Saturday, June 26, 2021

Hike: Angel's Rest, Corbett, OR

AllTrails map

Getting There

I knew the temperatures this weekend in the Pacific Northwest were going to be crazy hot... like record setting. I was not to be deterred. I considered doing my Newton/BPA route again or wander around Sauvie Island.

I still needed to get some 32W shorts. I took a chance that REI in Hillsboro would have what I needed. I'd checked out Dick's looking for the poles that came with all the feet. None of them had any; spikes and/or or baskets. They must be totally sold out.

I still did not find poles but I really don't need them, just the feet. They had the 'boots'! They cost as much as I paid for the poles but oh well. They had some shorts as well.

Back in Portland, opted at the last minute to skip Newton Rd and started out Hwy 30. I passed up Sauvie as well. I did a u-turn and started out toward Troutdale.

I got the the Bridal Veil Falls exit and got a view of the parking lot, I was kind of shocked that it was nearly empty. Whoa. On a Saturday? It wasn't that hot. I think 103.

I geared up and set out. I had plenty of water!

The Hike

Length: 4.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,476 feet
Type: Up and Back

This is my 2nd recent hike (Spring '21) but I'm sure I'd hiked it years ago.

I passed by two couples early on the trail. They didn't look like they were in for the long haul. 16oz of water for both of them.

A couple of people came down the trail early on as well.

It certainly was hot but it wasn't as bad as I anticipated. The shade really helped a lot. I really noticed the temperature difference when I had to hike in direct sunlight.

The last 3rd of the hike is pretty much out in the open. There were some large trees or bushes to get a little shade.

I found a little bit of shade between two big rocks. I had my foam pad so it was cushy on the tushy.

They was so restorative. I cooled down enough to explore the rest of the outlook.

It was bizarre to be completely alone. Last weekend, there were so many cars, even the overflow lot.

View from my little spot out of the sun

It was pretty hot out.

A look at Archer Mountain, Phlox Point, & Hamilton Mountain

Looking west up the Columbia River


I'd like to come back and hike up to Devil's Rest.
Or, park on Larch Mtn Road and hike down to here.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Hike: Hardy Ridge & Phlox Point, Washougal, WA

AllTrails map

Getting There

This was a later afternoon hike. I made a stop at Dicks to look for a pair of shorts and I needed to replace the foot on one of my hiking poles.

I wanted to expand my knowledge of the Hardy Creek area which includes Hamilton Mountain and Phlox Point. It's part of the trail system I've already been exploring. Now that the allure of conquering Hamilton is fading a bit (been there, done that :), I'm happy to look for other challenges nearby.

(I'm still overcompensating for that encounter with those hikers and not knowing the loop options from the Saddle.) 

I'd been to scout the parking lot last fall (which I'd forgotten until I saw it). I parked right next to pit toilets and trail signage.

It was a Friday afternoon on the weekend before record setting temperatures in the Western US. I was the only car in the Equestrian Parking lot. I'm still getting used to being the first (or only hiker) in an area. A park ranger drove by and I waved, at least they knew I was here.

The Hike

Length: 8.62 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,231 feet
Type: Loop

This is the first time in this part of the Beacon Rock hike area. I had Phlox Point on the brain. I do the health benefits but I am somewhat driven by a goal, destination like a viewpoint. This mostly applies to Up-and-Back treks but if a Loop has a high point that's ideal. 

(I've considered parking at Forest Park right at BPA and making that the last challenge. Perhaps, I'm modeling my 'practice' runs on the Summit Hike at MSH.)

I geared up and set out.


I noticed the forest road but saw a smaller trail next to it. I took it and moments later emerged on the forest road. LOL. Durr.

The first part of the hike is up this road; mixed use (hikers, bikes, horses). 

When you reach the junction for the West Hardy Ridge Trail you've climbed about 1,100 ft and walked 1.3 miles.

Take the left and continue the ascent. The climb through the canopy is gradual. It's another 1.3 miles along the ridge (600 ft gain), then you hit the switch back and some views of the Gorge and Columbia River.

It's 0.7 miles to the junction for Phlox Point. You climb another 700 ft.

It's about 0.8 miles to the top of the mountain! There is a lot of traveling through overgrowth at the beginning but you climb up on the rocks and you can see the point ahead. There are a bunch of epic place for views and photos and soaking in the scenery.

Phlox Point is just slightly higher than the area around it but I made sure to go .. all..  the..  way!

