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Well, what do you do when your dog has her sixth birthday? Get some friends and go for a hike! If you’d ask Sky, she probably would have voted for a lake but it was Saturday and the lakes were busy.

It was a new trail for us and we were all impressed with the flowers, the views, the pollinators and the huckleberries. It’s one we will do again.

We did this hike a month or so ago with Molly and Mary. It’s fun to see the changes during the season. There was less water and different wildflowers and it maybe wasn’t as green but it was still beautiful. Rozie and Kim joined us this week.

Last week, while we were camping, the girls and I went in search of a cool place. We drove down the Lewis River Road towards a bunch of waterfalls I saw on a map. We went as far as a day use area at the lower falls where a Forest Service employee turned us away saying that the parking lot was full and there no room for me to park. Hmm, this was on a Tuesday and seemingly, a long ways from anywhere. So we backtracked to the middle falls where there were also a lot of cars parked. Gosh. People were looking for a place to cool off just like us. So we ended up at the upper trailhead for the Lewis River Trail and walked downstream about a mile to the highest waterfalls. It was a beautiful sight but pretty dangerous with un-fenced overlooks that provided potential for falling dogs. Or people. I got a few photos before we backtracked to a shady beach by the river.

We did a short, steep hike to the top of Council Bluff last week. Most of the trail is an old jeep road in bad shape. When we came to the end of that, there were 3 or 4 switchbacks til we reached the top and had views of Mount St Helens, Mount Rainier and Mount Adams, in addition to Council Lake, where the trail started. The air was hazy from wildfire smoke and high pressure. I think on a clearer day we could have seen Mount Hood too. Sky would tell you, the best part of this hike was jumping in the lake when we were done!

The girls and I took a trail that started at the Mount Adams Wilderness boundary and went up to the Pacific Crest Trail. The trail was named Muddy Meadows and muddy, it was not. The meadows were dry. Few flowers were blooming – mostly asters. When the trail went into the forest, it was thick with dust and black flies and mosquitoes. According to the map it should have been 1.3 or 1.5 miles to the PCT. According to my step counter, it was more like 3 miles up there. It did appear to have been re-located in places but I could not imagine they had doubled the distance. We got some exercise and there was water in two different spots along the trail for the dogs. And I took water for them so they were alright but I can’t say that it was my favorite hike ever. Or even close. Still, I like those views of Mount Adams.

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