Mosier Twin Tunnels

Mosier Tunnel

I knew heading out to the Columbia River Gorge on a decent Sunday was a mistake. Any site west of Hood River was jammed pack with people and cars. Even while driving on I-84 eastbound, the Multnomah Falls parking lot gates began to close because the lot was full. The last few options I had was to head further east. Mosier Twin Tunnels wasn’t jammed packed with people or bicyclists.

Mosier Twin Tunnels, once mothballed until 2000, serves a passage for bicyclists and pedestrians on the old 4½-mile Historic Columbia River Highway between Mosier and Hood River. The two tunnels were refurbished and a rock catch viaduct was built. You can see the rock catch may be a little short from the pock marks in the pavement west of the catch.

Today’s hike was under mostly sunny skies and nearly no wind. The lupine and balsamroots are out in bloom. A $5 fee or Oregon State Park pass is required at the trailhead.

View Mosier Twin Tunnels Photo Gallery

Beacon Rock

Beacon Rock

One of my favorite pastime activities is hiking. I haven’t been hiking as much as I should. To get things stomping again, I settled for a quick and easy hike on Beacon Rock, located on the Washington side in the Columbia River Gorge.

Beacon Rock is a former ancient volcanic core towering 850 feet above the Columbia River.  The rock today attracts both rock climbers and everyday hikers. The one-mile maintained trail equipped with bridges and safety railing snakes its way to the top.

Today’s hike started off a little cool, breezy, and sunny. About halfway to the top, clouds moved in and cooled the temperature down a little bit. For not being on the trail for a while, I climbed the trail rather well.

The trail wasn’t crowded at all. I believe one of the factors keeping the crowd away is the steep $10 day permit. I’d recommend purchasing the $30 annual Discover Pass if you plan on visiting Washington State Parks facilities. A machine is available at the trailhead to purchase a day  or annual pass.

View Beacon Rock Hike Photos

Oregon Pacifc Coast Highway

Haystack Rock

Sunday’s little road trip took me on a lengthy journey along the Oregon Coast. The 350-mile Pacific Coast Scenic Byway journey started in Astroia near the Oregon-Washington border, meandering along the rugged coast line to the Oregon-California border. Sunday’s journey also offered a nice benefit: sunny and mild weather.

The trip duration along the coast is about 10 to 12 hours, but that’s with very few stops. I recommend catching the Pacific Coast Highway in multiple days. There are hundreds of attractions in towns and in parks along the beaches worth seeing. Some parks require fees.

I felt like I might have rushed it on Sunday. The next time I’ll plan on spending a few days and take my time exploring.

View Oregon Pacific Coast Highway photos.

The Train has Arrived

First Orange Line MAX Train at Mailwell

It’s here!

On the morning of April 12, 2015, the first Trimet MAX train rolled over the the Tillamook Branch crossing and SE Mailwell St. in Milwaukie. Today marks exactly five months until the Portland-Milwaukie light rail “Orange Line” opens, which is on September 12, 2015.

This video shows a Type II or III light rail vehicle crossing SE Mailwell St. on its own power, shot from SE Olsen St. The crossing signals will be upgraded with electronic bells later.

(Apologies for the portrait mode video as this originated from Twitter video, which doesn’t allow for proper landscape video formatting.)

Ride Notes: March 29, 2015

Bryan Dorr PDX Carpet JerseyIt’s been a while since I have been on my bicycle for a good ride. Life has just been a little busy for the past couple of months. I finally found some free time to hop onto the saddle and take the steed out for a roll in the sunshine on a Pacific Northwest fabtastic spring-like day.

There is not much for me to say about the usual and peachy 35-mile Boring trip on the Springwater Trail between Milwaukie to the east end in Boring and a burger and tots lunch at The Not So Boring Bar & Grill. I did appreciate the numerous compliments about my PDX Carpet bicycle jersey from many and I appreciate it and thank you.