June Hues

MOUNT HOOD SCENIC BYWAY

Refer to National Geographic’s Guide to Scenic Highways & Byways. Page 419

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Mount Hood, Oregon

We took this ride last Saturday, June 2, 2015.  We’ve taken all but two of the rides from National Geographic’s Guide to Scenic Highways & Byways now in the state of Oregon.  The only two we haven’t taken yet are near the Oregon – Idaho border.  The Hells Canyon Scenic Byway and Elkhorn Drive.

From where we are staying at the Bridge RV Campground in White Salmon, WA, we crossed The Hood River Bridge to Oregon.

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Hood River Bridge

 

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View from Bridge

We got on Hwy 84 and traveled west along The Columbia River.  We stopped at a pull-out to take some pictures of the river.

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Columbia River looking towards Washington

Wildwood Recreation Site

In the town of Sandy we got on Hwy 26.  We planned on stopping at the Wildwood Recreation Site, which is mentioned in passing in the Natl. Geo. book.  What an understatement this is on their part!  True, its only a day use park but an amazing place to stay for a day. We were able to use our America the Beautiful 2015 Pass since it is part of the National Park System.

America the Beautiful 2015: National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass

America the Beautiful 2015: National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass

  Its maintained by the Bureau of Land Management.

We parked our car and followed a path right out of a JRR Tolkien story down to the Salmon River.

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Path in Wildwood Recreational Site

We brought our Kermit Chairs with us.  When Bruce wanted to buy these chairs they seemed overpriced to me.  Now I’m glad he got them.  He bought them online.   They are well made, lightweight, and they break down into a narrow bag that has a shoulder strap so you can sling it over your shoulder.  We didn’t have to take our the chairs really however.  They have beautifully carved benches all along the path.

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Bench in Wildwood Recreational Site

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Bruce & Harley enjoying a quiet moment in a Kermit Chair

 

I was mesmerized by this place

 

Hugh Ferns

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Lush Ferns & Undergrowth

Moss Covered Trees

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Moss Covered Trees

 

A canope of High, Old-Growth Trees

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Sunlight through trees

Wildflowers anywhere the sun came out enough to let them grow.

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Hound’s Tongue Cyneglossum grande

 

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Delicate!

 

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Creeping Buttercup – Ranunculus repens
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I’m researching name, but this little beauty was growing on the moss on the trunk of a tree.
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Almost Empty Parking Lot on a Saturday Afternoon!

I can’t stress enough how wonderful a park this is.  If you get the chance to see it do!  Until now we’ve associated BLM land with desert and rock; areas where nothing green is allowed to show its face.  This park couldn’t be further from that! When leaving I took a picture of the parking lot.  This is a Saturday afternoon in June!  If this were California there would not be a parking place to be found.

Wild Rhododendrons

Further up the highway I made Bruce stop again because the Wild Rhododendron’s were in bloom.

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Bushs Are Interspersed with other plants.
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All are pink in color

Mirror Lake

We passed the turnout for Mirror Lake which is described in the Natl. Geo. book but didn’t stop because it was getting late in the day.  I did get a picture of it from the parking lot near the summit of Mount Hood.

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Mirror Lake

Timberline Lodge & Mount Hood

We took the turnout to Timberline Lodge which is almost on the summit of Mount Hood.  It was constructed by the 1930’s.  I don’t think this picture does it justice, but we were more interested in the views than going inside the hotel.

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Timberline Lodge built on Funding by US Government in order to put young men to work.
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Ski Lifts on left side of mountain. Many people had been skiing that day.
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Wildflowers blooming by parking lot.
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Xerophyllu tenex. Thanks Geir Arne Evje!

We left Hwy 26 and took Hwy 35.  We took the exit to A Pioneer’s Woman’s Grave which takes you on an old highway, which we are guessing may have been old Hwy. 35.  We couldn’t be sure of the grave site but did see the beginning of Barlow Road.  This was the first road across the Cascade Mountains.  We would like to take the jeep back and explore this old wagon trail.

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Sign for Old Barlow Road which you can still drive on.
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Barlow Road

We stopped to look at this old spring that someone must have used for drinking water.

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Ancient Spring

 

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I wonder how long this old pitcher has poured water.

We followed the highway on down to the Hood River Valley.  Miles of fertile farmland produce the bulk of Oregons fruit crop.

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The Hood River Valley

We ended the drive at the Hood River, which flows into the Columbia.  Then across the bridge again to our trailer, dinner and sitting outside to watch the sunset.

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Sunset at White Salmon, Washington