Saturday’s Scavenger Hike: Hard Work and No Reward

January 27, 2014

I mentioned on a FB posting on Friday that I might try hiking from Women’s Forum viewpoint over to Crown Point on Saturday because everything is dry and/or frozen.  I did it, it was a ton of work, and I won’t do it again.

First, I don’t recommend anyone else waste their time because there is no trail (I knew that), and it’s pretty steep near the top.   And in muddy conditions it would be dangerous.  So where did I go?  Take a look at the map from the DOGAMI lidar viewer page.  Can you see the old road that once went from the train tracks at Rooster Rock to Women’s Forum State Park?  Parts of it are visible on the first map.


Women’s Forum used to be called Chanticleer Point and there was a famous restaurant there.

chanticleercard chanticleer4

People would take the train from Portland, get off, and get a ride up to the top for a nice dinner.


Now here is the route I took in red, which is the old road, now just a trail in spots.  The yellow shows where I left the trail and headed uphill (bushwacking) until I got close to cliffs.  There is only one gap between the cliffs where you can climb straight up towards Vista House.  I went through there and that’s where it gets real steep.  Halfway to the top you suddenly come across a “debris field” of junk that has either blown down or slid down the hill.  The surprise was that I found almost nothing of value; a few interesting things though.  A picnic table, a license plate from the late 1980s, someone’s prescription for some interesting medications, and two pickup canopy covers.  Those last two had been there awhile and were not from the past week; not sure where those go.  I never saw a single hat or pair of sunglasses.  And, it’s totally calm until the last few feet, then you get blasted as you come up into the parking area.  Once again, a fun little adventure but I wouldn’t do it again.

Frozen Precipitation In Gorge Tonight

January 27, 2014

We’ve seen east wind blowing through the Columbia River Gorge most of the past week.  Now a cold airmass is sitting below about 1,500′ at the west end of the Gorge and 4,000′ at the east end.  The air moving in overhead has a freezing level around 8,000′!

As a result, a mix of freezing rain at the west end of the Gorge and freezing rain, ice pellets, and snow will fall once precipitation arrives later tonight.  It won’t be a lot, but just a few minutes of freezing rain can make I-84 an icy mess. There will be no switch to a warming westerly wind tomorrow, which means temps will only climb a notch or two above freezing.  The good news is that the wind should turn gusty westerly on Wednesday, so temps may jump to around 50 at that time.


Here in the metro area we sure had a gray day today!  Quite a change from the bright sunshine over the past few weeks.

I don’t see a whole lot of rain coming up, maybe 1/2″ to 3/4″ before we dry out Thursday morning.  Still, we’ll take what we can get since it’s been such a dry winter!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen