Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Cape Horn Caterpillars

This past weekend we hiked the Cape Horn Trail in the Columbia River Gorge. Getting there, we drove over that bridge you see in the picture below and that part, at 50 mph, was terrifying.  It was an odd hike and it had a little bit of everything. There were paths through the forest, paths through fields, paths through rock hills, and a waterfall.  It was really really hot too. I gotta remember to pick shorter hikes on 98 degree days :). 

As we climbed higher and higher, we got a lot of cool views of the river and high cliffs. These are the kind of views that are worth the climb but also make your spine tingle.


We saw a few big trees.

This neat little viewing area where we stopped to eat lunch.


More big trees:

We walked a path next to big mowed fields with the occasional patch of wildflowers. 

Right after the fields, I witnessed the saddest thing I've seen in a long, long time.  There was a mouse type of thing that kind of looked like a mole - it had a long snout. This one was dead and it looked like it may have been picked up by a bird a few times,  but then I noticed that it had a friend. The friend, or maybe it was a baby, was nuzzled up against the dead one with its hand on her head and nose against her back. I should have cried, but there is no crying in hiking, especially on a hot day. Heartbreaking nonetheless.

This plant always looks like a bunch of caterpillars. I like it. 


There was a little rock where you could sit and take a break, which you need, after hiking up here.  The cliffs on the left were neat and the occasional gigantic bird would land on them.


We marched on and by the time we got to this rock hell, which was also really neat, I was dying of hot. All the rocks were dark and I feel like they make it a lot like an oven; A dried, moss-covered oven. I would love to see what it would look like when it was all bright green moss. I've looked around for pictures, and I bet it'd be awesome in real life. The price you pay for dry summer days :).


Finally, we made it to the waterfall. Sweet, sweet cold waterfall. 

Rock rainbow!
 It was a cute little waterfall... and really really great on a hot day.  If I would've known how hot the last two miles of the hike were going to be, I would have drenched myself, and I probably would've been dry in 10 minutes.
 Log bridge:

So that was Cape Horn Trail. Don's knee was a little sore after that one, (I don't know what he's doing stealing my normal ailments) so this weekend we might go to the coast where it's less hiking and more just dipping toes in ocean and exploring tide pools. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Abandoned Blackberries

This weekend we went hiking on an old washed out railroad. I can describe a railroad as old and washed out, but never describe a woman like that or she might kill you. The hike had lots of bridges and two tunnels which were fun because who doesn't love what you might find in a scary dark tunnel? Getting to the actual hike was interesting. We drove on some logger roads, and a lot of unmarked roads, passed a lot of horses and these tiny covered wagons. This particular covered wagon has a little wooden sign that says, "How's my driving? Call 1-800-Half-Ass"


Logger road. Don's truck had never felt more like a truck. I guess it's good to keep it on its toes... or keep it on its tires? Whatever. You get it.

Cochran Lake was little but pretty.

A lot of the trail looked like the picture below.  It was an interesting hike for me because there was a constant buzz of bees, and a stream, or in other words, music to my ears.

Woo Woo... Don train haha.

I love tunnels.

Old water tanker. I'm starting to think there are specific graffiti hikers because I swear some of it looks familiar.

Bridge!! I took this picture on a little sticky outty platform that Don said was there in case you were stuck on the bridge when a train came through. I wouldn't want to be stuck on that part when a train went through but I guess it's better than dead :)

This is the Big Baldwin Bridge. It's 167 feet high and 520 feet long. You can read more about it and the whole hike here if you want.

See the black dot in the middle at the end of the bridge? Me. I don't know how long this bridge will stay standing so I'm happy I got to see it and walk over it and run the length of it and be out of breath on it because running isn't my thing on it.

Oooo floating rail road tracks.

Train tunnel!

Another curvy, not quite as long bridge, but you can see the construction of this one a little better, which is always neat.

Don is patient and was willing to wave around a flashlight for me while I played with the camera.

As much as I hate the glowy heart, it was the only thing I could think of to draw with a flashlight in the dark.

Did I mention that Don is very patient when it comes to me taking pictures? :)

This was on the next water tanker. I don't know what it means or what it is, but it was more creative than the rest of the graffiti so it gets a place on my blog. You hear that, graffiti artists? Be.More.Creative.

