Hardy-Hamilton Loop, 1-Jan-2014

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kepPNW
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Hardy-Hamilton Loop, 1-Jan-2014

Post by kepPNW » January 2nd, 2014, 3:13 pm

Started the new year with what I think is my new favorite loop in Beacon Rock State Park, thanks in large part to Craig's TR posted just the other day. In it, he showed a bushwhack past the abandoned cabin up to the Hardy Ridge trail. Dang! That set off lightbulbs, and I immediately started looking at maps and Google Earth. Seemed like the ideal way to make a glorious loop through the entire park; something I'd been looking for (obviously, without too much passion) for some time.

Allison (awildman) and I took off from the parking lot a little after 9am, heading up towards the campground and Little Beacon Rock. That's definitely a worthwhile detour on the way up; one I haven't taken in quite awhile. We then took off cross-country just past the powerlines, to the old abandoned cabin, and then gently uphill for about a half-mile. Much of the "bushwhack" was actually along an old roadway, and then some game trails. Lots of prickly Oregon Grape, and some spindly Vine Maples, to deal with. Might not be all that comfortable in shorts. Pretty easy passage this time of year, though!

We hit the Hardy Ridge trail just below where it forks on either side of the ridge, and took the western route up. Some nice work done along there by Ryan and his group! It's not quite as nasty as it used to be. :) As we approached Phlox Point, we saw a huge group ahead of us! First time I've ever encountered anyone up there. We went ahead, and tagged the point which was very cold and windy, so we decided to descend a bit to a nice sunny meadow for a lunch stop. As we enjoyed the views, the meet-up group came down, and turned out to be Jeff (aircooled) and crew! They'd come up from the Horse Camp, and were heading back down there. Had a nice visit.

After our little break, we went down the east side of Hardy Ridge to the Equestrian Trail, crossed over Hardy Creek, and climbed back up the backside of Hamilton ridge. Wandered south until we hit the saddle, where we again found beautiful blue skies and sunshine. Couldn't resist taking a second break, and just soaking it all up! The ravens were just having fun, soaring above us. The sinking sun was casting a golden glow on Table Mountain. It was spectacular. Eventually, we had to move on, so we went and tagged Hamilton, then descended the "More Difficult" trail and got back to the jeep not too very long after sunset.

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Opening shot: Unknown solo hiker making his way up the Hardy Ridge behind us.


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Wonderful view of Beacon Rock from Little Beacon Rock.


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Little Beacon Rock in the early morning sunshine.


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Looking down Hardy Ridge, with Hamilton beyond, at the Phlox Point junction.


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Remembering (re-enacting?) the Couger Sighting thread!


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Whoa! Traffic jam on Phlox Point!


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The fluorescent greens were just electric! Looking back down Hardy Ridge.


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Simply can't beat a ridge hike on a day like this! First time I ever saw Mount Rainier from here, too.


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HUH?! Mount Rainier from Phlox Point?! There's a first for every thing! Wow...


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The bigger-brained birds were having a ball, soaring on the winds whipping over the ridge, like this red-tail hawk.


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The high winds encouraged us to drop back down for lunch and a bit more solitude.


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I actually toned down the colors on that ground cover - honest!


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Mount Adams and our lovely power distribution infrastructure.


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Our next destination and (just beyond) Bonneville Dam. Can't remember the spillways with that little flow in January!

Lunch Spot #1
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Sheltered (from the wind) lunch spot with sun and spectacular winter view!


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Someone got all New Age Artsy-Fartsy with Boot Rock.
(You didn't think I was gonna pull the "football dog" joke, right?)



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Not sure I ever saw this column along the Equestrian Trail before, when everything was leafed out.


Lunch Spot #2
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Perfection! No wind, just blue skies, sunshine and soaring ravens for company.


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Tanner Butte is as good as throwing a bigass dare our way! "Lookit me, no snow!"


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Not sure what this raven had, but all the other ravens were extremely jealous!


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Leaving was hard, but had to happen sooner or later. The sun was sinking fast.


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Looking west, we note that Portland-Vancouver never left the fog all day! It was clear east of Camas, though!


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First sunset of 2014.


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Table Mountain was just on fire right about now! (Hiya, Pablo! <wave>)


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The ravens wouldn't hold still long enough for me to compose this with all of Mount Adams in it, too.


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From the Hamilton Summit. Not a favorite spot, directly, but this angle's often worth it.


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Spectacular ending to one of the best first days of the year I remember.


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And it just kept getting better...


