hikes

5 Years

It’s our 5 year wedding anniversary! Woohoo! It’s hard to believe it’s only been 5 years, because in some ways it feels like a lot longer. We’ve had a baby, sold a house, bought a house, moved…lots of big life changes in those 5 years.

Usually for our anniversary we try and go out of town overnight or for the weekend and have my parents babysit Logan to give us a little time away. Because of all the uncertainty with selling our house, we didn’t this year. Which is fine. We have a few vacations planned in a few months, so we can officially celebrate then! But for now, we just did a day trip.

Michael’s mom and stepdad babysat Logan for the day on Saturday. We had breakfast and then headed north to go for a hike, just the two of us.

We did the Whipple Creek Hike. It was a little north of Vancouver, Wa and mainly used for horseback riders, I guess. But it was a very kid-friendly place and we saw some families and we also saw some trail runners.

It’s pretty easy and flat, not much elevation gain. So it’s a good hike to do if you want to just do miles but not elevation (or if you have knee issues).

There are a lot of different trails you can take and none of them are super long, so you can a lot of them if you want.

We saw some horseback riders and saw the stables where there were a lot of horses.

We got to say hi to this beauty!

Even though it was pretty flat and easy and my heart rate never really got over 115, I burned a decent amount of calories! It was a nice little hike. We’d do it again and take Logan with us.

After our hike, we drove to downtown Vancouver and had lunch at Amaro’s Table. Highly recommend! Excellent food!

I had a glass of bubbly to celebrate. There were so many good things on the menu to choose from! I ended up getting the antipasto platter. It was an appetizer but plenty of food for lunch and about 85% on my diet. 😉 Not that that was a concern for the day.

Amazing brussels sprouts. Cheese, salami, carrots, chilled zucchini salad and some bread.

Michael got the chicken fried sandwich with homemade chips. The sandwich a zesty sauce and coleslaw. I had a bite. It was very good!

We shared an appetizer of ahi tuna rolls. Also very good! I’ve missed sushi. I would definitely go back to this restaurant. Everything was delicious and reasonably priced.

After lunch we walked around the waterfront of Vancouver.

It was a little bit of a gray day but thankfully it didn’t rain until we got home. The waterfront was super nice! Very clean, walkable, free parking (on weekends), lots of restaurants. It was cool and I’d like to go back and check out one of the waterfront restaurants.

We saw that Maryhill Winery had a tasting room on the waterfront and popped in to share a quick tasting and buy a bottle. I like Maryhill but it’s hard to get out to (it’s about 2+ hours from Portland).

We walked around some more and eventually it was time to head back home and to reality. Lunch was pretty big and filling so dinner was just munchies (leftovers from lunch and some fruit).

It was a really nice day! I’d like to go back to downtown Vancouver and check out some of the other stores and restaurants.

Falls Creek Falls

On our last day in the Gorge we got up early again and had breakfast out on the deck one more time before packing up and heading home.

We stopped at the North Shore Cafe again so I could get coffee and then we started the drive toward home–with one stop first: Falls Creek Falls hike in Gifford Pinchot wilderness. It was sort of on the way to the Bridge of the Gods just by Carson. It was a really beautiful drive through the forest and then you go off the main road and drive about 2 miles–VERY SLOW miles–on a dirt road with humongous potholes. It was slow going and very bumpy. We got to the parking lot and it was about half full (when we left it was all full).

The hike started out in the trees immediately and we hiked alongside a creek that was sometimes pretty fast. There was a suspension bridge we had to cross that was pretty cool. Usually Bella is super freaked out by bridges and won’t cross without a lot of coaxing and help but she did GREAT! Maybe she is getting over her fears.

It was nice that this hike was in the forest and shaded. The day was warming up nicely. Logan loved the hike. He babbled and high-fived Michael and talked to people and dogs that we passed on the trail. 🙂

The hike was deceptively uphill. It gave us some nice breaks and leveled off here and there (unlike Weldon Wagon trail hike that was constantly uphill) and we got to a fork in the trail and saw this sign:

We were almost to the waterfall! Apparently this hike is a 6-ish mile loop but we didn’t plan on doing the whole thing. And talking to some hikers that were coming down the trail, apparently the other part of the hike is a lot of scrambling on rocks. Not ideal with a dog and baby.

We got to a few parts of the trail where there were washouts but for the most part it was a well-maintained hike.

There was another little bridge near some mini waterfalls. It was cute!

Then we were finally to the waterfalls! It was about 10 degrees cooler by the falls. They were gorgeous! So much prettier than Multnomah Falls, in my opinion.

The falls would have been a perfect place to have a picnic lunch but we didn’t have one. 🙂 So we headed back down the trail. Logan was on borrowed time and would need food and out of the hiking backpack soon. We are good if we have 2-ish hours to hike with him. He’s getting better, though, each time we go.

I posted a video on my Instagram if you’d like to see it. 🙂

Pretty good stats for a hike! Afterward we drove to Cascade Locks, crossing the Bridge of the Gods back into Oregon, and stopped at the East Wind Drive in for lunch. FABULOUS burgers and curly fries! The place is always crowded. I’ve only been there for ice cream cones after hikes, so it was nice to get food there. We’ll definitely be back!

We went to the Cascade Locks marina and park for lunch –devoured our burgers–SO HUNGRY! And then let Logan run around a bit for the drive back to Portland.

It was a pretty fabulous little vacation for us!