picnic lunch

Mirror Lake and a Girl’s Day

On Thursday I took Logan to daycare and then Miss B and I got to do our own thing! I packed up some stuff and we drove up to Mount Hood, listening to Beth Hart and Lucinda Williams CDs. Bella was super excited for an adventure!

It was such a nice day and I had the whole day to do whatever I wanted. I wasn’t really up for working out yet (still a little sick) but an easy hike in some fresh air sounded right. I looked around for some hikes near us but found that the Gorge hikes are still largely closed due to the Eagle Creek Fire last year. Multnomah Falls is open but not all the way. So I decided to drive out to Mirror Lake.

Mirror Lake has been on my To Do List for years! It’s a super popular hike, though, and so we’ve never done it. Thee’s not a ton of parking available and it always fills up fast.

I got to the trailhead at 9:20 AM and I got the last parking spot (barely).

Bella and I got ready and headed out on the trail. You cross a bridge right away and I had to kind of wrangle Bella to get up on it and walk across and then she was ok. We hiked through the forest on a pretty manicured trail and then crossed another bridge.

Bella did great! The trail started to climb a little bit but it was never too steep or difficult. I thought it would be a good hike for Logan to do but then we came to this little area of rock scramble:

It looks worse than it was but it would be hard for a toddler to navigate. So not sure if Logan is ready for this one yet,

After the rocks, there were some mild switchbacks. We hike through the old growth alpine forest. It was fairly crowded but not too bad. Not like I imagine weekends to be! We got to a fork in the trail and took a left across this bridge:

The trail climbed again through some more forest and then it opened up and I got glimpses of the lake. Oh, one thing to note: The mosquitoes were SUPER bad! I got a few bites! Thankfully I had some bug spray in my backpack and so I put some of that on (a little too late, though).

The trail goes around the small lake and then there are parts of the forest that open up to the lakeside and you get THIS amazing view!

HELLO! There’s the mountain! What a perfect picture, too! It was so pretty. And all around the lake there were swarms of butterflies EVERYWHERE! It was kind of creepy, honestly! So many!

I walked around the lake (it’s pretty small) and then headed back down the trail. All in all it was a really nice, fairly easy hike. It’s good for older kids and was good for dogs. It would be a nice place to hike in and have a picnic lunch by the lake. Don’t forget your bug spray!

We got back to the car. I had packed some lunch in a cooler but it was only 11am so I decided to just drive home and eat there. Home to have lunch, shower, nap (I was worn out!) and then I spent the afternoon at the Oregon Humane Society.

I did NOT come home with a cat. 😉 But there were plenty of adorable ones! I found one that I loved. But she was a) a kitten–and I think I want a cat that’s around a year or two old and b) she looked exactly like Yggdrasil but with gold eyes. It made me cry a bit when I saw her and I just couldn’t do it. I think my next cat will have to look different than my baby did, otherwise I think I’d feel too sad.

But it was nice to look around. There were a TON of kittens at the Humane Society!

FRIDAY

Friday I went to the gym and then I got to take my new car on a little mini road trip! Some friends came over and we went to Sokol Blosser for a picnic lunch and tasting. None of them had ever been there, so it was nice to share it with them.

We had various cheeses, hummus and naan, tons of fruit and crackers. It was such a perfect day for a picnic!

After that we spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the sun and nice breeze at Stoller:

I stuck with water at the second place and they split a bottle of the Stoller Chardonnay (they all loved it as I knew they would!). It was nice just lounging in the chairs in the sun catching up with friends. I think Erika and I are going to do the Stoller 5k Race next year!

It was such a nice day! I got slightly sunburned, even though I used sunscreen! But other than that, it was chill and relaxing and perfect for my soul. 🙂

Tanner Butte Hike

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.