|Columbia River from Rowena Crest|
The tiny town of Mosier, Oregon is located near the eastern end of the Columbia River Gorge. Landing on the Cascade Mountain's eastern slopes, it boasts drier and sunnier weather. Perfect for sprouting early wildflowers!
One sunny day last April, I rose early and headed east to catch some of the flowery goodness. First stop - Rowena Crest, a spectacular plateau just east of Mosier. Not only does this place burst with color every spring, there's some pretty cool windy roads you have to drive to reach it. (Perfect place to film a car ad, don't you think?)
|The balsamroot was out in force!|
The vast fields of cheery yellow basamroot didn't disappoint either.
|Cloud reflections on the Columbia|
After wandering Rowena Crest's high plateau for awhile, capturing dozens of flower images, I returned to my car, and headed back to Mosier.
|Mosier Pioneer Cemetery|
Last year, I discovered a great new trail that began right inside Mosier's city limits. (Photos and story can be found here.)
This trail climbs to a short hill to the local pioneer cemetery. Overlooking the Columbia River, it's a quiet, scenic resting place. Wildflowers and a lovely lilac bush were blooming.
|Tiny gravestone for a tiny person|
Some of the town's founding families were buried here. I think it's so interesting to read gravestones from days long ago. I always wonder what stories they could tell.
|Sweeping views from Mosier Plateau|
Continuing past the cemetery, the trail follows Mosier Creek and Mosier Creek Falls. As I climbed, the canyon walls deepened. Houses perched precariously on the opposite rim.
Then my path began switchbacking up the side of Mosier Plateau. Wooden stairs were placed at the steepest climbs. The forest opened up into grassland, and I began to feel the sun's rays beating down.
|Fluffy yellow balsamroot|
And then - I was on top! The Columbia River opened up below me in a spectacular panorama.
|Follow the path|
Oh the flowers! Huge fields of yellow balsamroot covered the plateau's wide-open surface.
I wandered across the plateau, taking in these amazing sweeping views.
I admired the bees, busy gathering pollen.
Took zillions of balsamroot shots, from every conceivable angle.
|Heading back towards town|
After soaking in the stupendous views and gorgeous flowers, I reluctantly pulled myself away and trekked back down.
But I made time for a couple more photo ops on the return trip. This colorful flower was just begging to be photographed.
I had to get one more shot of this interesting headstone.
|More lilacs - just because!|
And these gorgeous purple lilacs.
|The best way to end a hike|
There's no better way to end a day of exploring than to partake in a local brew and burger from one of Hood River's amazing brewpubs. Another great spring excursion in the Gorge!
Sharing with: Our World Tuesday and Wednesday Around the World.