Dog Mountain
Saturday, May 10, 2008

On a whim (as we were on our way to hike someplace else) we decided that today might just be our last opportunity to hike Dog Mountain to see the beautiful wildflowers in bloom, so we quickly switched gears and set our sights on the 7.6 mile round-trip trail we've been looking forward to hiking the past few years. Since our previous attempt didn't go over so well, we were quite pleased when the weather held out long enough for us to experience one of the most talked about recreational attractions of the Columbia River Gorge.

First, let me just advise against hiking this trail unless you consider yourself to be in at least decent shape, or else you may not make it out alive! This trail was incredibly strenuous--more so than I ever imagined. With a 3,000-foot elevation gain over 3.8 miles, your leg muscles will no doubt be trembling with pure exhaustion by the time you reach the summit. Add children to the mix, and you'll be lucky if your legs remain attached to your body!

Enjoying the view with only a mile (a very, VERY steep mile)
before we reach the summit. Isn't the view amazing?!?!

Perhaps we may have bitten off a tad more than we could chew with the decision to bring our kids, as we saw no other children on the trail under, what had to be, the age of eight. I actually had it pretty easy (carrying Avery in the backpack) compared to Eric since Wyatt wanted absolutely no part in the adventure from the very beginning. However, the terrain was entirely too steep for a 2 1/2 year old anyway, so it was inevitable that he would spend most of the hike riding on his daddy's shoulders enjoying his pocketful of "moons" (cashews). When we finally reached the top, we were greeted with accolades from several other hikers who were in utter disbelief that we actually summited with small children. Miraculously, however, Wyatt just so happened to find the energy that was hidden deep within his being just as we started down the mountain. How convenient.

Letting Avery burn a little energy (and practice her walking skills)
while at the top of Dog Mountain.

At some point along the descent, Wyatt found an ant that he ultimately ended up loving to death--God rest its little ant soul.

And wouldn't you know it...just as I thought the hike was going to be rather uneventful, I nearly stepped on a snake--and not just any snake--a rattlesnake!!

WHAT THE HECK?!?! Well, those probably weren't the exact words I screamed out as I was running toward Eric in desperation to save my life, but you get the picture. I kind of have a rocky relationship with snakes, if you weren't already aware. Of course, Eric (the Marty Stouffer of his generation) thought it was the coolest thing EVER and decided to provoke it just enough to hear it rattle. That was my cue to get the bejesus out of there!

I'm totally going to be sore on Sunday. Hmmm...maybe I should milk this Mother's Day thing for everything it's worth. Massages and foot rubs every hour. That's not unreasonable. Is it?

Wine Selection: Trellis Cabernet Sauvignon
Personal Rating: **Fair**
Comments: Cheap wine--cheap flavor. I probably won't buy it again.


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My Wine Personality:
For the most part I’m a chardonnay, as I consider myself to exhibit a somewhat sunny and mellow disposition (most of the time), but because I find a tremendous amount of joy out of showering my two kids with hugs and kisses, I also possess the subtle sweetness often found in a riesling. But don’t be fooled. I love a great outdoor adventure and am willing to try anything once. This occasional display of boldness is thought to match that of a cabernet, whereas my appreciation for nature suggests that I have an earthy component to my personality—very characteristic of a merlot. (more)


“Wine rejoices the heart of man and joy is the mother of all virtues.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1771