One benefit to this focus area was the ability to avoid wet weather. When scattered showers were predicted in White Salmon, we just drove a few miles East and had blue skies with a smattering of puffy white clouds...perfect!
On one of those potentially rainy days we checked out the Klickitat Trail, just 10 miles East of us in the sunny little hamlet of Lyle, WA. This 31 mile Rails to Trails path includes 10 miles along the Wild and Scenic Klickitat River. (This excellent link details each section of the trail.) We chose to start our hike at the Fisher Hill Bridge.
We walked about three miles up river before turning back and were pleasantly surprised by this trail. After the first half mile the trail changed from wide gravel rail bed to single track, often hardly looking like a rail bed at all. Judging by the number of fishermen, the fishing may be pretty good. There will be a blackberry explosion here in a month or so, I'd love to return with a big bucket!
|The Klickitat River flows through a deep gorge at the Fisher Hill Bridge.|
|What is that strange contraption on the far bank?|
|It's a screw trap used to trap young fish for tabulation purposes.|
Salmon and lamprey run in these waters.
|Doesn't look like your typical Rails to Trails trail does it?|
On our last full day we had sunny skies and a good bit of wind making it a perfect day to check out the wind water sports this area is known for. I don't know if this was a typical summer Sunday, but the "beach" was crowded and we spent a good long time watching folks windsurfing and kitesurfing, marveling at the strength it takes to operate these devices and the amount of time and effort it must take to get good at these sports.
|The shore was a riot of colorful sails.|
|The beach is a spit of sand in the Columbia River.|
|This structure seemed to be for large boats to tie up...but this little monkey scaled it easily...|
|...and fearlessly jumped off to much fanfare from the onlookers.|
The beach above was adjacent to Hood River's Waterfront Park. Though not as fully developed as Bend's Mill District, there was a riverfront walking path, a unique kids playground, concert lawn, a restaurant and Pfriem Family Brewpub, where we stopped for a delicious pint.
|Pfriem Family Brewers.|
Bridge RV Park has been a good location for our week, though the noisy highway 14 right outside the park is a big turn off. If we were to return we'd request a site on the back row, furthest from the highway, but closest to the train tracks. The other problem with this park is it is impossible to walk anywhere unless you want to walk on the highway. The park is right on the Columbia River, and there is a tiny path through a massive blackberry patch to access the river.
|River access path from the RV park.|
In a month or so you'll want to walk this trail with a big bucket for blackberries!
|View of the bridge connecting Hood River and White Salmon from the RV park river access point.|
|Though there are no cherry trees in the RV park, there are lots of cherry pits on the ground;|
this is how they arrive!
|We enjoyed watching the bald eagle nest right outside the RV park,|
and even caught the whole family hanging out together!
Today we move on to Portland for a week where we'll catch up with friends and hunker down for the holiday weekend.