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Even coming down through the woods, the golden rays just sliced right through, igniting the trees behind me in light.


This entire loop was all bassackwards from the getgo for both of us. Never did Hardy clockwise. Never came down the "More Difficult" trail. And so on. I guess it could be that offered a new perspective on the entire park. Crazy fun day!

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<mumble> ... something about a ham sandwich... </mumble>


The hike ended up being about 14 miles and a bit over 4000' of EG. I'd say this needs to be an official loop, but perhaps they can't build a trail across that privately held parcel? I dunno, last time I tagged both Ham (twice) and Hardy in the same day, it was well over 20 miles. This one was ideal for the shorter days around winter solstice.

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http://gpsfly.org/gps_map.php?gps_id=2955&w=645&h=440

Couldn't have asked for a better start to 2014, myself. Saying, as I generally do, "another great day in the woods!", would be a huge understatement. One of the best. :)

Happy New Year, everyone!
Karl
Back on the trail, again...

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roadtripmom
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Re: Hardy-Hamilton Loop, 1-Jan-2014

Post by roadtripmom » January 2nd, 2014, 6:14 pm

Holy cow, that photo of Rainier is amazing !! Your photos really are fantastic and always bring a smile :D
Filling my bucket, one hike at a time.
Amanda

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CraigG
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Re: Hardy-Hamilton Loop, 1-Jan-2014

Post by CraigG » January 2nd, 2014, 7:13 pm

Happy New Year Karl!

Your TR brought me (good) flashbacks! Awesome! Boot Rock is so funny. I expected a large rock feature, but ended up seeing a lawn fixture. All good. :lol:

Excellent TR and photos!

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awildman
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Re: Hardy-Hamilton Loop, 1-Jan-2014

Post by awildman » January 2nd, 2014, 8:34 pm

Thanks for dreaming this one up, Karl! I've been wanting to get to both summits without a lot of double track walking and this route minimizes the amount of time on roads (without a Don Nelsen Bushwhack(tm)). :)

Karl did an excellent job as Trip Documentarian, but I will add this one:

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(insert caption here)
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pablo
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Re: Hardy-Hamilton Loop, 1-Jan-2014

Post by pablo » January 2nd, 2014, 9:01 pm

Thx Karl & Co. for the nice trip report and photos - love the Table/Adams shots. Some things I've not seen and routes I've not traveled so I get yet another excuse to use my DNR Discover Pass. I looked for folks on Hamilton with the Big Zoom but came up empty, timing is everything.

--Paul
The future's uncertain and the end is always near.

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Peder
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Re: Hardy-Hamilton Loop, 1-Jan-2014

Post by Peder » January 2nd, 2014, 9:10 pm

Fantastic pictures Karl! For a while I was thinking that Alison was PH Calendar 2015 Miss January material, then I saw you doing the bridge... Now I know that we will have a Mr January 2015!

awildman wrote:Image
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aircooled
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Re: Hardy-Hamilton Loop, 1-Jan-2014

Post by aircooled » January 2nd, 2014, 10:14 pm

Great photos, Karl! Esp of Rainier! Did you take those with a P&S or full size SLR? And thanks for pointing out Tanner Butte so I can add that to the list of peaks to identify.

Good to bump into you both up there! It seems I can't hike anywhere without running into hikers I know. (I thought I might break the rule on a headlamp hike tonight in Forest Park, but some Mazamas were up there and I knew two of them.)

Heading down the "more difficult" trail makes for a nice change of pace - even more fun when there's ice. :)

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kepPNW
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Re: Hardy-Hamilton Loop, 1-Jan-2014

Post by kepPNW » January 2nd, 2014, 11:11 pm

roadtripmom wrote:Holy cow, that photo of Rainier is amazing !! Your photos really are fantastic and always bring a smile :D
That's so nice to hear! :D
CraigG wrote:Happy New Year Karl!

