here or there, the path
sometimes smooth, other times rough-
love keeps us on track
the path by Angie Quantrell
photo taken in Montreal, Quebec
NOTE: We hiked the Columbia Hills State Park Hike the weekend before COVID-19 lock-downs. Even then, people on the trail were distancing and loud murmurs of impending disaster made everyone uneasy. I’m posting this now, in August 2022. Trail conditions are MUCH drier and hotter. I imagine rattlesnakes, ticks, sunburn, and dehydration are all the rage right now. I’m not going to personally check that out though. Prepare well!
Spring is the time to enjoy hikes along the Columbia River Gorge.
We hiked about 4.5 miles of the Crawford Oaks trails on Highway 14, on the north side of the highway near Horsethief Lake. I say spring and fall because there is only sparse shade on the service road headed up to the head of the canyon. Once you reach the ridge view trails and grasslands, well, all you have is grass, sagebrush, and weeds. No shade.
But. You have fantastic views! We could clearly see Mt. Hood, The Dalles, and up and down the Columbia River. While warm in the canyon, once we hit the top of the hills, the wind was blowing Goldendale-style. Good thing my hat has a neck band for holding it on. This kept us cool, but the sun was in full force.
One very cool thing we saw was the waterfall. You can hear it from the parking lot and on the way up, as you hike beside the stream and cross it to get to the trails. I doubt there is much water flowing in late summer and fall. The water attracted all sorts in winged (and annoying) insects. Butterflies, horseflies, and beetles. Birds were plentiful and filled the air with chattering, squabbling, color, and entertainment. One of my favorites has always been meadowlarks. We heard several singing their beautiful song as we hiked. Jays, magpies, a bald eagle, and numerous sparrows added to our enjoyment.
Squirrels darted all over the canyon area and chittered loudly at we hiking intruders.
All in all, it was a beautiful hike. While we did not see snakes, I know rattlesnakes will become an issue as it warms up.
This is a great hike right now. OH. We were about two weeks too early for the lupines. That is going to be one beautiful show.
Necessities: sunblock, hat, sunglasses, ample water, good shoes
The trailhead has one of the cleanest port-o-potties I’ve seen, plus a shaded picnic table. Trails are well marked.
Finally, the weather cooperated enough (barely) to allow me to get over Snoqualmie Pass and hit up my college roomie and longtime friend for some stamping fun! The Pass (Cascade Mountains) played it a bit dodgy at first, as workers decided to close it for avalanche control at the very time I needed to be crossing over. And then the road between my city and the next one up north (which crosses three humps and is often awful) closed for semi-truck slide outs due to icy slick roads. EEK!
But we have “The Canyon” road. It’s lovely, slow going, windy, and beautiful. So off I went through The Canyon and hit a white out! Sheesh. I nearly cancelled the whole trip, but my honey said just keep going to see how it was in Ellensburg.
And whew. Roads were fine. I made it. We stamped. We had extra new kitty help (oh, my). I lost things (socks) and found my shoes downstairs when they used to be upstairs. Lots of loves, fur, and excitement. “Incoming!!!” (which means a cat has jumped in the middle of our resources-strewn work surface).
I was even able to connect with 3 other college-met longtime friends on two different nights for dinner and quick catch-ups. Waves at Ann, Roxan, and Renee!
59 cards later, success at using up certain stamping supplies, frustration at the clock moving so fast, and it was time for me to pack up my little white “truck” (actually a Mazda front-wheel drive car) with all my stuff and head back over The Pass to our little home in the pasture.
Yummy meals, lots of chatting, creative messes, staying in jammies until late, walks to the Village . . .
can’t wait for the next trip!
summer fairy house
make-believe play at the beach
move-in ready pad
crash! whoosh! boom! a storm
thunders through, rearranges-
fixer upper sale
beach house for sale by Angie Quantrell
photos by Angie Quantrell, Ocean Shores, WA
I started a tradition. When a grand turns 10, we get a special trip, just the 2 of us. Khloe turned 10 on the 23rd, and we left the next day to go to Ocean Shores – the beach! We barely squeezed in our trip with school starting the 31st. But squeeze it in, we did!
Someone (name beginning with “K”) got a phone for her birthday. At the beach? Check. Testing the new phone? Check. We had the most gorgeous weather.
Watch out!!! The shark got her! Thank goodness the shark throat led us on a fun shopping adventure.
We both enjoyed eating out. Bennett’s Fish Shack. Mmmm
Khloe is pretty happy to have her own hotel bed. (Me, too. She hogs the covers.)
Ready for the favorite birthday trip activity: riding horses on the beach!
Khloe. Waving at me (aqua sweater). Me. At the back. Rocket likes the back. Rocket is not very rocket-y. General (aka Mr. Waddles, Khloe’s horse) likes to be up closer to the front in the middle of the herd. Not Rocket. He could care less. He likes to go back “home,” the horse staging area.
The view from the back. Rocket. And everyone else’s backsides. And the beach.
Damon Point is one of my favorite beaches in the Ocean Shores area, so Khloe just had to visit it with me. Look at this sturdy driftwood throne. Perfect for the birthday princess.
The obligatory fairy house, complete with table, chairs, bed, sink, fire pit, and shade.
The puzzle challenge. I did not win. Someone cleverly hid my last 2 pieces . . .
We tried flying a kite (not windy enough that day), had pizza on the beach (it was too windy and cold, so we sat in the car to eat), took a last drive on the beach (it was fogged in on our last morning, and the tide was so far out, we couldn’t even see the water), had fun swimming and enjoying the hotel hot tub, learned how to play solitaire, watched the Food Network, and even hit a huge thrift shop in Packwood on the way home. What a FUN trip with my grand!
Happy 10th birthday, Khloe! Love you!
What special birthday traditions do you have? I need more ideas. 🙂