"Sons (and daughters) are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons (and daughters) born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them." Psalm 127:3-5
Ahmma & Dumpa came out to see us last month. We met them up at Timberline Lodge for the all-you-can-eat brunch, then headed down the mountain for our first hike: Tamanawas Falls. Piper and Tessa had fallen asleep during the drive, so I stayed back to wait until they awoke, while Dadda, McKinley, Ahmma, and Dumpa got a head start. Me and my girl squad didn't quite make it to the falls and met up with the rest of the gang on their return trip. Afterwards we checked into our room at the Cooper Spur Mountain Resort and explored the grounds. Dadda and I even snuck away for an impromptu dinner date at the Crooked Tree Tavern. The next day we embarked on our second hike: The Tilly Jane trail. Walking through the graveyard of blackened tree snags was quite a sight. When we reached the Tilly Jane cabin, the clouds finally parted and we got to see Mt. Hood. Such beauty! Later that afternoon Benji, Dumpa and Piper drove to our rental house in Hood River, and Ahmma, McKinley, Tessa and I drove back to Newberg for McKinley's Sparky awards night. I was so thankful to have Ahmma along for the ride because as soon as McKinley received her award, we split and drove the two hours back to Hood River. The next morning we did a very challenging hike up to Mitchell Point, which had an amazing view of the entire Columbia River Gorge. Our rental house was in the boonies, but we were high enough to witness the spectacular sun rise over the Columbia River. It had a jacuzzi and a ping pong table, but it also had a weird assortment of animal heads hanging on the walls. Our last day in Hood River we walked around the town eating ice cream before our last hike in the Gorge: Elowah Falls. This was a very family-friendly hike to see the waterfall drop 289 ft. and crash into a huge amphitheater. We also visited the Oregon Gardens with Ahmma & Dumpa, but on the day they were to depart, we did one more hike up to Latourell Falls before dropping them off at the airport. It was sad saying goodbye, but that didn't stop our hiking streak. A couple of days ago we drove towards the coast to hike Saddle Mountain. The girls got to try out their new Camelback Mini-Mules for the first time. They were so excited about carrying their own water and even having pockets for their own snacks. Benji tallied up the numbers and figured out that our family had hiked a total of twenty-one miles with a total elevation gain of 5200 ft. Pretty remarkable!
Up at the Lodge it was so foggy that we couldn't even see Mt. Hood.
Tessa's new thing: sticking her finger in her nose when I ask her to look at the camera.
Cooper Spur Mountain Resort
The Crooked Tree at Cooper Spur. Such a cool place! Great food at the restaurant, jacuzzis, basketball courts, beach volleyball, quaint rooms, hiking/biking trails. Maybe a great place for a Howard family reunion some time in the near future????
Tilly Jane Trail
Tessa walked a good portion of this hike. Whenever she started breathing heavy, Benji knew it was time to give her a ride on his shoulders.
Candy legos kept them motivated.
There she is (Mt. Hood) peaking through the clouds and trees.
We saw a frozen scorpion in the road. It looked dead, but when Dumpa poked it, it was clearly alive & trying to sting the stick Dumpa was holding, just really cold!
My little hiker girl.
The parking lot overlook before hitting the trailhead to Mitchell Point.
It was very windy at the top, and with me carrying an extra 30 lbs I felt a little unstable, so we didn't stay long.
I love this pic of Dadda and his hikers.
Selfie at our Hood River rental.
This waterfall is a secluded gem in the Columbia River Gorge.
It flows year round.
Such beautiful displays of flowers and trees.
Dumpa and the girls in the 'Secret Garden.'
Crown Point Vista House
At the top we got clear views or Mt. Rainer and Mt. Adams in WA, also Astoria and the Pacific Ocean.