One of my favorite views is my beloved Hamilton Mountain and The Saddle to the east. Plus, you can see Mt Adams peaking behind Table Mountain and Mt Hood in the other direction peaking over the gorge cliffs/mountains.

L-to-R: Saddle/Hamilton, Mt Hood, Hardy Ridge from Phlox Point

Phlox Point (and Mt Hood)

Phlox Point (and Mt Hood)

Hamilton Mtn/Saddle and Mt Hood

Hardy Ridge from Phlox Point

Table Mountain, Sacagawea + Papoose Rocks, and Columbia Gorge

Columbia River Gorge (west of Beacon Rock) from Phlox Point
+ Archer Mountain on the right

I was getting wary of the time. It was around 5:30p and while I had plenty of sunshine up here, I knew my descent was going to be down in the valley below under the trees.

I made it to the junction and started down East Hardy Ridge. 

(Hindsight: The return trip was less picturesque. It feels like a straight road, like the central artery for the trail systems on either side. It's meant to be wide for horses. Next time I got to Phlox, I'll return the way I came, West Hardy Ridge; better views, more interesting terrain.).

I walked by a pretty big pile of bear poop. No clue how recent but I made sure my bell was clanking regularly. 

It occurred to me later that large predators tend to hunt in the evening. I was hiking through cougar area and I'd just seen signs of bears. I should have a dog or not hike alone. It's a real dilemma. I crave the solitude and it's difficult to find someone that's simpatico for this stuff. I don't want to be antisocial but I'd want someone that could keep up and understands how to be safe in the wilderness. I could stand to learn some new skills.

My immediate remedies for this is:

  1. Don't hike alone in the late afternoon.
  2. Try to find trails with at least a few people.
  3. Bring the bear spray and my knife.
  4. Make noise, bring bear bell, talk out loud.
  5. Trust instincts (turn around if it doesn't feel right).

I still had my offline Alltrails map so I could gauge my progress and see when I was getting close to the trail intersections thus my proximity to the trailhead.

The canopy began to getting thinner and I was relieved to see have plenty of sunlight.

I passed a couple of women and three dogs. One of them gave me the business. I thought, "okay" maybe my caution is well-founded but at least others were out there and felt safe (at least with their dogs).

When I got the trailhead, I saw two cars. Not sure if they each drove cars or there was another hiker somewhere in the valley.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Hike: Forest Park (Newton Road, BPA, Wildwood), Portland, OR


AllTrails map

Getting There

The Newton Road parking lot/Trailhead is off Skyline Road, about 1/8th mile from Germantown Road. It's a small single lane dirt road. There are a couple of places to allow another car to pass but it'd be a tight squeeze. Some potholes have formed but the Jeep and extra clearance make this a non-issue.

The Hike

Length: 5.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,181 feet
Type: Loop

This is my 4th hike of the Newton Road-BPA-Wildwood loop and third time going counter-clockwise: Start at the trailhead, go north on Wildwood onto Newton Road. It leads down to Hwy 30 and the BPA Road.

Then, up the access road (BPA Road) under the power lines.

Then back south alone BPA, paralleling Skyline Road. You pass through the Gap.

Then rejoin Wildwood Trail to Newton Road.

Then back to the parking lot/trailhead on Newton Road or Wildwood.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Hike: Hardy Creek-Hamilton Mountain II, Bonneville, WA


AllTrails Map

Getting There

This is my fifth hike at Hamilton Mountain and second clockwise loop from Hardy Creek Trail to Hamilton Mountain Trail.

I'd started the day at Larch Mountain in OR. I found a route from Mile Marker #10 on Larch Mountain Road to Devil's Rest and Angel's Rest. 

I gave up after about 1/2 mile because it was just walking a forest road. It might have gotten better but I didn't find the scenery that compelling nor was it a challenging hike.

It might have been more fun with other people (or dogs or both).

I made the call to turn back before I got too far in. It was still morning but I wanted to have plenty of time to hike.

I set my sights on Angel's Rest. Of course it was Sunday and Father's Day/Juneteenth weekend. I took a gamble but quickly regretted trying to find anything but crowds along Hwy 30 between Crown Point passed Multnomah Falls.

In fact the overflow parking for Angel's Rest was brimming with cars (probably illegally parked).

I was eyeballing trails that weren't super crowded. Somehow I found Wyeth Campground and a trailhead. The parking lot had a few cars but it was suspiciously light on people. I put out my parking pass and window shade. I found within an 1/8th of a mile, the Wyeth Trail was closed (indefinitely). There was a short dead-end trail to a small waterfall and the Gorge Trail which parallels Interstate 84 back towards Cascade Locks.

I went for awhile but it would be miles before I did any climbing at all. Grrrrr..

I turned around and went back to the car. I did checkout the waterfall but I really wanted to climb!

Well, I'd been lucky the previous two weekend visits to Hamilton Mountain, what were the odds I'd strike gold three times in a row? (I planned on hiking up from the highway).

When I got to the parking lot, I was surprised to not find an attendant. I had my Discover Pass ready and everything!

There were 2-3 empty spots even though the sign said Parking Lot Full. Woohoo!

The Hike

Length: 8.9 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,140 feet
Type: Loop

I was definitely planning to do the Hardy Creek-Hamilton loop again but thought I'd take the counter-clockwise this time. Two guys were reading the trail sign at the at the Hardy Creek trail. They went up so I took said "fuck it" and took the clockwise route again.

There were quite a few people coming down the trail. I wondered if they were returning from Hamilton Mountain or there's another loop from the parking lot.

I gave myself an out. I was feeling pretty good but still a little sore from the day before (Saturday at Archer Mountain). I said I'd take the Equestrian Trail to the Saddle if I was tired when I got there.

When I reached the turn, I moved the proverbial goalpost. I'd take Tom's Cut-off Trail to the Saddle. When I got there, a couple were stopped reading a map on their phone. I still had "juice" and forged again. I thought about stopping at the Bridge Trail where I'd heard people last time. Might as well switch it up. 

When I got to the Bridge Trail, I was getting tired. I didn't want to take a descent and have to climb back up to this point. (That'll have to be a different trip.)

The end of the loop seemed farther than I remembered. It was pretty overgrown. I'm sure I was hiking through poison oak. Oh well, there was too much overgrowth to worry about it. I swatted what I could. 

I was glad to finally reach the north end of the loop. It was more uphill. At some point I decided I'd take the cut-off trail when I got there and not go all the way around (like last time).

I certainly saved some elevation gains. I was stoked to see daylight as I approached the Saddle.

I saw couple of women hiking towards me. A welcome sight. My straw hat wanted to take off. It was really windy, too much to stop and have a safety meeting.

It was night as mellow in the trees but I kept going. I knew it the last climb and it was kicking my butt.

I passed a group of 6, including a little girl around 10. Mad props!

I also passed a couple I'd see at Rodney Falls at the beginning of the hike.

The descent was tough on the knees and calves. The views are no less impressive but the original awe has faded a little. 

I trekked out to Little Hamilton. There weren't any people of there. I started down the super steep section but opted to take an easier way down this time. 

I was scrambled route from the main trail. I let my guard down and slipped. It had to happen sooner or later. I didn't hurt anything fortunately but it was a good reminder to not get complacent.

The rest of the journey down was routine at this point. I kind of wished I'd done the counter-clockwise loop instead.

Not a bad weekend: ~`15.4 miles and 5,584 feet of elevation.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Hike: Archer Mountain + Private trail, Washougal, WA


AllTrails map

Getting There

Take WA Hwy 14 out from Washougal. Take a left (north) at Smith-Cripe Road, about half way between Prindle and Franz Lake. The trailhead parking lot is about 0.5mi up the road. There's room for 10-15 cars if everyone parks responsibly (i.e. perpendicular or angled). There was only one car when I got there so I parked parallel (oops). (I did the same thing at Vista Ridge last year).

The Hike

Length: 6.53 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,444 feet
Type: Dual out-and-back treks

I was looking for a new place to hike since I'd done Cape Horn and Hamilton Mountain several times already. I got an early start, around 9am so I had plenty of time.

The parking lot is darkened by the trees but you emerge into a wide meadow with views of the both sides of the canyon.

The Archer Mountain Trail starts heading downhill (to the right) where the dirt road splits. The foliage is overgrown. I'm sure I scraped by poison oak but I didn't experience any symptoms. I was a little anxious because it felt like a less used trail. I'd hoped I'd wasn't heading on the wrong trail. (I wasn't).

I could hear the stream/creek somewhere below and finally found the little bridge. 

The route seemed a little clearer, cross the water, zigzag up the side of the forest until you reach the base of rocks, then tight/steep switchbacks.

Meadow near the trailhead

First lookout on Archer Mountain Trail

Columbia Lily

Top of Archer Mountain

I forgot my extra battery for the phone and I didn't give it a full charge so I only checked the map occasionally. I saw the spur trail for Scott Point on the way up but kept going.

