to sit and cook them all. I delegate that part

    Last year we went to Copper Falls State park in northern WI. I wouldn’t say it was really hard, but we don’t hike and it was insanely hot and humid. We were miserable by the end. πŸ™‚

    Gorgeous pictures!!
    Alison recently posted..A New Friend

    1. I don’t mind making cookies but pancakes aren’t my favorite. I was happy to delegate. πŸ˜‰

      Humidity and heat are not a good combination. Luckily here we have mild weather and hiking in the summertime is usually pretty nice. I bet the Copper Falls park was beautiful, though.

  7. Whoa. Images of pancakes & bacon on a blog make me wanna claw at the computer screen every single time. You should see the scratch marks on the screen right now. You owe me a new PC monitor.

    The hiking pics. It looks like you went frolicking through a magical forest. It’s beautiful!

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