This Monday the kids had the day off from school while their teachers worked on report cards. Newberg was socked in with thick fog so we went chasing sunshine. We found it - and the warmth it brings - in the forest at the base of Mt. Hood.
"We" - meaning Me, my Four Kids (Grant, Katie, Alli and Paige), Grant's best friend Alden, and our two dogs: Dusty and Kimber (sorry that's another post I haven't written yet, but she's an adorable, chocolate labradoodle puppy) - wanted to hike Ramona Falls.
We turned around and headed for our second choice: Salmon River-Devils Peak hike. We didn't have to backtrack far to get to Salmon River Road. The trailhead was super easy to access - directly off a paved road that funnels into Highway 26. Easy peasy. It was a nice change from miles of potholed, dirt roads that we often drive to get to hiking trailheads.
|This rock face was right at the trail head. Photo credits to Alden.|
My kids are hit or miss with hiking. Little Paigey is ALWAYS up for a hike. She will hike miles and miles on end without complaining and she loves it.
|Paigey - she melts me. Oh and Dusty too.|
|My beautiful Katie Joy|
|The boys took their lunch deeper into the woods. I thought it was so reflective of their long-time friendship in the fact that they had the same hats, almost the same backpacks, and they even were taking bites at the same time! #twinsies|
|Alli Claire - she's so fun.|
The overall hike was 6.6 miles - a 3.3 mile out-and-back route. The first two miles were easy. A wide, single track trail led us into the most incredible old growth forest. It was like we stepped into the set of a movie - Lord of the Rings or Chronicles of Narnia. Green and lush - this forest was magical. Even the kids noticed how incredible it was. The trail meandered up and down little ridges that alternately showcased the raging Salmon River and the magnificent old-growth forest. Every step of the way was lovely with a capital L.
|Tiny hikers. Big forest.|
|the bridge and stream past the waterfall|
|Grant and Alden|
|I really like the use of light in this image. Another great image taken by Alden.|
|The boys leading the way. The little creeks that feed into the river crossed the trail in several spots. It was so pretty!|
|Grant on the trail approaching the viewpoint. Out of the forest. Not quite to the panoramic yet. Another great shot by Alden.|
|At the viewpoint|
|hiking is exhausting|
|Alden taking in the view. This photo was taken by Grant. I love seeing the kids' creativity coming out in the photos they take.|
|Look closely. The tiny drop of white in the middle of the image is the Salmon River.|
The last two miles of the hike felt long. We all (even the dogs) got tired but the beautiful scenery kept us going. We felt very accomplished when we finally made it back to the car.
|Just to prove I really went along for the hike.|
If you live anywhere close to Mt. Hood, you should try this trail. It is a little piece of heaven. Happy hiking.