Wednesday, July 9, 2008

My 4th of July

My friend Betty and I decided to embark on a backpacking trip over the 4th of July weekend. We took our shopping trip to Winco and headed to REI where our friend Matt told us about all the places he was 'stoked' about. We decided to take his advice and we are so glad we did!

Our trip took us to the gorge, not far from Portland. We parked our car at the base of a closed forest road and started what was an incredibly long climb up the gorge wall. We had a topo map, but I told Betty I'd rather not calculate and just walk. So we did. We were high on the wilderness, taking pictures of everything and oblivious to the exertion that was going on and would continue for several hours. Our first day included beautiful creeks, waterfalls, views and a climb of 3200'. After hiking roughly 6 miles straight up with full packs (and a bit of wine-hehe) we finally reached our sign for Dublin Lake. We hiked 200' down into this serene slice of heaven. Initially it appeared that the lake was frozen and we would be melting snow for drinking water, but that wasn't the case. We set up camp and started our relaxation.

Betty and a big tree. Our camp was literally on the bank of the lake. We stayed for three nights and had to share on the first night, but had the lake to ourselves the rest of the weekend.
Home sweet home. I packed my fishing pole with no expectations of actually catching fish. My first cast in and this is what I caught!
Because I wasn't expecting there to actually be big fish, I didn't pack my frying pan and so Betty and I went into improvisation mode. This rock served as our cooking platform and I had some damn good trout burritos. This fish made my weekend!!!Day 2 was really our relaxing day. Along with catching fish, we played cards, napped during a rainstorm, read books, played with fire and just relaxed and took in the nature. It was also nice to hear very active Elk at about 6am that morning.On day 3 we planned a day hike to Tanner Butte. This was an 8 mile round trip hike with only around a 1200' elevation gain. It was cake compared to our hike in. The morning fog and trees were stunning.We hiked through several meadows full of wildflowers on our way to the top. Once at the top, the cloud cover was pretty heavy. Luckily the rocks were warm and we brought lunch. We both napped up top and sure enough the clouds burned off while we were eating.
Tanner creek lake from the Butte.
It was beautiful.
Mt. Hood in all it's glory.On our way back, we found this in the middle of the path. It was a big pile of poo and it certainly wasn't there when we left for the butte. Our suspicions were that it was bear poo and after googling it, I think it was. Eeeek! We also followed some very fresh elk tracks for about a mile down the path on the way back to camp. On Day 4 we fished a bit before leaving. The weather was perfect and we were looking forward to the views on the way out. We were also excited about going down and not up.
My Pumpkin!I ended up catching a releasing about 5 rainbows. They were so hungry!
We went out of our way to Wahna Peak and it was worth the mile and a half. The view of Mt Adams was stunning. It was also quite high and gave me that uneasy feeling when you are looking over a cliff. It was very cool.

One thing was for sure, the hike down actually seemed longer than the hike up. It must have been the adrenaline and excitement of being out there on the first day that made the ascent tolerable. All and all this trip was an absolute success. Highlights from the trip include, but are not limited to: wildlife, views, FISH, Mountainhouse dinners and wine, TRAILMIX, watching my nature dog in action, my sleeping bag and pad, salamanders, rummy with Betty, snow..... Gosh, too much to list. Another great trip in the books.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

hey beth your camping trip rules ! I can't believe that brought baby ! Normally she would be terrified . Please email me soon megan P.