For starters, my buddy Kayla made the effort to show up at my house before 0730 so we could get a nice, early start on our hike up at Beacon Rock. The plan was to leave the house between 0730 and 0800 (I've learned that when you're packing a kidlet, it's best to work wide windows into your plans) in an attempt to get into the Gorge before the big weekend crowds really hit.
And as it turned out, it was definitely good that we left when we did, because we sure did manage to pack a bunch of misadventure in before the actual adventure.
We got to Beacon Rock and discovered that we had the wrong park pass with us- so Kayla very sweetly offered to buy me the right one as a belated birthday present. I accepted her generosity, and made the mad dash across the highway to the Ranger Center. Just as I was puzzling out which of the several doors to knock on, I heard Kayla yelling,
"It's free! It's free!"
Sure enough- we'd managed to pick one of the 2016 Free Days ("Saturday Spring Day", as a matter of fact) for our hike! Woo! So I dashed back across the highway (and of course my phone bounced out of my pocket on the way so I had to scramble back to retrieve it as I heard traffic getting closer and closer wheeeee) and we suited up. It was much colder and windier than we had anticipated (although we are true PNW girls and were prepped, regardless), and I'll admit I was a little apprehensive about whether or not it would actually be a fun hike, or more of a fun-in-restrospect-because-we-survived-it hike (we've all had those, right?).
But then that didn't matter, because we got to the trailhead only to discover that it was closed: apparently an autumn storm had torn away part of the trail. So. Change of plans for us.
Long story short, we headed for the next closest hike, only we headed the wrong way. Twice. No, wait, three times. But anyway, nearly an hour after we'd originally pulled in at Beacon Rock (and I'd had occasion to be grateful for the Subaru's all-wheel-drive and high ground clearance), we pulled in at Hamilton Mountain trailhead (almost literally across the street from where we'd starteddon'tjudge) and decided to do the Pool of the Winds Hike.
|That baby was confused as hell after all the in-an-out he'd been dealing with.|
And it really was a lovely little hike! I hadn't done that one since Isis was a puppy, so it was nice to go back (and not in the rain this time). Of course, doing it with sixteen pounds strapped to my chest was... an experience. I was glad to be with Kayla, who was willing to let me take as many breaks as I needed, and also as many as Neeps needed:
|Everyone knows the best trail food is fats and proteins.|
|Poetic Energy in Motion|
I had such a good time, and it was so damn good for my soul, that I realized I really need to get back into hiking on a weekly basis, especially now that the weather is getting nicer, and Neeps is getting hardier.
Speaking of which! As he and I waved goodbye to Kayla from our front porch, I decided that it was so warm and sunny that I should take advantage of it and get him some vitamin D while we waited for Nathan to get home.
|Just blowing out camera sensors with our alabaster skin. No bid deal.|
|Check out his boldly clashing patterns.|
|Yes that is my shirt. It is merino wool and awesome.|