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there and back again

Our friends Mark and Elisha joined Nancy and me for a sunny spring Sunday hike in the Columbia River Gorge. For a change, we decided to try over on the Washington State side of the river, in Beacon Rock State Park. But what was supposed to be a 2-3 hour hike turned into a 6 hour trek to the top of Hamilton Mountain. Still, all’s well that ends well, and I think everyone had a great time, especially when we stopped for dinner afterwards at Tad’s famous Chicken-n-Dumplings place :-).

Mark, camera at the ready:

Elisha and Nancy:

At the Pool of Winds, where a narrow gap focuses the wind and spray from a waterfall.

Mark and I were wondering what kind of flower this was. He thought it was some kind of wild orchid, but another passing hiker told him he was wrong and that no it wasn’t an orchid, it was actually something called a “fairy slipper”.  Wikipedia confirms that they were both right!

A long ways up!

A long ways down!

Looking down on Beacon Rock (and it’s 850 feet high!)

Bonneville Dam

Mount Adams in the distance, Table Rock in front

Mount Hood, from an angle we don’t usually get to see

A nice saddle point. That’s the peak of Hamilton Mountain at right, and you can just see the tiny white point that is Mount Hood.

Weary but happy hikers resting at the top of Hamilton Mountain.

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