Angels Rest | Columbia Gorge Hike

This hike is a winding trail (#415) on the western end of the Columbia River Gorge that takes you up to great views. It starts at about river level and quickly climbs up through trees and then over boulders before rising to a bluff above the river.  From the top, you’ll get a spectacular 270 degree view of the Gorge, including many landmarks like Beacon Rock and Silver Star Mountain. -gorgefriends.org

Hiking in the Columbia Gorge is the number one thing I love about where I live. I love being able to get out of the city and be in nature and the beauty in the Gorge is for lack of better words – soothing to my soul. Today on Valentine’s day I got to experience this hike for the second time with my long time friend Tabitha, it was such a special day, full of reflection and admiration of God’s artistic and creative attributes.

Another achievement on this hike to the top of Angels Rest is that I finally go to see THE BENCH. This massive wooden bench was carried up to the top of Angels Rest by a loving husband who lost his young wife. I had the privilege of meeting Susan Hendricks husband, Jeff and their son while I was in my Dental Hygiene Program at Mt. Hood Community College.  Their story and the husband’s commitment to his wife’s memory was extremely moving. Although I had been up here before I wasn’t able to locate the bench, as we found out today it was not placed in an obvious spot, once you get to the top you must continue forward (past where the crowds stop to have their lunch) and take a left onto a narrow winding path. So glad my friend located it today, it provided us a perfect place for a snack and rest for our tired feet.

Hope you enjoy this collection of photos from our time out in nature.


Powell Butte Rediscovered

So continuing on with the outdoors and landscape theme, here is a post from a mid-week hike with two preschool age boys. The decision to take this hike was based on the need to burn up some pent up energy by all three of us. I was thinking to myself that I needed to find a nearby hike and Powell Butte came to mind. A long time ago – years and years ago Powell Butte was the place I went with my then boyfriend now husband for our almost daily walks. It used to be the halfway point between our homes so it was just the right place to go and be outdoors, we even had our first kiss there so I think it will always remain dear to my heart. 🙂 A few years ago the city started working on this place and it was constantly overrun by machinery of all sorts and so I kept away. Imagine my shock coming back after 5+ years! It has been completely revamped, the little outhouse at the beginning of the hike was now gone and in it’s place is the large visitor center even the parking lot is now twice the size and much more organized and completely paved. I was so excited to begin our hike and it was such a joy to share it with the boys. They absolutely loved it and were so heartbroken when we had to cut our hike a little short due to a potty accident of all things. Looking forward to returning there as soon as the weather permits next time I will be a little more prepared. Here are some of the photographs from that cloudy day.


2015-02-01_00382015-02-01_0003 2015-02-01_0001 2015-02-01_0002 2015-02-01_0004 2015-02-01_0005 2015-02-01_0006 2015-02-01_0007 2015-02-01_0008 2015-02-01_0009 2015-02-01_0037 2015-02-01_0010 2015-02-01_0011 2015-02-01_0012 2015-02-01_0013 2015-02-01_0034 2015-02-01_0015 2015-02-01_0035 2015-02-01_00182015-02-01_0017sword fights are fun but when one or both of the characters close their eyes and continue to fight one or both will get hurt…. this time it was only one of them. Will they ever learn?

2015-02-01_0021 2015-02-01_0023 2015-02-01_0022 2015-02-01_0024 2015-02-01_0027 2015-02-01_0026 2015-02-01_0028 2015-02-01_0039 2015-02-01_0032 2015-02-01_0030 2015-02-01_0016 2015-02-01_0029 2015-02-01_0031 2015-02-01_0033Not in the puddle little man!
2015-02-01_0036So out trip comes to an end and as you can see one little one is absolutely not happy about it, poor thing. He doesn’t quite get the fact that we can come back another time.

2015-02-01_0040Hope you enjoyed this collection of photographs. Have you been up to Powell Butte yet? It’s such a great place to go to, I’m looking forward to seeing it in spring.

