Around the skirts of Mt. Hood

by David Robertson July. 31, 2020 329 views

The Cascade Mountains intercept rains off the Pacific which is why Portland and Seattle have their soggy reputations. Once the volcanic peaks wring out all the moisture, they leave only a deserts worth of rainfall on their east side. So it is a great mix of hot weather, and cold rivers descending off the mountains, and makes for great fishing, rafting and kayaking, etc.

The Deschutes River has origins in the middle of Oregon's Cascades and it follows the backside north until meeting the Columbia River near the Columbia Gorge.

We planned on camping near Hood River in the forest, but with the pandemic keeping people home, we found that the campgrounds were full, and it looked like a "wallowing in Covid" experience. So we headed for an area of the Deschutes that I know as remote, and still it was quite competitive for a site. The difference is the sites tend to be large, and distancing is pretty easy.

Our tent

Our tent

The Deschutes River below our campsite

The Deschutes River below our campsite

The thing that was gone were all the sites with shade. We just took chairs down to the river, and occasionally would walk upstream, and jump in and float down. It was hotter than hell, but with the cold river and a beer, it was perfect.

We also did a nearby hike along an old rail grade, as this canyon was the last site of a railroad war long ago. The trail is on the loser's side and much still remains. It was built with Chinese, Irish and German labor. I can't imagine being out there back then. We also encountered a flower that I rarely see called blazing star during the hike.

Old railroad grade hike along the Deschutes

Old railroad grade hike along the Deschutes

Blazing Star

Blazing Star

The final morning we headed back up to Mt. Hood and visited White River Falls along the way, and the orchard and vineyard country of Hood River, including a stop at Lavendar Valley, and the amazing free to visit lavender farm.

White River Falls

White River Falls

Lavendar Valley

Lavendar Valley

No shortage of bees and butterflies - this is a swallowtail

No shortage of bees and butterflies - this is a swallowtail

So ends another perfect weekend with Shelly :)

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G B 2 days, 14 hours ago

wow! what a fantastic landscape!

2 days, 14 hours ago Edited
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