One final hike before M heads for Taiwan, so we decided to haul our somewhat hung-over selves up Saddle Mtn. (A long night of a good-bye BBQ in the backyard the night before....) A new hike for me, a beautiful day, and a real need to sweat some toxins out....
The trip to get there felt a little longer than the 1.5 hours that it actually was so I was itching to get on the trail. We hadn't brought the dogs, as the guidebooks all say that the trail isn't suggested for furry friends. After we made it half way, I was really glad I hadn't brought them due to the heat and the trail. Much of the trail is well worn, so they've put chain length fencing down to allow hikers to grip better--works great for humans, but I think it would have been horrible on dog paws, especially since I'm still slowly integrating Anna back into outdoor pursuits.
The picture below shows the view up to the top of the second saddle hump. The first mountain climb isn't very difficult, but climbing to the top of that next hill was a tad bit more brutal. The 360 degree view at the top is well worth it though!
This trail is well-known for it's various wildflowers and this was a flower I'd never seen before:
Also of note on today's hike: it was great to see so many families and couples out getting exercise, we came upon a snake sun-bathing mid-trail, AND in true Portlandia fashion, we met a natural dude walking his goat up the route..... ;)
The views were gorgeous.
At one spot, people had carved into the rocks....loved this particular message.
On the way down, M and I took a marked side trail and sat for a moment on top of a ridge overlooking more great views and chit chatting about his final week. (Flight is on Friday, new potential short-term housemate is to show up mid-week supposedly.)
And then M had seen this spot on the drive up...and since he's always attracted to the quirky, we stopped here for dinner. We sat up top in the bar at a quiet table and had a simple meal & beers. (aka we could have made better tuna melts & pork-pulled sandwiches at home but it felt great to get some protein and salad in us!...and the atmosphere was nice...)
The restaurant is part of a chain-saw museum of sorts...so we had fun posing with the faux animals. This bear was slippery and we went rounds until I could get up on his back! ;)
Altogether, a great afternoon, a good hike worth the drive, and a beautiful outing in nature!