Sunday, July 15, 2018

52 Hike Challenge ~ Hike 34: Cascadia and Soda Creek Falls

Cascadia and Soda Creek Falls @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

On June 14th, Holly, Char, and I (no kids) hiked at Cascadia on a cool morning. We first hiked to the Cascadia Cave to see the petroglyphs.

Cascadia Cave @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

It’s really just an overhang, but apparently this was a spiritual place for two indigenous tribes. Petroglyphs were a first on this hiking challenge.

Cascadia Petroglyphs @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

We walked along the river for a bit. I love how the water has worn patterns in the rock. The wildflowers were in bloom.

Cascadia @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

We then took the 1.4 mile out-and-back trail to the Lower Soda Creek Falls where the water sprayed us and the sun peaked out while we picnicked. It was a rare adult-only hike, and we enjoyed our quite time.

Cascadia Soda Creek Falls Hike @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Cascadia Soda Creek Falls Collage @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Friday, July 13, 2018

52 Hike Challenge ~ Hike 33: Marys Peak

Marys Peak @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

June 11th, hike 33.

From the parking lot near the summit, we took North Ridge Trail down, Tie Trail across, East Ridge Trail up, and then Summit Trail to the Peak for a total of about 3.5-4 miles. (A longer loop is shown at this link.) This was our second time hiking this trail, but our first this year.

I started the morning by whacking my head on the rear hatch of my Suburban and bleeding all over. That was the extent of the drama, however, and we (Char, Holly, and I with all our kids) had a gorgeous, misty, magical hike along the trail before the weather cleared and we had some sunshine and bright wildflowers at the top of the peak.

Marys Peak 1 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesMarys Peak 2 @ Mt. Hop ChroniclesMarys Peak 6 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesMarys Peak 5 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesMarys Peak 7 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesMarys Peak 9 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesMarys Peak 8 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesMarys Peak 3 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesMarys Peak 12 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesMarys Peak 13 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesMarys Peak 14 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesMarys Peak 15 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Thursday, July 12, 2018

52 Hike Challenge ~ Hike 32: Spencer Butte

Spencer Butte 4 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

[Hike #31 was homeschool day at Enchanted Forest with ALL the friends. We had so much fun last year that we couldn’t wait to go back this year. The park was full of gobs of people we knew, the weather was perfect, and the day was everything we could have hoped for. Yes, it’s a bit of a stretch to call it a hike, but we were in the woods and we walked and walked, so I’m calling it.]

I was dragging my feet the morning of this hike, June 8th. Rain was in the forecast and I wanted to stay in bed, but my best friend convinced me that the two of us should zip down to Spencer Butte and hike anyway. I’m so glad she did! It ended up being a gorgeous morning.

I had been avoiding Spencer Butte because I knew it was a heavily trafficked trail (which I hate), but we were there fairly early and we took the difficult trail up to the summit. It was the most difficult trail we have hiked yet, ascending 700 feet in a rugged half mile.

Spencer Butte 1 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

I think only one group of young people passed us on the trail up.

The trailhead sign had a picture of rattlesnakes, and I was a little paranoid about meeting up with one.

Spencer Butte 2 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

We had a lovely view toward the top.

Spencer Butte 3 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

As remote as the trail up had seemed, the summit was over-populated. It seems many people take the 1 mile moderate trail as an out-and-back hike rather than hiking the loop. On the way down on this longer moderate (wide and well-maintained) trail, we dodged people left and right.

And then it happened. A rattlesnake crossed the path in front of us. First snake, and certainly the first rattlesnake, we’ve seen on our hikes.

I’m glad we hiked this trail so we can check it off the list. I’m glad I spent a beautiful morning with my best friend. But I’d rather not hike this one again.