I reached the top of the mountain, a small clearing in the trees.

Note: I completely overlooked the trail to Arrow Point. schucks.. I'll have to go back!

On the way back down, I stopped at Scott Point. Initially I stopped at this first spot and took in the view. I realized there was a little trail going out further, passed the trees.

Columbia River Gorge from Scott Point

Scott Point

There is a little point that extends out over the valley below. It's not as shear a drop as it appears here.
I could see some exposed rock on the other side of the valley. I wanted to go there!

I descended all the way back to the meadow near the trailhead. I took the other side of the fork. I was a forest road for about 1/8th of a mile until it dead-ends at a stone wall. Perhaps, an old foundation, now a campsite.

Stone wall

I continued up the steep trail and encountered a group of three (well, four): a 30-something couple, their dog, and an older guy (guy's dad). They were taking their time and I scooted passed. I made it up a really steep section (scrambling on all fours).

It's quite a view, but wait there's more...

from private trail

I keep going but I was questioning if I was getting in too deep. I saw another steep scramble route but followed the lower trail (see next photo).

It hugs the mountain like a wave/tube. I couldn't help worrying about being buried under fallen rock.

The trail surface was well covered with moss/ground cover and didn't look like anyone had taken this route for some time.

I turned around. I found the scramble route again and went up a bit but bailed.

The "other" trail.

I found that group of four (3 plus dog). I asked if I had given up too soon. They confirmed that awesome views were just around the corner. I decided to follow them back to where I'd just come from. They said they rarely see other people on this side.

I told them that I'd already been up to Archer Mountain.

I stood there for a second to take in the views. I thanked them for the advice and motivation to come back.

I thought I'd continue on the ridge trail but when I got under the canopy of the trees, the trail went up sharply, nearly a 40 deg grade. I didn't have the energy to climb and didn't want to have to come back down this section.

I emerged back out and found a cool spot to chill.

Across from Scott Point/Archer Mountain (private)

My new friends (lol) left and I hung back for awhile (mostly to give them a head start because I knew I'd catch up if I left right away).

Just after the steep scramble section, I did catch up. The dad was sitting down resting and asked if I'd seen his lost sunglasses. I apologized that I hadn't but said I'd keep an eye out. I pardoned myself for leapfrogging them one last time.

Not long after I heard a kid screaming like a bird of prey. I passed them and fist bumped the air that I didn't have to hear that nonsense.

I made it back to the parking lot and realized I was the only car not perpendicular or angled parked. 

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Hike: Forest Park (Newton Road, BPA, Wildwood), Portland, OR


AllTrails map

Getting There

The Newton Road parking lot/Trailhead is off Skyline Road, about 1/8th mile from Germantown Road. It's a small single lane dirt road. There are a couple of places to allow another car to pass but it'd be a tight squeeze. Some potholes have formed but the Jeep and extra clearance make this a non-issue.

The Hike

Length: 5.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,181 feet
Type: Loop

This is my 3rd hike of the Newton Road-BPA-Wildwood loop and second time going counter-clockwise: Start at the trailhead, go north on Wildwood onto Newton Road. It leads down to Hwy 30 and the BPA Road.

NOTE: I'm hoping use this challenging route to get in shape for doing the Ptarmigan Trail to the MSH Crater Rim trip later this year. Once you leave the forest in Ptarmigan, you hike on a steep exposed route on pumice. It's gonna be a leg burner for sure. I imagine the descent takes as long as the ascent. Both up and down this road is good practice.

Then, up the access road (BPA Road) under the power lines.

Then back south alone BPA, paralleling Skyline Road. You pass through the Gap.

Then rejoin Wildwood Trail to Newton Road.

Then back to the parking lot/trailhead on Newton Road or Wildwood.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Hike: Ant Hill Trail, Wahtum Lake, Mt Hood, OR


AllTrails map

AllTrails map

Getting There

Since Vista Ridge was bust and it was early I set back out on Lolo Pass Road toward Lost Lake. I knew that place would be packed with people I continued on to Hood River. I saw a road and read the sign in my rearview mirror. Wahtum Lake, 10mi. Hmm.. Intriguing. I stupidly stopped in the road but quickly realized I was a hazard and drove ahead to find somewhere safe to turn around.

The road climbed into the forest as expected. There were a couple of side road that weren't marked but I took a chance and took the fork that went up.

There were a few places with lots of rocks on the road, Yikes! I encountered a couple of cars so I felt better that I was on the right road. 

