Hike 64 – Barlow Pass to Woman’s Pioneer Grave

The thing about snowshoeing that is really a lot a different than hiking is I have no idea where we hiked or how far. The signs are totally buried and really, as long as you’re in the beautiful snowy scenery who cares, right?

When my sister and I parked at the Barlow Pass Sno Park, we had no idea where we should go. Jerbear Wedell told us that we should snowshoe at Barlow and he’s never given us bad advice before, so we listened. There was an obvious trail that most people were taking and then there was what looked like a road at the end of the parking lot. Nobody was heading that way, so it seemed like the best option.

It was obvious that it is normally a road, but with several feet of snow on it, it was a lovely snowshoe trail. We didn’t really know where we were going until we got there. It was the road to the Pioneer Woman’s Grave. The snow was a bit sloppy because it had been raining, so we sank in pretty deep. We did a lot of laughing at our numerous missteps and ridiculous near falls.

According to my sister’s phone, with side trips, we descended a little over 3 miles. It was downhill the whole way. That frightened us a little because we’re notoriously awful at ending on an uphill. As we neared the bottom of the hill, we found a great side trail and hiked in a ways to eat a snack. We settled down on the snow pack and chowed down. We were super-duper hungry. Our timing was a bit off for meals.

When we finished we hiked back out to the road and headed back up. I was definitely worried about my endurance, but it turned out to be totally fine. Slow and steady we made our way back up the hill and then, gloriously, it started snowing big giant flakes on top of us. I did not drive a snow-ready car to the parking lot, so I was a little concerned, but it was still pretty warm. I hoped it wasn’t sticking. We hiked in the beautiful snow uphill for the last hour.

When we got to the parking lot our trusty steed was patiently waiting on totally clear pavement. We needed nourishment.

We stopped for warm drinks and greasy food on the way back to town. Snowshoeing is an incredible work out and it’s so peaceful. I adore it.

 

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Hike 64 – Lower Maclaey Park to Pittock Mansion

Pittock

It was Saturday and I needed to get out of the house. I had acupuncture at 2, so I woke up early, ate delicious gluten free cereal from Trader Joe’s, and headed to Forest Park. As I’ve mentioned before, I have spent a ridiculous amount of time in Lower Maclaey Park in another life. I even went to a midnight acoustic death metal show there once. It was so crazy, candles, an unhealthy amount of black clothing and hair, and many many broken guitar strings. It was kind of fabulous.

Anyway, when my sister and I did this hike before it was eighteen degrees outside. While we enjoyed ourselves, it was difficult to really take in the scenery. This time was much much better. The only drawback was the crowds. They mostly stay within spitting distance of the entrances, but they are numerous, so it’s tricky.

Right as I exited the paved portion of the trail, at the bottom, and hit dirt, there was a hotbelly pig (cutie-pants small kiddos once called Remi that). She was so cute and I couldn’t believe she took hikes. Her owner was very nice and wanted to know all about Remington. Apparently, this sweet little girl pig was very even tempered and ran around with her dog friends so much she¬†was even a little under weight. I’m still convinced that I should have bought Remington a girl pig to boss him. It’s too late now.

Once I got away from the bustle of the entrance the hike was gorgeous. I crossed over to Upper Maclaey and started the crazy switchback filled ascent. It was very hard for me because I had a cold; mouth-breathing was abound. I’m tenacious though and kept my “one foot in front of the other” motto in my mind. When I started to get towards the top a TON of people were descending. One group was listening to terrible techno music in the middle of the forest. I couldn’t even hear the birds when they came by. I was super annoyed, but I let it go. Then another group laughed at me because I was so out of breath. Whatever.

I finally got to Pittock and the view did not disappoint. It never does. I took a swig of water and headed back down. A little thing called Karma kicked those laughers and revelers in the butt as they passed me going the other direction. Needless to say, they too struggled with the climb: Haha!

I got back to the car refreshed and with just enough time to head home, eat lunch, and walk to acupuncture.

For information about Maclaey Park to Pittock Mansion here.