Sunday, August 5, 2012

Fred Climbs A Rock!

The other day, my room mate and I decided to take a hike. The beauty of living in the Pacific Northwest is there are plenty of places to go and enjoy the outdoors, the only hitch is getting the weather to cooperate.

Beacon Rock (click on the link to learn more about it) is a hike I have been wanting to do for quite some time. I have a terrible fear of heights and quite a few years ago, my daughter and I attempted it, and, well, we got about half way up and I could go no further. There was a lot more people that day and it is very narrow, passing was a challenge and my paralyzing fear crept in, I had to get off the "Rock"...

On this day, I grabbed my courage determined to make it to the top and off we went. It is less than an hours drive to get there and well worth it.

Of course, Fred went with, he is such a great dog to take along.
"C'mon Mom! Put the darn camera down and let's go!"

The trail is pretty much on an incline all the way to the top, it didn't take long for me to start feeling the "burn". I tried to hide it though, my room mate runs in crazy marathon type runs, up mountains, through creeks, mud and all kinds of treacherous crazy conditions, he's in shape, I'm not...but I found my rhythm and marched steadily on. As a matter of fact, I only had to stop once at about the halfway mark to catch my breath, so I feel pretty good about that. 

I let those two go ahead of me, I didn't want to be the one holding them back. To get to the top, the trail literally switches back and forth up the side of the "Rock". It was really a beautiful day and there were plenty of opportunities for photos, but my camera was in the back pack, that was ahead of me and I didn't want to waste energy calling out for the camera...I did manage to get a few though.
Some how I mange to screw up the settings on my camera and this one is a little washed out, I was trying to show how far down it is, and we aren't even half way there yet. The thing that gets my stomach in knots about this trail is that it is narrow, and drops straight down, yikes. I manged to keep going. 

Up and up we trekked. Until we finally reached the top. 
The view was spectacular, in the distance, in the middle of the River is Bonneville Dam it is a fairly impressive dam. It generates a lot of electricity for us around here.

"Um, may I please have some water?"
When you get to the top, there is a very small spot (maybe 10 feet square) that is railed off so you can look all around, it really is breathtaking. There were about 6 or so other folks up there and we had to jockey for positions in order to get  to see the view, but it was fine. I was happy to sit for a bit. My photos don't really do it justice, you will find some better views from the link at the top of this post.
This is proof that I made it to the top. The shoulder is someone who was hogging that spot for quite some time, and I couldn't get a full shot of the message (sorry) but you get the gist of it.
After we drank some water and sat for a bit, we headed back down.
"Well, I've seen enough, let's head down."

Going down was much easier than going up (obviously) and I was able to snap a few more pictures.
It's a very long way down, on the right you can see railroad tracks.
This is a quick video looking down at the trail.

"Hello, where do you hail from" sniff, sniff, sniff...
Fred met a friend, this is the only dog we saw that day. Just a quick hello and down we continued.
 Looking up, this is where we came from...
Back and forth, back and forth. Down, down, down we went.
We still have quite a ways to go to get to the bottom.
This is at about the half way mark. I searched for more info on Henry Biddle. He bought the "Rock" for a buck and decided to build a trail to the top. Apparently, he had money to burn. That's about all there is to it. I wanted to know more about who worked on it, how they got the materials up there, and quite frankly the logistics involved in building the trail, but I couldn't locate much info. This sign pretty much sums it up. bummer
This is at the entrance to the trail, we stopped to look at it on our way back.

There is a lot of Volcanic history around here. It's kind of creepy if you think about it too much. Still very interesting though.

After the hike we found a little picnic area, had some snacks and gazed upon the "Rock" we just climbed.
 Beacon Rock
The trail we hiked is on the right side of the rock, just out of view from here.
All in all, it was a very nice day for Fred and me!
 This is Fred's very best begging face, it is almost impossible to resist.  I wish I could say he was gazing lovingly at me, but it's all about the food. Actually, my room mate couldn't take it anymore and Fred did get a cracker, maybe two.