Here's an added bonus of Don switching the tracks. We were pretty excited that it was still connected. 

Ride the Port of Tillamook Railroad ya'll. Or not. Is it a thing? I should look this up :). 


 I've been making a lot of blackberry stuff because those things grow like weeds around here.

This blackberry jelly is delicious.  It's kind of the consistency of apple butter because I made it with corn starch instead of pectin, but again... so delicious.

Not sure where we're going this weekend, but I've been downtown and took some interesting pictures so I'm sure I'll post those sometime soon. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

VooDoo Butterfly

I had a wonderful Independence Day weekend.  I spent it with friends, hiking and exploring new things. Thursday we went through the city some more. We made it to Powell's, but I'll definitely go back so I can walk around for an hour or two on my own.  One does not just spend a half hour in Powell's (we may have been there longer, but I feel like we barely scratched the surface). 


The Umbrella man is in Pioneer Square. He ever so kindly posed for a picture with me and Katie. 

We walked by VooDoo dougnut, but we didn't go in because we were full and we were on our way to Salt & Straw already.  The brick on the building was sparkly. I will get in there someday :). 

We ate at Mother's, which I hadn't heard of, but it was good stuff. 

I think I have to go to the Flugtag. 

See how the sun is casting a heavenly light upon this sign? That's because it is the best ice cream I've ever had, and I'm not really a fan of ice cream.  I will go back, and I will eat more flavors.  I tried the Pear and Blue Cheese (ah-mah-zing) ,Chocolate Gooey Brownie, and I ended up getting Coconut with Petunia's Salted Caramel Bars in a waffle cone (it will forever be my favorite ice cream flavor even though I won't get it in St. Louis unless they expand to home... which they should- Ted Drewes who? ) . I want to try Goat Cheese Marionberry Habanero, Roasted Strawberry and Toasted White Chocolate, Honey Lavender and pretty much everything else on the menu. Next time I will get a flight of ice cream and creep closer to my trying-all-these-flavors goal. 



Don got Chocolate Gooey Brownie. 

We also stopped by Cacao Portland.  This is drinking chocolate - it's somewhat thick and very shareable. The one with cinnamon was the BEST.  Looking back, I'm not sure how I got to bed that night. I could feel the caffeine coursing through my veins.


Friday we made the drive to Mount Hood to visit Timberline Lodge - this place was huge. If you're a fan of architecture and cool old buildings, this is the lodge for you.  I feel like this place probably has a ton of secret passageways and you could get lost fairly easily. 

This door was huge, but it wasn't the biggest door in the place. 

This was our lunch view, our table is on the right. 

This is the first glacier I've ever laid eyes on, and I was pretty damn excited.

We walked an itty bitty portion of the Pacific Crest Trail 




We headed over to Trillium Lake after lunch to do the small loop hike around the lake. Since it was the Friday before the fourth, the lake was packed, but it was neat to see everyone in their tubes and kayaks paddling around. I can't think of a better view when swimming. 

I saw my first glasswing butterfly in the wild. I'm not sure if it is officially a glasswing because I can't figure out what kind it is, but it sure was beautiful and you could see through its wings. 


Eva came down from Washington for the fourth.  I was so happy to see her because it had been awhile and I never expected anyone to move so close to where we were temporarily staying. We walked about two minutes to the river bank and watched the fireworks show that Oaks Amusement Park across the river put on. I have to say, it wasn't bad, especially when I've been spoiled by St. Louis Fireworks my whole life. The 4th of July has always been my least favorite holiday - something about fire randomly streaking through the air trying to find my eyeballs just has never sat well with me. It's a good thing fireworks that fly like that are illegal here - it was wonderful watching the cones and sparklers and pops without the jumping jacks, bottle rockets, and roman candles :) 


Other stuff: The moon has been fun to watch.


Not a truck I've ever seen in Missouri:

I didn't have any wrapping paper for Don's birthday present so I made some out of a paper bag:

Everyday we take the dogs for a walk next to the river and eat berries. They are delicious and I'll be sad when the season is over :). 


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Hi! I'm Becca. I live on a farm and bake apple pies and frolic in the fresh air. Just kidding; I live in the city and I can't possibly cram anymore plants in the yard than I already do. I make the most of the space I have and wouldn't change it for the world.