Saturday, May 17, 2014

Lake Wahtum and Mount Chinidrine

Today, we had a great day hiking on the Northwest side of Mt. Hood with Eric and Adia, and the dogs Milo and Leo.  The weather was great, the views were pretty good despite some clouds and we even got to see a bear on the way to a wonderful dinner and drinks in Hood River.  Click the title to read on…

On Saturday afternoon Emily and I met Eric and Adia in Troutdale where we all jumped in our Prius with Leo and Milo in the back for a short hike past Wahtum Lake to Chinidere Mountain on the Northwest side of Mt. Hood.  It took us just over an hour and half from Troutdale to drive deep into the mountains to the trailhead.  During the drive the dogs were sliding all around the back of the car and Leo was enjoying drooling on both of them in the back, probably excited because he knew a hike was coming up.

It was a short hike of just about 4.5 miles but because it was nearly 3pm when we left it worked out well.  The weather for Portland was rain and clouds but in Hood River we had great views of Mt. Hood, Adams, and St. Helens so we were glad we chose to test the weather and head out.  The trail from the parking lot descended to the shore of Lake Wahtum which we followed to it’s drainage.  There we had to cross some large floating logs to get to the trail on the other side.  Milo of course just trotted across and Leo quickly followed with confidence but poor Mr. Lee slipped on a log and fell in up to his shoulders.  He looked a little scared so I rushed out to help pull his back end up onto the logs to encourage him to keep going.  At the end of the logs it was a bit tricky but not very deep so I just gave him a shove at the end into the water to keep going.  Not sure if he appreciated that but he got through just fine :).  Eric, Emily and Adia followed carefully and avoided getting wet like the dogs.  

The trail up Chinidere was steep but quick and we soon found ourselves on an open scree slope that led us up to the breezy summit.  Mt. Hood had become clouded over but every so often the summit would poke through.  We relaxed in a  wind break someone had built, ate food and gave the dogs some treats.  It was really nice up there and we had passed some really amazing campsites on the way up.  Perhaps this could be a great weekend escape location?  I’m getting pretty good at naming peaks in the area and it appeared that we were at the 2nd or 3rd highest point in the gorge below Mt. Defiance to the East with it’s radio towers.  

It was going on 5pm so we headed down an easier route to make it a loop back to the car.  We chatted with a couple who were camping there for the night and then hit the road towards Hood River for some food and drink.  On the way out from the woods we saw a small black bear (brownish colored though) on the side of the road that ran up the slope and the peered down at us through the trees as we drove by.  I love seeing bears!  In no time we were back in Hood River and eating at the 6th Street Bistro & Pub where I got some great clam chowder and a salmon burger.  The also served us some amazing hot bread.  Unfortunately, Adia and Eric were on a cleanse diet so they couldn’t enjoy the bread or beer with Emily and I.  It was a great finish to a nice afternoon hike with friends, both human and furry.  

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