At a blind section I nearly had a run-in with another car. Sudden braking in the Jeep is weird. I stalled it but backed down to make room for the other car to pass. I played it off as if "I meant to do it!".

When I got to the campground, I found a spot to park. I had no cell service so I just scanned the options and went towards to trail that climbed up, Ant Hill Tr. 406B.

The Hike

Length: 4.66 miles 
    (incl. Ant Hill Tr. 406B, Rainy-Wahtum Trail, Wahtum Lake Trail/Express)
Elevation Gain: 697 feet
Type: Out & Back

I walked by the campsite across from the parking lot but missed that sign for the lake trail that was behind it. I only saw the forest road and the trail sign behind the pit toilet for the Ant Hill Trail 406B. I figured I get some views.

I had to climb over a few trees and under one of them but the trail was in good shape. I was hyperaware again like I was at Vista Ridge. I talked to myself loudly and made up silly songs & lyrics. I like how Les Stroud carries a harmonica but jokes that making his presence known could be good or bad but you're just trying to prevent any surprises. 99% of the time, the critter wants nothing to do with humans. It's when they're hungry, hurt, or being protective of cubs that bad stuff can happen.

This kind of hike is different but I wouldn't say less enjoyable. While humans are the most dangerous apex predators, I'm just a solo hiker on a new trail who is still pretty novice to this stuff. I wish I had a hiking partner (human or canine).

I made an agreement to myself to help calm my nerves a bit. I would just go to the outcrop, take some photos, and head back down and go to the lake. I had a purpose, focus, goal.

I hiked passed the clearing and saw it went back into the trees. I know now that it continues and intersects with the Herman Creek trail and makes a great 4+ mile loop back to the trailhead.

View from the outcrop above Wahtum Lake

Another view, Wahtum Lake and Mt Hood

Another view from the outcrop

View looking north

Silver lupine (*I think)

Unknown flora

Steep hillside

When I got to the parking lot/CG. I set out on the trail I thought went down to the lake, the Rainy-Wahtum. After about a mile I realized it wasn't descending and was actually climbing.

Actually, it parallels the Ant Hill Trail and the PCT North round.

I turned around after coming around a corner and seeing a long gradual climb.

After returning to the trailhead, I found the lake trail. Duh. Haha.

The long route is 0.6 miles, and is an easy walk to the water.

View of outcrop from below

Closeup of outcrop

Lake view & marker for PCT North & South

Above, at the CG, I'd seen the sign for the Horse route and Express but it didn't register. On the way back up, I saw the turnoff for the Wahtum Express! Stairs!!! Huge 6x6" treads. Hundreds of them. Incredible. Someone's labor of love for sure.

Wahtum Express

Wahtum Express



Hike: Vista Ridge Trail II, Mt Hood, OR

AllTrails map

Note: I was not able to complete this hike. I only made it #626/626A junction (0.4mi one way), blue arrow. The map above shows the whole route including Cairn Basin.

Getting There

This was the first time I'd been on Lolo Pass Road since last fall. I keep meaning to buy a small electric chainsaw in case I encounter a smaller downed tree blocking the road. Fortunately, there weren't any new falls. (I did stop to move one trunk further off the road.) Other than that, vertical clearance was good and surprisingly not as many pothole as I remember from last time. 

The Lolo Pass trailhead had about 25 cars but there was still room for a few more. (I've been through there when it was far more packed.)

I only half expected to get out on the trail. I just wanted to scout the road to the Vista Ridge Trailhead. It was it really good shape and I only saw two cars coming down (a Jeep Patriot, Chevy Pickup). I was surprised to find the trailhead empty. I like the solitude but sometimes it's nice to know there are other humans around.

I grabbed my "usual" parking spot. LOL and geared up. I packed my crampons in-case I need to cross a large snow patch.

The Hike

Length: 0.8 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 95 feet
Type: Out & Back

As soon as I started the trail, I was hyperaware of the sounds around me. I nervously whistled and talked out loud to no one,.. well, hoping to alert any wildlife that I was there and hopefully never see anything. 

I've gotten better about embracing the sudden noises because 9/10 it's a little bird or small mammal right next to the trail and just off. I clacked my hiking poles but they don't resonate very well but better than nothing. Of course, I do my duty as a good steward to bushwhack the new growth crowding the trail to keep it open for the next hiker.

There were still a few small patches of snow that had many footprints through or around them, the size of a throw rug, no biggie.

As I continued, my nerves quieted down a bit, esp. when I could see more daylight as I approached the ridge where Vista Ridge Trail (#626) meets Old Vista Ridge (#626A). This is where the area map and sign-in board are located.

