Scenic Loop

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.1 At the viewpoint and the adjacent Tom McCall Preserve, it became obvious – fields of yellow balsamroot flowers!2

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… :-)


  1. I was disappointed there were no longboarders bombing the hill. 
  2. And a fair amount of poison oak. Three days later, I think it’s safe to say I wasn’t exposed. 

Rowena Crest and Memaloose Overlook

Driving to Walla Walla, Suzi and I traveled the historic Columbia River Highway between Mosier and Rowena. I had an ulterior motive: I wanted to stop at Rowena Crest to see another famous longboarding spot with a pretty view.

I didn’t expect to see longboarders as this was the weekend for the Fall Freeride at Maryhill Loops Road, just a little farther east. Jamison and I are hoping to participate in a freeride next summer.

I was surprised to learn Rowena Crest is just above Mayer State Park, where I’ve taken a few pictures. I guess it should have been obvious…

This highway is a pleasant diversion, one Suzi and I used to take to and from college many years ago. I think we’re going to add it back to the repertoire for our trips up and down the gorge.