Lost and looking for Lost Lake

The day after my hike in the Gorge was a Sunday and it was sunny and warm and I had caught the hiking bug. After  morning church I did a little research and decided that my little family and I would drive up to Lost Lake to take a photo of Mt. Hood just after sunset. I mean it couldn’t be that hard right? I looked up the time the sun was supposed to set 5:06, my husband google mapped Lost Lake and said it was a 50 minute drive. I read up on what it would take to hike Lost Lake, apparently it’s a flat hike about 3.2 miles around and easy to do with small kids. We packed up some warm clothes and some water and we were off.

One hour later as we are reaching Hood River we are figuring out that we should have gone up hwy 26 and not through Hood River because this way it was almost a 2 hour drive. So fine, we stopped in Hood River got some snacks and coffee and we were off again to find Lost Lake. After a very windy one-lane road with about 1foot of snow in some spots we arrived just outside the entrance to the Lost Lake campground with about 30 minutes to spare. Now we were confused because ahead there was one gate completely shut and to our left a gate was left just open enough that a car could pass. So we decided that had to be the way in and we took a left, going carefully as we tested out the snow so that we would be able to return and not get stuck. After about 15 minutes we arrived at the end of the road (which we were told would end by a group of three young hikers we had met just about a minute before) walking back up that trail. On our way back we offered them a ride but they decided that they preferred the walk. So back we went to find another way to Lost Lake and finally getting back to our starting point in front of the two gates we got out of the car and walked down the path past the 2nd closed gate.

We made it to the lake but unfortunately not all the way around the lake where, supposedly there is a good spot for photographing Mt. Hood. I got some great photos in none the less and we stayed until it was so dark we could no longer see our car ahead. It got a bit spooky walking up the path to our car it was a good 5 min walk in the dark with two little ones. But the scariest part was just ahead. My husband decided that we would take the shorter route home through hwy 26, well we had no idea what conditions we would encounter having not come up that way. The road leading to hwy 26 was about 20 miles long,  small unpaved, lots of potholes, no lights, but the worst part of it was all the trees that had fallen into the roadside through some winter storm they must have had up there. I was holding on to my stomach and my seat, I don’t think I’ve ever been so nervous in my whole life and my husband was driving much too fast for me. It looked like we were driving in an S pattern as well as we were down to less than a quarter tank of gas. I was praying so hard that we would make it back down the mountain to a gas station in time, all the while thinking and mentally preparing for possibly being stuck up there over night. Don’t think I’ll be trying that one again soon.2015-01-27_0011 2015-01-27_0045 2015-01-27_0016 2015-01-27_0017 2015-01-27_0018 2015-01-27_0015 2015-01-27_0013 2015-01-27_0014 2015-01-27_0026 2015-01-27_0025 2015-01-27_0027 2015-01-27_0024 2015-01-27_0021 2015-01-27_0020 2015-01-27_0022 2015-01-27_0023 2015-01-27_0030 2015-01-27_0029 2015-01-27_0032 2015-01-27_0033 2015-01-27_0034 2015-01-27_0035 2015-01-27_0036 2015-01-27_0037 2015-01-27_0039 2015-01-27_0040 2015-01-27_0041 2015-01-27_0042 2015-01-27_0043 2015-01-27_0044

Pumpkins for my pumpkins…

12C_5445 12C_5273-2 12C_5433 12C_5483 12C_5878-Edit Sandy Pumpkin Patch 2013 Sandy Pumpkin Patch 2013412C_5956-001 12C_5853-001 12C_5814-001 12C_5744-001 12C_5690-001 12C_5475-001 12C_5448-001 12C_5331-001 12C_5318-004

Fall Minis | The Trifan Family

12C_2332 12C_2364 12C_2394untitled (73 of 435) untitled (261 of 435) untitled (57 of 435) untitled (119 of 435) untitled (253 of 435)

Fall Minis | The Bortes Family

12C_3034 12C_2625 12C_2794-2 12C_2764 12C_2816

Fall Minis | The Aubrys

Aubrey (259 of 266)Aubrey (259 of 266)Bobi Crisan 12C_1890-family wletters Aubrey (23 of 266)Aubrey (23 of 266)Bobi Crisan Aubrey (129 of 266)Aubrey (129 of 266)Bobi Crisan Aubrey (213 of 266)Aubrey (213 of 266)Bobi Crisan Aubrey (254 of 266)Aubrey (254 of 266)Bobi Crisan