Scenic Loop

Balsamroot flowers

Headed home from Walla Walla, Suzi and I made a few stops in the Gorge. The first was Mayer State Park where I’ve taken a few pictures. A group was preparing to paddle to Hood River, a distance of probably eight miles. They were in long, slender kayaks that an online search says are called “surf skis.” One of the skis had an outrigger pontoon so the paddler used an oar instead of a kayak paddle.

When they left, we did too. We headed to the scenic loop between Rowena and Mosier.

We stopped in the iconic loop below Rowena Crest Viewpoint to enjoy some flowers, not knowing what was to come shortly.1I was disappointed there were no longboarders bombing the hill. At the viewpoint and the adjacent Tom McCall Preserve, it became obvious – fields of yellow balsamroot flowers!2And a fair amount of poison oak. Three days later, I think it’s safe to say I wasn’t exposed.

We hiked the trail to McCall Point, taking pictures and making friends along the way. We also saw a bald eagle and a rattlesnake.


We tried to take selfies multiple times, but the sun, wind, and clouds all conspired against us. No worries!

After our hike, a quick trip to Doppio in Hood River capped the day. Mmm… :-)

By Brent Logan

Engineer. Lawyer. WordPress geek. Longboarder. Blood donor. Photographer. More about Brent.


  1. Thanks, Art! It’s amazing this is the first time we’ve done this hike. We’re looking forward to the next time. On a day with no clouds in the sky, we’ll have nice views of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams (plus probably St. Helens, Rainier, etc…).

  2. I enjoyed your photos and the story accompanying it. Thanks for sharing them!

  3. What a lovely drive! And isn’t it a delight to see some unspoiled countryside where you can forget the hard stuff and just breathe in and rest your souls? Look quite heavenly. Happy for you.

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