Monday, February 20, 2012

Beacon Rock + Hamilton Mtn. = Awesome

We did it! Woke up early, got out of the house, and drove for 3 hours to Skamania County. The “Welcome to Oregon” sign greeted us about 30 minutes into our drive. Then about an hour and a half later, we crossed a bridge from Hood River, Oregon back to Washington to get to Beacon Rock State Park. Weird.

Weather Underground lied. Mostly sunny??? It was foggy and cloudy, but I shouldn’t complain much because the rain stopped coming down as soon as we got to our destination.

Beacon Rock

Beacon Rock is a rock. A huge one, 848 feet. In 1915, Henry Biddle bought it for a buck. A BUCK, imagine that! And constructed a fabulous trail, complete with handrails and bridges, with a crazy number of switchbacks. I want to give Mr. Biddle a big thank you hug for doing this. It was an awesome hike up, with great views of the Columbia River. Wish we sat down and enjoyed the top for long enough, but DFJ and I wanted to do more hiking across the road to the Hamilton Mountain Summit. So, we just had time to enjoy the homemade fig newtons that I baked for this trip (I used Jenna Weber’s recipe) and moved on.

Crazy switchbacks!

fig newton snack break
the view from the top of Beacon Rock

I love hiking and I can hike for miles and miles. But, this week I was sick and didn’t get enough sleep every night. On Friday, I ran, lifted weights, and went to yoga rave for an hour and a half. It’s not that kind of rave. It was pretty cool actually, only women were there and we danced with glow sticks. The whole experience was so new and awkward, but after a while I got into it and felt liberated. Dancing and feeling the rhythm of the music without worrying that someone’s going to say I look crazy felt awesome! On Saturday, I went to my friend, Roslyn’s, dance class. Man, she had so much enthusiasm, you can’t help but feel it. Then some more yoga in the afternoon plus some fig newton and bread baking. So to make this already long story short, I was still semi-sick and my legs especially were already tired. However, I’m still proud to say that DFJ and I kept a pretty good pace, which means we had time to enjoy a nice lunch by the waterfalls and another fig newton snack break at the summit.

lunch by the waterfalls

This whole wheat bread that we used for our sandwiches was so good. I promise to share the recipe later this week.

Overall, we hiked for about 8 miles and encountered some mud, slush, snow, with minimal sunshine teasing us every now and then. The change of scenery from one part of the mountain to the next was very interesting and boy, was I glad I brought different layers. At one point, my face, hair, and gloves got wet because we put our faces right in front of the waterfall spray and gust in this gap between rocks. One of those I-feel-like-a-kid-again moments.

I can keep hiking up and up but going down is my worst enemy. There are some parts of the hike where I had to crawl down on my booty because I’m a scaredy-cat. DFJ is always there to catch me and that always makes downhill hiking bearable. On the way down, we decided to explore one of the false summits and got a great shoe picture which has become our tradition.

DFJ decided to do one more exploration and because he did it, I followed and thought I was going to die. How I managed to go down there and get back up with all of my fears, I still don’t know.

This was a fun day, away from the city, from work, from everyone else. Just DFJ and I, enjoying a great hike with the abounding beauty of nature around us.

Share your adventure memories with me. I would love to hear it!


  1. Wow! Breath-taking scenery's!!! Glad you guys made wonderful memories over there. I wish we were a little more adventurous :)

    1. It's never too late to go adventure seeking... spring is almost here!


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