Friday, June 12, 2009

Ramona Falls Hike & More!

Today I took the dogs on a hike out to Ramona Falls, which is in the Mt. Hood National Forest. I was not as enthusiastic about this hike as I usually am for two reasons. 1) I wasn't really thinking last night when I went for a run on the treadmill. The treadmill usually makes my hips or knees sore at least a little bit when I run on it. I also decided I hadn't gotten a really good run in this week, so I did a good hard run. Not too smart when I'm going hiking the next morning. 2) This trail is a pretty well known trail and likely to have hikers out, though not a ton, on a Friday. I REALLY enjoy having a trail all to myself. It's incredibly relaxing to be out there, just me and the dogs. It's a little more annoying when you keep bumping into other people every so often. That's why I usually go for the less popular trails and do them during the week.

The Ramona Falls hike is rated moderate and is a 7.1 miles loop with about 1,000 ft. of elevation gain. I didn't think that it was bad at all! The elevation gain is so gradual and gentle that you hardly notice. The trail is pretty open with a few spots where it gets a little narrow, but nothing too bad. We didn't do the whole entire loop. We just went out and back to the falls. Mostly because, like I said before, I was a wee bit sore and didn't give myself the time I needed to stretch and loosen up. We did 5.39 miles in 2 hours and 45 min. (in case you're wondering how I know this, my wonderful husband got me a Garmin Forerunner 305 for one of my birthdays and it tracks all of this and much more for me!). I usually like our "big" hikes to be at least 3 hours long and more like 4 hours. But again, I was a bit sore and not as into it as I usually am. The dogs still had plenty of fun and got lots of exercise since they were running around off leash.

We started out from the trailhead and everything was really well marked. Some of the signs along the way were rather weather beaten, but definitely still readable. We meandered through the trees for a little while. Then the trail started paralleling the Sandy River.

There is one important section of the trail that you will need to be on the look out for. Near the bridge that you will want to cross (unless you're into fording the river yourself), the trail forks. It's not readily apparent, but you need to go left to get to the bridge. There was a hand written sign saying TRAIL and pointing to the right today. It looks like the trail isn't going any where, but you need to follow it down into the river area and you'll see the bridge. It's very easy to miss and even with the hand written sign, I had some hikers calling across the river to me asking how I got across. And as always, Bess still isn't too sure about going across bridges that spanning rushing water.:OP

Thankfully the river level was way down, otherwise there's just no way that we would have been able to cross. Once we were back into the trees, the dogs were shooting ahead. Thankfully they've gotten to be very good and don't get too far ahead of me. While I staring at dog butts for most of the hike, they occasionally wait for their poor slow mom to catch up with them.

When we were almost to the falls we found, **gasp**, SNOW! In June! The dogs used it as a munching break on the way there and for being dorks on on the way back.

And then we finally got to the falls! They were sooooooo beautiful!! I can't quite capture it with my camera, but I sure tried!

There was a bridge across the creek area to take you to the rest of the trail that looped back around.

I opted to just turn around and head back. On the way to the falls we saw only two other hikers. On the way back, there were quite a few more people out. But we still enjoyed ourselves and the beautiful scenery!

Once we turned around and started heading back, Bess got some sort of bug up her butt or maybe she found a hit of cocaine around the water fall! She was zooming EVERYWHERE!! It was totally hilarious! I tried catching some of it on video and I think you get the idea.

Now for the & More part! We've got two exciting things coming up. My cousin Dylan just got stationed at Ft. Lewis, which is just an hour and a half north of us, with the Army Rangers!! We were going to try and work something out so that he could come down and visit this weekend, but it looks like everyone in the family around here has too many thing going on. So next weekend he'll be coming down to visit! Yay!! He's met Heffner before when he came out to visit last year. Heffner is definitely quite fond of him! But this will be his first time meeting The Crazy One! It should be fun! These are some pics from his last visit.

And last, but not least, Bess has her very first CPE agility trial this weekend! I'm excited because I really like CPE. It's a lot of fun! This trial is a little further than I usually like to drive back and forth in a day, but oh well. The weather isn't supposed to be too bad, so it should be pretty nice. Ideally I would like to get someone to video all of our runs, but we'll see how that goes! I'll be sure to post updates on Sat. and Sun. evening! It's going to be REALLY weird being at an agility trial without Heffner. But I figured that June is definitely pushing it for weather that's cool enough for him to be happy.

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