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Nice hikes in Columbia River Gorge

Sunday, October 29, 2017

My college friend JR & her husband invited me to spend a few days at their home on the Columbia River Gorge. I am SO glad that I went! Fall colors were lovely. And she has become a master gardener, her garden is very lush and prolific.

The ridge on the hill (behind their home) was part of the big conflagration in the gorge last month. Over 40,000 acres burned. The fire was started by a teenager who tossed fireworks into the forest. He has been arraigned on criminal charges, along with his friends who filmed the vandalism/arson on their cell phones. The young man is only 15. The fire crossed the Columbia river (from Oregon into Washington), and it has closed down the scenic waterfall highway. Multnomah Falls (Oregon's most visited scenic destination) and most other parks are closed for the foreseeable future. (The fire is mostly out, but there is HUGE danger from falling timber; and structures and roads were damaged)

Here is a close-up of the ridge behind JR & Chet's home, part of many areas of torched trees.

We did several easy hikes. I really enjoyed hiking!

On the town trail


Hamilton Creek (on the town trail)

JR and me on Strawberry Island trail (at JR's request, I am showing off my wrist cast!)

Chet drove us on a scenic tour of the gorge, to visit a favorite winery. The wineries are mostly located in the eastern section of the gorge, which is open (not forested)

After my relaxing visit with JR and Chet, I drove to Portland to visit two other friends from college. I enjoyed touring art galleries, visiting coffee shops, and catching up on news about mutual friends. Unfortunately BOTH of these friends are hoarders, with homes that have narrow paths through piles of STUFF. So I preferred to stay at a small cottage that I rented through Airb&b. My first Airb&b experience was delightful! Host lived in the main house; he was helpful and charming (he mostly chatted with me when I was in the shared secluded back garden, drinking my coffee).

These easy hikes were my first real hikes since breaking my wrist & rib; and the trip was my first adventure since the fall. I really enjoyed the experience, and I have more confidence!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I went through that area this summer. It was beautiful! Unfortunately, we didn't get to stop as often as I would have liked; but I did get decent video while driving. We did stay at a nice hotel next to the river and walked the nearby trail. I want to go back again soon for a real vacation(not a working one). I'm sad that children and ppl don't realize what horrible things can be done by being negligent and indulgent.
    1075 days ago
    As always...the BEST photos. I'm heart broken about how careless those boys were to start a fire of such devestation. I have a sparky friend in Cali and the same thing. WHAT is WRONG with people? emoticon

    I do hope you get better quickly from your wrist and ribs...ouchy...makes me winch just thinking of you. I'll have to go back in your blogs to see what happened. Take lots of Vit C, E, and eat protein to knit your bones.

    Hugs to you my friend! emoticon

    1081 days ago
    Oh Alison, I am so sorry to read of your broken wrist and rib... Thank you for letting me know!!! I am so impressed you were able to go on a hike with your cast, I don't think I would have had the courage to! And I know broken ribs are terribly painful too...
    The area you went to is gorgeous too, even though the fires (started on purpose too!!! impossible to imagine for me!!!) break my heart. Your friends really live in a beautiful area! And what a nice garden... I appreciate gardens more now that I have one! :)
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1082 days ago
    You live around such beautiful scenery, as does your friend. Glad you had a great time and had no issues with your wrist and ribs. Excellent pic of you!
    Thanks for commenting on my blog...glad I could help you. I would have posted a pic of my rosacea, but had no before pic to show comparison. One thing I love is my face is no longer beet red all the time! Give the peps about a couple months to see results. I took 1 for first month. Then when I increased it to 2 after that is when after a. Month Bob noticed it. I was so surprised to see the rosasea was mostly gone. I don't know why I never noticed it...guess I don't spend much time in front of the mirror! LOL
    Keep me posted on it. Have a grew rest of the weekend.. ❤
    1083 days ago
  • HIKEAT70
    I very much enjoy your adventure blogs. I have not been active on Sparkpeople for a while, but looking for your beautiful pics is very motivating to me. Sorry to read you broke your wrist/ribs. Looks like you are not letting it get you down for too long.
    1083 days ago
    what a lovely place your friend lives in the state How sad what those boys did. I hope one day the trails to places can reopen,but will take sometime until they can get in there and knock some of those unstable trees over.The one mountain path I have hiked a tornado went thru all those trees on top that mountain were like little match sticks it obliterated that whole mountain did not even resemble the mountain I once climbed.So I can imagine what those fires did Take care
    Judy ( Thanks for posting the photos ).
    1084 days ago
    You really live in a scenic part of the country!! Glad you were able to make this trip.
    1086 days ago
  • EISSA7
    What a nice adventure....friends, hiking, natural beauty....does it get any better?! Sorry to learn that the scenic waterfall highway is closed and the devastation is due to a random, stupid decision made by 2 teens
    I visited the area a few years ago and the beauty was beyond breath-taking!.
    1086 days ago
  • no profile photo CHAYOR73
    Such beauty, to bad that people don't care to behave emoticon ......... may you get better as time goes on.
    1088 days ago
    Spectacular pictures, Alison! What a beautiful area. I think you're very brave to do this trip on your own after breaking your wrist and ribs.

    Good for you!

    1088 days ago
    Beautiful photos Alison..................I think you should frame the last one. We still hope to see the Gorge someday. I am glad that you had such a good time.
    1089 days ago
  • EISSA7
    Such a lovely area....sad about the boys that so heartlessly destroyed the 40,000 acres...I was fortunate to spend a week in the area a few years glad that you are back doing what you enjoy!
    1089 days ago
    Great photos. Glad you enjoyed yourself
    1089 days ago
    It is so gorgeous there!
    1089 days ago
  • GEORGE815
    What a great invitation. Beautiful photos. Thanks.
    1089 days ago
  • no profile photo ELRIDDICK
    Thanks for sharing
    1089 days ago
    That is just so beautiful, thanks for sharing. The fires are so sad,,,,especially ..and hard to believe someone set them.
    1089 days ago
    Looks like a very pretty place to hike. Sounds like a fun time
    1089 days ago
    1089 days ago
    Beautiful thank you for sharing
    1089 days ago
  • no profile photo CHRISTOPHER63
    emoticon emoticon
    1089 days ago
  • no profile photo VALERRIE
    Loved your photos and hiking trails! Such a shame about the fires! Glad they caught the perpetrator!
    I am on the east coast, so I really enjoyed seeing pics of Oregon!
    1089 days ago
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