Sunday, 3 March 2002

Scott and Ellen set out to climb the scenic route up Dog Mountain on the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge. It's a popular climb, but for some reason we'd never done it before. It's about 3000 feet to the top, and 2740 feet to the junction with the Augspurger Mountain Trail, a slightly less steep way down. A map of our journey is at the bottom of this page.

In typical Parker fashion, it was already 3:00 in the afternoon by the time we hit the trail. The way up is steep and we climbed it fast. We passed a lot of people on their way down -- this is a popular hike. Here we are almost to the first viewpoint, where we ate our lunch. Behind Scott you can see the very conical Wind Mountain to the left, and the Columbia River behind it. What's that on top of his head? He's wearing the famous GPS hat!

We thought we were the last to head up, but just as we got to the second viewpoint, where you can see into Eastern Oregon, two guys came from behind and passed us. One of them was kind enough to snap Scott and Ellen together.

Here are the same two guys, now ahead of us on the trail, about to pass through some cool rock outcroppings.

Hey look! There's Mt. St. Helens in the distance! Also, you can see the Augspurger Mountain Trail we're going to follow down, snaking across the slope. Somewhere on that slope are some deer, as we'll see in a minute.

Cool panoramic view (the camera can do this stitched-together thing with multiple photos).

Scott at the junction with the Augspurger Mtn. Trail. Ellen waited at this junction while Scott went on to the summit. Mt. Hood is peeking over the flank of Mt. Defiance, across the gorge to the south.


You might not guess it from all the view pictures, but we were hiking up through forest a lot of the way. Scott took this photo near the summit of Dog Mountain because he could see Mt. Adams through the trees -- too bad it dropped out of the photo!

From the Augspurger trail we saw two deer grazing a steep hillside in the evening light.

Sunset over the Columbia. Wind Mountain in the foreground at left. Do the math: it's sunset and Scott and Ellen are still about 2400 feet above where the car is parked. Yes, you are so right! We walked out in the dark. There was enough light for the first hour that we didn't need to use a flashlight until near the bottom, and then we used the patented Parker Bros. method where the man in back holds the light. It was a clear night and not too cold, and the stars were absolutely incredible. We stopped for bit to finish our hot tea and contemplate the universe. Altogether a lovely adventure.

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