Spence Butte 5 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

52 Hike Challenge ~ Hike 30: Blue Pool

Blue Pool @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

June 4th was our second time hiking this trail but our first visit this year. The four kids and I were joined by Holly, Ivy, Char, McKinnon, Monet, Christina, Jake, Landon, Johnnie, Colby, and Hope. This time we hiked further (7 miles total). The weather was perfection, and Lola only cried for about 15 minutes of this hike instead of the miles and miles of wailing last time.

The Blue Pool hike along the McKenzie River is near Sahalie and Koosah Falls, where we visited about two weeks prior. Unlike our visit last year, the waterfall was gushing into the pool, so we missed the glassy vivid blue water.

Blue Pool 2 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesBlue Pool 3 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesBlue Pool 4 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesBlue Pool 5 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesBlue Pool 6 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesBlue Pool 7 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Thursday, July 5, 2018

52 Hike Challenge ~ Hike 29: Point Defiance, Washington

Point Defiance and Rainier @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

[Apparently I didn’t take pictures with my big camera for hikes 27 (a misty and magical return to Horse Rock Ridge with Holly) and 28 (a cool and overcast 4.5 miles on Mulkey Creek Trail with Char and kids).]

On June 1st, I drove up to Puget Sound, Washington, to visit my friend Nicole. We spent hours hiking a leisurely 7 miles at Point Defiance. I took few pictures because we spent most of the time talking and enjoying each other’s company (I have a couple more in Instagram). We spent that evening with our friends Carrie and Jill and then spent the following day as part of their support team for the Rainier to Ruston relay race. Nicole and I may be very brave and attempt to run it with them next year.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

52 Hike Challenge ~ Hike 26: Sahalie and Koosah Falls

Sahalie and Koosah @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

On May 18th, I took a leisurely loop at Sahalie and Koosah Falls along the McKenzie River with Luke, Leif, Lola, Holly, Ivy, Drake, Jess, Char, McKinnon, and Monet. The weather was gorgeous (68 degrees and sunny), and the water was raging.

This was our second visit to Sahalie and Koosah, but our first trip this summer.

Sahalie and Koosah 2 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesSahalie and Koosah 6 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesSahalie and Koosah 3 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesSahalie and Koosah 5 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesSahalie and Koosah 4 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Since we were already in the vicinity, the kids and I made a quick stop at Belknap Springs to visit the Secret Garden. It was also our second visit to the garden. [More pictures here.]

Belknap Springs Secret Garden @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

52 Hike Challenge ~ Hike 25: Horse Rock Ridge

Horse Rock Ridge @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

[Hike #23 was an afternoon in Salem at the Minto-Brown Island Park trails and the waterfront. I didn’t have my camera with me. It was warm and the kids were whiny, so we didn’t walk as much of the trails as I would have liked.]

We’ve been hiking and hiking for the past month and a half, along with other activities. It’s about time for me to catch up on all the pictures.

We (my kids, Char, and her kids) hiked a new trail on May 16th, and it has become one of my favorites. Horse Rock Ridge is about 3.5 miles (out and back) with a significant elevation gain (over 1,000 feet). The trail is quite steep in places. It begins in a forested area and then opens up for a fantastic view of the valley. The rock formations are great for climbing. The trailhead is difficult to find, but I love the isolation of this trail. I’ve been back twice since, and it’s rare to see anyone else hiking here.

This particular day was cool and cloudy (moody and lovely), but we were still able to see most of the view. We could almost imagine we were in Ireland with so much green. The wildflowers were just beginning to bloom.

Can you see the itty bitty kids up on the rock below?

Horse Rock Ridge 1 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Horse Rock Ridge 2 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesHorse Rock Ridge 3 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesHorse Rock Ridge 5 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesHorse Rock Ridge 4 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesHorse Rock Ridge 6 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesHorse Rock Ridge 7 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesHorse Rock Ridge 9 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesHorse Rock Ridge 10 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesHorse Rock Ridge 8 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesHorse Rock Ridge 11 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesHorse Rock Ridge 12 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesHorse Rock Ridge 13 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles