Tag Archives: hike

Road trip over the Cascades, part 1

Sorry for the radio silence last week; I took two road trips totalling about 850 miles. Both trips went to the other side of the Cascade Mountains, the sunnier, drier side, with a stopover at home in between.

The beginning of the week took me to Ellensburg in Central Washington. I went to help Vickie celebrate her birthday; we had a grand time. We caught a bit of the lunar eclipse on Monday, but it clouded over before totality, so no blood moon for us.

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On Tuesday we visited a wind farm. The wind was blowing at a constant 35 miles per hour, the perfect speed for generating electricity! These turbines transform that wind into power for 80,000 homes. I love how these look; they are stark and somehow mesmerizing.

Each blade is 129 feet long.

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I know wind farms are controversial in some places, but there’s a lot of wind and not many neighbors in this part of the state, so it seems to make sense to have this kind of renewable energy here.

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We hiked a trail at Cave B Resort. It’s above the Columbia River next to the Gorge Amphitheater. The views are spectacular. Keep going down the gorge, and you’ll make it to the river. We turned around here due to time limitations.

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I nearly stepped on a snake. Whoops!

We made a quick stop (it was really windy!) at Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park above the Columbia River to check out the petroglyphs. These were relocated here to save them from the rising water after the Wanapum Dam was built four miles downstream.

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Sheep?

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The next morning we took a stroll on the banks of the Yakima River. The river takes a wide turn here.

We saw this truck remnant in the woods.

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I headed home Wednesday afternoon to get ready for the next trip on Friday. More on that in the next post. For now, it’s time to cast on for the Aloha Shawlette KAL! Are you knitting along with me? Come check out the chatter on Ravelry.

Fall back…

You’d think that gaining an extra hour would give me some bounce, but I feel like I can’t quite catch up on sleep! I’m tired earlier and wake up earlier than I want to because it’s light outside. Give me another week and I’ll have my act together.

I spent the weekend over on the sunny side of the Cascade Mountains, visiting good friends who have fled the gray rainy side. They’re happily ensconced in their new town. We hiked up Umtanum Creek Canyon on Sunday. The sage looked and smelled wonderful, and the mountains look very different over there.

Umtanum Creek hike

We passed an abandoned homestead, complete with the remains of an apple orchard.

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I wonder what this stone was for?

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The still parts of the creek reflect the mountains, gloriously.

Umtanum Creek hike

There are beaver dams along the creek. Most impressive.

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I had a great time, and it was kind of depressing driving back under the cloud cover into the rain. Sigh.

October is over, and that means it’s time to give away books! Thanks for all your comments. The winners of the 2013 Swish Pattern Collection for KnitPicks are:

purple penguin and Lillian Henegar.

Congratulations! I’ve emailed you your ebooks. I hope you enjoy knitting from them!

In other news, I saw my first Christmas ad on TV last week, the Monday before Halloween. Blergh. But it’s definitely holiday season in the stores already. I was in my local Fred Meyer and saw this:

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I think that’s cheating. Gluing felt reindeer on an acrylic sweater isn’t the same as digging through closets (or thrift stores!) and coming up with the perfect egregious Christmas sweater. And paying $24.99 for the privilege of faking it? Meh.

I just finished a design project and am mailing it off today. Another is gone to the tech editor. And the yarn for a new one just arrived. I’ll start…after I finish a baby sweater for Lorajean’s impending bundle of joy. Two weeks to go! I started to knit a Baby Surprise Jacket, but it just wasn’t speaking to me. Now I’m knitting In Threes by Kelly Herdrich. I’ve knit one of these before, it’s quick and cute.

What’s hot on your needles now? Do you have an “ugly” Christmas sweater? I have a cute one! Picture in December, when it’s seasonally appropriate.

Autumn waterfall hike

September was hugely rainy, and I was mourning the lack of closure to a spectacularly beautiful summer. October brought back clear skies, but cooler temperatures. I’ve been deadline knitting/designing non-stop for the past month, and feeling the need to get outdoors before the rain returns! I wanted to re-do the waterfall hike we took in July, because the twin waterfalls were a little lacking in water then. Susan and I headed there on Monday, but at the last minute I opted for the Horsetail Falls loop instead, because Pony Tail Falls is more dramatic. Same exit on the freeway, turn right instead of left! The Columbia River Gorge has many options.

The hike begins at Horsetail Falls. I used to come here a lot in the summers when the kids were little. They’d play in the splash pool; it’s nature’s air conditioning.

Horsetail Falls

The trail goes upwards along five switchbacks, and then levels out. About half a mile in is Pony Tail Falls.

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I love this one, because you can go behind it.

Pony Tail Falls

Ponytail Falls

Further along the way is Middle Oneonta Falls.

Middle Oneonta Falls

We met a couple hikers who encouraged us to take a side trip to Triple Falls. This one has been on my list for the last two years, so we did it. It was an extra 1.6 miles out and back from the trail we were on.

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Spectacularly beautiful! It was definitely worth the trip.

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Can you see the two hikers at the top of the falls? I think they had to cross over on that log. I am not so adventurous.

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The moss was really lush; this tree looks like a mossy spider.

flowers?

Flowers? No, just bloomed out mushrooms.

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more shrooms

Four waterfalls on a four mile hike, a great afternoon in the Columbia River Gorge. We’re lucky to live so close to so much beauty. And on the way home, we made a quick stop at Multnomah Falls.

Multnomah Falls

Now I’m back to working on a new design project. Can I just say that I love giant graph paper?

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Charts are fabulous. Do you prefer charted instructions, or line by line? What are you knitting now? Are you ready for fall?

Hedging my bets

I finished knitting my Raspberry Vodka Lemonade, and the entire time I was knitting the sleeves, I wondered if I had made it too small. I tend to second-guess myself when I’m nearing the end of something, and it takes all my will-power to push through. Thoughts of completely frogging the piece, or even just abandoning it, dance through my head as I knit on and on.

I’ve learned my lesson about ease in sweaters; too much ease just makes it look like my sweater is wearing me. But I was afraid that I might have gone overboard this time in my quest for a flattering fit with zero or minimal ease. I’m hoping that the seed stitch bands will relax a bit and cover just a bit more in the front.

VL blocking

Which they did. Now I’m just waiting for it to dry so I can try it on again. But you’ll notice that I haven’t sewn in my ends yet…in case I have to frog! But look how delicious all the subtle color shadings are in this Damson colored Luminous DK (85/15 Polwarth wool/Tussah silk) from Sincere Sheep.

While I’m waiting, I’ll show you pictures from our Tuesday hike. We did the Horsetail Falls Loop hike in the Columbia River Gorge. It’s an easy 2.6 mile hike with views of 3 waterfalls. It begins and ends at Horsetail Falls, which is 192 feet high and right off the Historic Columbia River Highway.

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There’s a trail that wanders up to Ponytail Falls, which feeds Horsetail Falls.

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This part of the trail goes behind the falls, which lends a great perspective.

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The third waterfall on this hike is Middle Oneonta Falls. (There are three: Upper, Middle, and Lower)

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Lots of greenery along the way…

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…as well as some not as green things.

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I like how the drops of sap look like beads on knitting. (It always comes back to knitting, doesn’t it?)

The end of the hike loops back to Horsetail Falls, where we spent some time hanging by the splash pool. I used to bring the kids here on hot summer days, a long time ago.

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It was nice to get re-acquainted with the falls, and to do something completely different!

I’ll let you know about the Vodka Lemonade after I try it on…