At the ridge & 626/626A junction, before the signs

The photo above is what you see as you approach. The trail turn right under all that downfall. It was at least two big trees with trunks 6 ft in circumference and tall (20ft). I was able to skirt around them on the left (too much on 'going on' on the right).

I found the trail map/sign (intact) and the sign-in board (partially damaged) but beyond it were more downed trees as big as the ones I'd just detoured around. I could see short sections of trail, then massive horizontal obstacle.

Trail map and sign-in station

Looks like cleanup has started, fresh cuts

I didn't even try to go any further. Secretly I was a bit relieved. I don't like to back down from a challenge but since I was the only hiker up here, any reason to abort was welcomed. I knew this trail continues to a burn area and more forest so I deduced that it was going to be difficult to stay on track for any distance.

I started back to the car, again, going way around the downed trees. I continued to talk out loud, specifically to bears and other critters. 

Ahead I glimpsed bright color and heard a dog bark. They'd heard me talking loudly to no one and moved off the trail. LOL. I told 'em that the trail ahead was in bad shape. (Actually, I was relieved to encounter other humans -- and dogs). I didn't mean to be a downer but the guy said "we didn't even expect to get this far." I tried to salvage my hyperbolic warning and tell them about the beautiful views at the ridge. I was exaggerating a bit but also trying to be positive.

When I got back to the trailhead, they had parallel parked.. I guess when I come back, I'll have to be a good citizen and park this was to maximize capacity. (I'd hate to drive all that way and find some a-hole had parked poorly).

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Hike: Forest Park (Newton Road, BPA, Wildwood), Portland, OR

AllTrails map

Getting There

The Newton Road parking lot/Trailhead is off Skyline Road, about 1/8th mile from Germantown Road. It's a small single lane dirt road. There are a couple of places to allow another car to pass but it'd be a tight squeeze. Some potholes have formed but the Jeep and extra clearance make this a non-issue.

The Hike

Length: 5.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,181 feet
Type: Loop

This is my 2nd hike of the Newton Road-BPA-Wildwood loop and 1st time going clockwise: Start at the trailhead, go north on Wildwood cross Newton Road and continue. Take all the way to BPA Road. 

Then, down the access road (BPA Road) under the power lines.

Then back south along Newton Creek and up and up.

Then rejoin Wildwood Trail or stay on Newton Road back to the parking lot/trailhead.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Hike: Larch Mountain via Tarbell Trail, Yacolt, WA

AllTrails map

Length: 5.1 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,167 feet
Type: Out & Back
Steps: ~22,000

Getting There

I woke up wanting to visit a new trail in WA. I'd done Silver Star Mountain last year and it was tough. I remember seeing the trail for Larch Mountain via Tarbell Trail on the other side of L-1200 parking lot.

Some asshole tailgated me from Hwy 14 all the way passed Jamie's Dahlias. I was going the at least the speed limit and it was rainy and windy on Washougal River Road. I was hoping this dude would turn eventually but he dogged me forever. He was so close I couldn't see the top of the hood of the huge F250.

I was on edge but refrained from flipping the person off when they angrily passed on a narrow section of road. I secretly hoped to find this huge truck wrapped around a tree.

Despite the inclement weather, the parking lot on L-1200 was almost full. I found an open spot and took it.

I geared up and set out on Tarbell Trail toward Larch Mountain.

The Hike

It wasn't long on the trail before I started to hear gunfire. Not the just occasional pop-pop but pop-pop-pop-pop-pop-pop-pop-pop-pop; a lot of rounds. I heard what sounded like semi-auto fire a couple of times.

What started as a peaceful hike quickly became a bummer. Too much gun fire. I screamed into the void uselessly. I was immediately embarrassed by it released a tiny bit of tension. I passed a couple with a dog and I thought they gave me a weird look. In hindsight, I doubt they heard me and if they did it was so muffled, they didn't hear the words.

The transmission equipment at the top of the mountain makes the trek less rewarding somehow.

I found a tree and rock to sit on to rest for a bit before heading back down.

I took the mountain bike trail down for a bit before rejoining the trail. At 2952 ft and the 180 turn, the gun fire was louder.

I made it back to the trailhead in less than an hour. Not bad for a 5.1 mile hike. I think under 2hrs.

I didn't take many photos because the weather wasn't great for views and I was annoyed.

Top of Larch Mountain

Bridge across Grouse Creek

Top of Larch Mountain