Well.....last year's hiking challenge got totally blown out of the water by a nasty case of plantar fasciitis that lasted for months. I debated continuing the hiking challenge for 2023, just reinstating the same goals. But after two years of health issues derailing my plans, I've decided to take a year off. So for 2023 I'm going to use this page to merely document the hikes I take. Nothing more.
This list of hikes with photos is for my own benefit. Blog readers are welcome to follow along with my progress.
Hike No. 1 - 1/6/23 - Stub Stewart State Park loop - Boomscooter, Unfit Settlement, and Hares Canyon trails, Oregon Coast Range. My first hike of the year was with good friends Debbie and Barry. Wanting something close to home, I suggested my go-to state park, nearby Stub Stewart. We had a good trek through winter-mossy trees, featuring a Great Horned owl fly-by and a pygmy owl hoot. And we just barely beat the forecasted rain. 5 miles, 1000 feet elevation gain.
Hike No. 2 - 1/14/23 - Trail of Ten Falls, Silver Falls State Park. Hubby and I were debating where to hike to escape the rain. Checking forecasts, it appeared Silver Falls SP would be dry in the afternoon so we went for it. After driving through a torrential downpour, we were delighted when upon arrival, the skies cleared and we had a nearly rain-free hike. Due to the abundant rainfall, all the waterfalls were at their swollen best. I don't usually come here in the winter but discovered this season is just as scenic. 7.2 miles, 800 feet elevation gain.
Hike No. 3 - 1/16/23 - Cape Horn Loop, Columbia River Gorge, Washington. Finally a rain-free day! Never one to waste a good weather day in the winter, I recruited friends Debbie and Barry to join me for a trek around Cape Horn. Funny, we realized that the last time we did this hike was almost exactly a year ago. Being today was a holiday we definitely were never alone! But the trail never felt super crowded and we enjoyed great views along one of our favorite Gorge trails. 7.3 miles, 1650 feet elevation gain.
Hike No. 4 - 1/20/23 - White River snowshoe, White River Snopark, Mt. Hood, Oregon. I got up early this morning to catch sunrise at Timberline Lodge. After the sun had done it's thing, I wasn't ready to drive all the way home yet. So I motored over to nearby White River snopark and snowshoed up the canyon. It had been many years since I'd been here and the lovely blue sky day was a perfect reintroduction! 3.5 miles, 800 feet elevation gain.
Hike No. 5 - 2/25/23 - Labyrinth to Catherine Creek Loop, Columbia River Gorge, Washington. Well, a combination of traveling, ski trips, bad weather and a bout of COVID meant not much happened in the hiking department during February. But a rare sunny day finally got me out on the trails with friends Young, John and Steve. I was battling an allergy attack all day, but an itchy, runny nose wasn't going to stop me! We hiked through the remnants of a mid-week snow storm and the patchy white stuff made the scenery even better. It was wonderful to be out on the trails again. 7.4 miles, 2100 feet elevation gain.
Hike No. 6 - 3/6/23 - Tamanawas Falls, Mt Hood National Forest. There's nothing prettier than a frozen waterfall, except maybe a frozen waterfall in the snow. Tamanwas Falls in the winter checks both boxes. I'd been wanting to make a trip here for awhile, so today I bit the bullet and made the drive. There was much more snow along the trail than I've ever seen, and the snow/ice formations around the waterfall's base were quite amazing. It even began to snow right before I left the falls. A short, but sweet snowshoe trek! 4.3 miles, 800 feet elevation gain.
Hike No. 7 - 3/26/23 - Catherine Creek loop, Columbia River Gorge WA. Weather was predicted to be rain-free and wildflowers were blooming in the eastern gorge, so I recruited Debbie and Barry to join me on a flower-finding mission. Wanting to add some mileage to the usual, paltry 3-mile Catherine Creek hike, Barry found a longer loop on his hiking app. It turned out to be a winner! Grass widows and yellow bells were blooming, so they kept my camera busy. Great day to be outside, 5.3 miles, 1500 feet elevation gain.
Hike No. 8 - 4/8/23 - Stub Stewart State Park, Oregon Coast Range. Wanting a quick hike and short drive, I headed over to this nearby state park for an afternoon ramble. Was hoping to spot some pygmy owls, but apparently they were all hiding today. But I did spot a few trilliums in bloom, so at least I had something to photograph. 4 miles, 400 feet elevation gain.
Hike No. 9 - 5/8/23 - Memaloose Hills, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon. After being in Ireland for nearly 2 weeks, I was afraid I'd missed the Gorge spring wildflowers back home. Lucky for me, the bloom was late this year, so everything was at peak about the time I returned. Our wet spring produced one of the most prolific and vibrant spring wildflower shows I've ever seen! 3.2 miles, 550 feet elevation gain.
Hike No. 10 - 5/11/23 - Mosier Plateau and Chatfield Hill, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon. My friend Debbie wanted to see the Gorge wildflowers, so I headed back to the Mosier area for more wildflower eye candy. We first hiked up the Mosier Plateau where the flowers were at peak and very colorful. Then after a quick lunch we hiked up nearby Chatfield Hill. The recent hot weather was already taking its toll on the blooms - they were much better when I was here three days prior. But it was still stunning and I didn't mind hiking this trail twice in a week. Another great spring day in the Gorge! 5 miles, 900 feet elevation gain.
Hike No. 11 - 5/18/23 -Bayocean Spit, Oregon Coast. It had been beastly hot for over a week. Originally Debbie and I had planned to hike in the Gorge, but with this unfavorable forecast we pivoted to the coast instead. It was a refreshing 60 degrees and misty at the trailhead. We started along the Tillamook Bay side of the spit, where the yellow gorse was blooming profusely. Debbie spotted a number of birds and I had fun trying to photograph them. The ocean side of the loop was fairly absent of birds, but on the plus side it wasn't very windy! A nice way to beat the heat and get a hike in. 8.4 miles, 100 feet elevation gain.
Hike No. 12 - 5/21/23 - Hamilton Mountain, Columbia River Gorge, Washington. I'd heard the larkspur was blooming profusely on the trail here, so I rallied friends Young and John to join me for a Sunday ramble. It was a lovely cool, cloudy day, perfect for tackling a steep climb! The larkspur was as stunning as promised. We had a great lunch on the saddle, taking in the tremendous views of Table Mountain and the eastern Gorge. I survived the steep climb - I guess my fitness isn't as bad as I thought. 8 miles, 2500 feet elevation gain. So nice to catch up with my friends!
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