Sandy River Trail and beyond

Looking downstream from a favorite Cascade haunt

Looking downstream from a favorite Cascade haunt

The Sandy River trail connects two popular recreational spots on the west side of Mount Hood: Riley Horse Camp and the Ramona Falls trailhead. The trail cuts through a forest that has unique soil due to a volcanic eruption on Hood just prior to Lewis and Clark’s passage nearby on the Columbia River. People scavenge for mushroom, camp, ride horses, and hike as much as they like in this section of the Mount Hood National Forest. Solitude is a rare quality here. Yet I find that it is possible with a little off trail travel in the relatively flat environment below the Ramona Falls trailhead.

Sandy River Trail

Sandy River Trail

After dealing with a pseudo retirement party Friday night, we spent Saturday doing paperwork and visiting a friend who is fighting cancer with a powerful will.  I have no doubt she will win.  Afterward, a serene trip to the woods was in order. The Sandy River Trail cuts across the main access road at one point, and we parked nearby. The walking is casual, the ash and mudflow soil apparent at various points where it is very soft and gets rutted easily in heavy rains.

Denise and Jackie cruising along

Denise and Jackie cruising along

Our destination was a stretch of open riverbed not far from the trail.  Multiple channels cut through rocks and sand, the water too high for us to channel hop. There were glimmers of sun as we enjoyed the noisy company of the Sandy River and a view of the lower stretches of Mount Hood. We threw sticks for Jackie, soaked in the natural environment, and came away feeling rejuvenated.

IMG_6316 IMG_6317

Bigger trips are soon to come with summer weather.  This was a nice stopgap stroll.   For now, back to the city, work, and life.

Yours truly with the best dog in the world.

Yours truly with the best dog in the world.

Curious forest floor flora

Curious forest floor flora (say that three times fast!)

About Josh Baker

"The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.” ― John Muir

Posted on May 26, 2013, in Family, Flora and Fauna, General Hiking, Hiking with dogs and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Best to your friend fighting cancer.
    Jackie Chan looks like he’s become a great trail companion 🙂

  2. There is nothing like nature to restore our inner balance. Best to your friend and kudos to you for standing by her.

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