Your TR brought me (good) flashbacks! Awesome! Boot Rock is so funny. I expected a large rock feature, but ended up seeing a lawn fixture. All good. :lol:

Excellent TR and photos!
Hey, thanks much, Craig! I'm not sure why, but I just didn't "see" the bushwhack before your recent report. But when I looked at your track, then my maps, then Google Earth, ... forehead slap time! All along, I was thinking the power lines offered the best option, but now I know far better. I think it was coming at it from below that made the difference. I'd scouted around a bit from above before, and didn't see any natural way to go. The track we took still isn't optimal. Something about the geography that wanted to curve us off to the right, and I needed a hard correction left as we started paralleling the trail. I suppose it'd be a good time to work with the compass some, too. :)
awildman wrote:Thanks for dreaming this one up, Karl! I've been wanting to get to both summits without a lot of double track walking and this route minimizes the amount of time on roads (without a Don Nelsen Bushwhack(tm)). :)

Karl did an excellent job as Trip Documentarian, but I will add this one:
Heh, oh you really shouldn't have. 8-)

Dunno why, but this trip just stood out. Been there, done that, and yet. Great day!!! I'd say "my pleasure" putting it together, but that's probably way too obvious. :D
pablo wrote:Thx Karl & Co. for the nice trip report and photos - love the Table/Adams shots. Some things I've not seen and routes I've not traveled so I get yet another excuse to use my DNR Discover Pass. I looked for folks on Hamilton with the Big Zoom but came up empty, timing is everything.
Indeed. I thought I'd covered all the trails in BRSP on my last DP, but having just bought a new one darned if we didn't come up with a few first-time tracks, too! I was honestly surprised at just how few folks we encountered all day long, despite a bit of a crush up on Phlox. Hamilton, at sundown of course, was pretty much empty. We ran into a few folks going up as we came down. (I still have a lot of exploring to do over on Table, as well!) Thanks for the kind words.
Peder wrote:Fantastic pictures Karl! For a while I was thinking that Alison was PH Calendar 2015 Miss January material, then I saw you doing the bridge... Now I know that we will have a Mr January 2015!
:lol:

(Pssst... she already is Ms January 2014! ;))
aircooled wrote:Great photos, Karl! Esp of Rainier! Did you take those with a P&S or full size SLR? And thanks for pointing out Tanner Butte so I can add that to the list of peaks to identify.

Good to bump into you both up there! It seems I can't hike anywhere without running into hikers I know. (I thought I might break the rule on a headlamp hike tonight in Forest Park, but some Mazamas were up there and I knew two of them.)

Heading down the "more difficult" trail makes for a nice change of pace - even more fun when there's ice. :)
I just carry a little disposable P&S, yeah. And honestly that's just what I do. Really can't see the screen without pulling out specs, and that's just too much effort. It's always fun to download the photos, and see what I might've captured. :)

It was indeed good seeing you again. Definitely becoming more common that if I/we run into people out there, someone in the group is known. (Too many selfies? :lol:) On NYE, we heard, "Are you Allison? You just climbed Defiance?!?" :)

I gotta remember to not always do loops in the familiar direction. I'm sure just flopping it over added a lot! Have fun tackling Tanner. It's on my very short list right now, too.
Karl
Back on the trail, again...

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Eric Peterson
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Re: Hardy-Hamilton Loop, 1-Jan-2014

Post by Eric Peterson » January 3rd, 2014, 7:22 am

Costco has a Lumix ZS25 right now for under 200 bucks, IIRC, that is the same 'line' of Lumix that
Karl uses? for his fantabular photos!

Karl doing push ups on the horse bridge is awesome! :D

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kepPNW
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Re: Hardy-Hamilton Loop, 1-Jan-2014

Post by kepPNW » January 3rd, 2014, 9:50 am

Eric Peterson wrote:Costco has a Lumix ZS25 right now for under 200 bucks, IIRC, that is the same 'line' of Lumix that
Karl uses? for his fantabular photos!

That's where I got my first Lumix, the ZS7. It had the GPS feature, which I never found compelling. Using a ZS19 now, which I got as a refurb for about $115. Looks like there's not a lot of differences between the ZS19 and ZS25:
But given that list, I can't see any reason to spend extra for the newer? Except maybe the longer possible shutter speed - 30s vs 15s. That pissed me off a couple times when I wanted to take really long exposures. The ZS25 has marginally higher megapixels, but I never shoot at full-res anyway. The touchscreen on the ZS19 hasn't really been something I've used much either, probably because I can't read it. ;) Oh, and if you're into jump shots? The ZS19 will do 10fps but the newer ZS25 will only do 5fps. Maybe that's the deciding factor? :)

That all said, I've never been thrilled with the JPG algorithm they use in this line! If anyone is really thinking about snagging one of those, and would like to see some 100% images, I'd be happy to share. These are great little cameras for online product, but not the thing you'd want to make huge enlargements from! As long as you're reducing, though, no problem.
Eric Peterson wrote:Karl doing push ups on the horse bridge is awesome! :D
With a 20# pack, too, eh? Heh, I was so totally :lol: at the time, I don't think my eyes are even open! :D
Karl
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