We tried, as the summer started to dwindle, to do the best we could with what we had left. That meant packing things in and heading for the hills. It is important to keep reminding yourself that these things are here, that they exist and deserve to be explored. Plus, you cannot do the cycling thing every time can you? Maybe you can, but as we make the transition into the darker months, I personally start looking for other ways to entertain myself outside.
Fires were raging and pouring their smoke into the gorge. The weekend directly after this one all the smoke that you can see hanging here was pushed from the gorge and straight into town. The effect that it gave was something from a post-apocalyptic zombie feature. A burning yellow sun just barely hiding behind a filmy set of clouds. It was strange, and everywhere.
However, when we headed up to Hamilton Mountain — just outside of Stevenson on the Washington side — the weather was perfect and the sun was yet to be hidden from view. The hike itself is not that hard or grueling, but it offers some fantastic views towards the Oregon side of things and a few straight shots both towards the crazy dam system and back into town. In fact, I would go so far as to say I liked this one better than both the Angels Rest or the Table Mountain hikes that we've talked about previously.
It is fun to show these places off and with our friend Rob having just moved here it seemed like an opportunity to hit the trails. We have raced cyclocross together more than a few times, Rob being an integral part (you should see the vats of soup that he can cook up) of the Cambridge Bicycle crew back in the day. He led us to his other employer at the time — Veggie Planet — a spot that would become a sponsor for a number of years. Well beyond my involvement.
Anyway, he's here for now and he's ready to race cross as well!
We were also stoked to be out there with our friend DPow (aka Dan Powell) if you have yet to familiarize yourself with this man, take a minute to do so now. And do it via the Puck Fortland podcast that he did with our friend Eddie. That is a riot and will fill you in on everything you didn't know you needed to know about...well, everything, life. He also filled us in on the merits of living in Taiwan (he's back now) and his other ventures aka Portland Design Works and this new thing that no one can figure out — Wildeor. All we know so far is that it involves mythical beasts and fire, lots of fire to cook on.
Nice Socks Bro. Actually, digging this style pretty hard. Plus, what Dan has going on here is a little doubling up of the socks to prevent blisters. Pro tip right there.
But the hike. Let's not forget about the hike. It was glorious. Stunning and glorious. And had a few of those spots where you kind of think for a moment about throwing yourself off the edge, but then realize that you're actually too scared for that and quickly back away and maybe sit down as well. Those are the good ones. And seriously, don't worry about me, this isn't a cry for help. Unless you actually want to help carry some beers to the top of Mt. Hamilton. The views up there are amazing and there's a little spot just after the lookout point. That's where we want to meet up next time.
Shout out to Rob and Tim and Dan, and of course Miranda and Puck!