A beautiful sunny Memorial Day with little wind. An early start for a nice outing sounded like a great idea.
I drove to the east side of the Columbia River Gorge to the Rowena Crest Viewpoint. Basalt cliffs, oak grasslands and interesting trails make it a pleasurable hiking area in the spring.
I headed south through an open, relatively flat area for one-half mile. Wild onion, cluster lilies, golden balsamroot and purple larkspur created swaths of color on the green plateau.
Then the Trail became serious, gaining 1,000 feet in a little over one mile before reaching the top of McCall Point at 1,700 feet. The views extended for miles up and down the Gorge.
For a challenge I followed game trails and over-grown roads on a three-mile loop back to the Trailhead. After one mile I dropped off the cliffs into a steep canyon, following an old logging road through an oak forest with a few mature Ponderosa pines intermixed.
Eventually, the old roads led to a large talus slope with a rough trail leading back to the plateau. It made for an enjoyable five-mile hike with 1,500 feet of elevation gain.
The wildflowers and butterflies were truly spectacular, but I also also enjoyed the multiple fence lizards and a gopher snake along the way.
Just beautiful, John!
Thanks Sandy. It helps to have beautiful things to photograph.
Thanks Sherry. As dark and gloomy as this year has been, it was nice to have some sunlight to brighten the photos.
Great photo of the fence lizard. Looks plump — pregnant perhaps? Are they live bearers or do they lay eggs?
Thanks for the kind words. I believe fence lizards lay eggs.
Just beautiful. I love when the wildflowers are blooming.
Thanks for the kind words. The wildflowers add much to outdoor activities.