Sunday, August 21, 2011

Granite Mountain, Round 2

Our favorite hike is Granite Mountain.  We have been itching to get back and climb it again, but this year the snow seems to refuse to melt.  We've heard that the snow was gone/almost gone.  Well, once we got up there that wasn't the case, but it is passable. (We hiked the original trail.)  I would have loved my poles, but left them in the truck.  I would have only used them the last mile to the top as it is really snowy and footing is a little sketchy.  Terah is FAR braver than I am, that is for sure...she is part mountain goat and just goes.  I always worry.  Things to know:  the bugs are OUT. I used plenty of bug repellant but with it being so warm it seemed I sweat it off quickly and got eaten up anyway. 

We had a wonderful day of hiking.  We stopped at the meadow and took some time to sun bathe on the large flat rocks and get a little rest for the last snowy mile up to the lookout.  On the way down, we found that it was easier to slide down on hands and feet at times.  We sure wished we had long pants with us, many people were sliding down and it looked like such fun!  We took a little time to make some snow angels and cool down before the last 2.5 dusty hike down.  Granite is tough, but so worth the view.  We had wonderful visibility--with perfect blue sky.

The trail head is simple to find.  Exit 47 off of I-90.  Left at the end of the ramp---then another left when you can't go straight anymore. North west pass is all you need.  Bathroom at the trail head.  There are loads of hikes here, so the parking lot was full by 9AM.  We parked in the shade on the side.  We really took our time today, enjoying and savoring the sights.  6 hours total round trip. 

Our favorite meadow!

My nightmare...wish I had my poles here

Lunch buddy

The sliding hill! 

Today's lunch was:  chicken cobb wrap (delish with turkey bacon and sunflower seeds and creamy fresh blue cheese!) and of course the Irish Whiskey iced latte to wash it down!  We nearly ran to the truck the last mile...cold gatorade in the cooler was calling our names.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Snoquera Falls and Dalles Falls

We decided that we needed a change.....we've been hiking at the pass almost every hike since last year and we wanted to branch out.  We headed to the Southern Cascades as we wanted to see some falls.  We found Snoquera Falls on the WTA and found the Dalles Falls as a happy accident.  The path to Snoquera is very easy to find.  The Boy Scout camp is easy to find...we thought we had been on the road too long, but you will find them with road signs.  Missing it would be impossible. Snoquera falls isn't running hard at all--it is mostly just lines of water and mist, but it is still a nice, easy climb.  4 miles round trip and not as much elevation as the site says.  We hike all the way up--right to the falls themselves.  If you do that, poles may be warranted.  I slipped and slid all around--Terah being half mountain goat had no problem.  So here are a few pics from Snoquera:

Now heading back, just after only 4 miles we thought we wanted to do something more.  We saw a turnout just before the boyscout camp but after the Dalles campground.  We found the Snoquera Palisades trail head.  Just .2 miles up there are loads of trails to chose from--including the trail we just went if you just want to stop here and look around you do not need to go the 1 mile to the boy scout camp.    We decided on the 2 miles to the upper Dalles Falls.  (not to scare you, but this one has elevation and loads of switchbacks!) This is also a mountain bike trail and that is all we ran into--about 4 groups of guys on bikes heading down.  All we can is THEY ARE CRAZY!  There were some spots that were scary just to walk across not to mention a staircase.  About 1.87 miles up we found an outlook that reminded us of Rattlesnake Ledge with out all the people. Had lunch there above the white river in the sunshine.  Great day logged in just under 8 miles.  We will return to this area. We had fun discovering the new area and that lots of the trails interconnect.

Now you may not know this about us as we haven't mentioned it much but Terah and I are "gourmet eating' hikers.  So today on the menu was:  cracked pepper turkey sandwiches with cheddar cheese and dijon mustard on multi grain bread.  On the side was honey wheat pretzels and juicy oranges.  We washed it down with homemade iced Irish whiskey and vanilla latte.  Oh so good that it made the climb and view better!