Warrior Rock 13-Feb-2014

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VanMarmot
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Warrior Rock 13-Feb-2014

Post by VanMarmot » February 13th, 2014, 4:58 pm

A day off coinciding with a break in the weather - miracles! Hiking possibilities were swirling around in my head like stuffed olives in a dry martini when the cruel hand of fate intervened and slammed the door on I-84. Fortunately, no one got hurt in the rock fall but now what? After some caffeine and labored thinking, it occurred to me that I hadn't hiked out to Warrior Rock in 10+ years [second choice was Silver Falls but I see that pdxgene was already there]. Sauvie Island parking permits had gone up to $7/d in the intervening years but there was plenty of parking,

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and it was a moderately clear, calm, and not too cold day on the water.

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There's basically an old road from the TH all the way out to Warrior Point, but part of it is being worked on, so I was diverted to the beach for awhile.

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This wasn't going to be any kind of heroic, XC, "last Clif bar or death" kind of hiking adventure, so there was time to go all abstract with the camera,

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and just keep wandering up the strand line toward the Warrior Rock lighthouse (arrow).

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This is one tough bush...

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The clouds were broken up enough to provide scenic character (and sunbreaks) and the Columbia was low enough a show a few sand bars.

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After a short stroll on the beach, you're directed back to the road,

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which runs through some seriously muddy stretches,

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before coming to the little lighthouse that guards the channel.

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The beach here is a study in abstractions.

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The old road continues N past the lighthouse to Warrior Point (some guidebooks call this Warrior Rock) for a view of downtown St. Helens across the river.

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Another abstraction,

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a reminder of a gull,

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and then it was time to head back.

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A very nice little hike (7.5 mi RT, 0' EG), with photo and birding opportunities all along. As I was driving out, I noticed that there were several cars parked at the "clothing optional" beach S of the TH. It was a pretty pleasant day for mid-February hiking, but it still seemed a little on the chilly side for wandering the beach in your natural attire. Guess it builds character...

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Splintercat
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Re: Warrior Rock 13-Feb-2014

Post by Splintercat » February 13th, 2014, 8:09 pm

Mmmm..... very peaceful winter scenes, Van -- and beautiful photography! Thanks for sharing!

Tom :)

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sprengers4jc
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Re: Warrior Rock 13-Feb-2014

Post by sprengers4jc » February 13th, 2014, 8:15 pm

Amazing pics! We were there a couple months back and it was a terrible mudhole. Doesn't look like that aspect has improved but this is always a great hike regardless. When the water is low, you can continue on north past the lighthouse another 3/10ths of a mile or so. Also, did you see the ruins of the lighthouse keeper's home in the woods behind the lighthouse? Someone had been working on that the last time we were out there.
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Crusak
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Re: Warrior Rock 13-Feb-2014

Post by Crusak » February 13th, 2014, 9:53 pm

Nice choice of trails, given the circumstances. Heck, that's a nice trail any time of year (except when I was there a couple of years ago - during duck hunting season...)
Jim's Hikes

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UTurn
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Re: Warrior Rock 13-Feb-2014

Post by UTurn » February 14th, 2014, 5:01 am

Crusak wrote:(except when I was there a couple of years ago - during duck hunting season...)
Or when I was there and couldn't take a step without a zillion snakes slithering by me. However, it was a hot summer day.

Nice pictures!

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vibramhead
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Re: Warrior Rock 13-Feb-2014

Post by vibramhead » February 14th, 2014, 7:00 am

Another great TR, VM! I've done that hike many times, but I've always turned around at the lighthouse, since that's where the road ends. I usually hike there when the blackberries are ripe, since there's some great picking along the road. I didn't know you could get all the way to the northern tip of the island, but I see from your track that you were able to do so. I'll have to check that out next time, if the river level allows.
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VanMarmot
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Re: Warrior Rock 13-Feb-2014

Post by VanMarmot » February 14th, 2014, 7:33 am

sprengers4jc wrote:Also, did you see the ruins of the lighthouse keeper's home in the woods behind the lighthouse? Someone had been working on that the last time we were out there.
Yes, I saw the keeper's house this time having missed it before. There are a couple of large toolchests stashed in the basement and there's been some clean-up of the area but it's hard to tell what the long-term goal is since it's in the refuge.

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VanMarmot
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Re: Warrior Rock 13-Feb-2014

Post by VanMarmot » February 14th, 2014, 7:36 am

vibramhead wrote:I didn't know you could get all the way to the northern tip of the island, but I see from your track that you were able to do so. I'll have to check that out next time, if the river level allows.
Thanks! I didn't know you could go that far either but Lorain's book indicated it was possible. The road forks about 200 m before reaching the lighthouse and if you take the fainter left fork you can follow the road all the way to Warrier Point regardless of river level.

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sprengers4jc
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Re: Warrior Rock 13-Feb-2014

Post by sprengers4jc » February 14th, 2014, 7:43 am

VanMarmot wrote:
sprengers4jc wrote:Also, did you see the ruins of the lighthouse keeper's home in the woods behind the lighthouse? Someone had been working on that the last time we were out there.
Yes, I saw the keeper's house this time having missed it before. There are a couple of large toolchests stashed in the basement and there's been some clean-up of the area but it's hard to tell what the long-term goal is since it's in the refuge.

Here are a couple of pics of what the keeper's house ruins looked like back on November 3.
Attachments
1.jpg
Framing
2.jpg
The chimney.
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BigBear
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Re: Warrior Rock 13-Feb-2014

Post by BigBear » February 14th, 2014, 9:58 am

How bad are those muddy sections now? I was there a month ago and the first 1/2 mile of the road was a mud hole worthy of losing your boots (seriously, several inches deep). It was a man-made mudhole in the name of "restoration" by the employees of the refuge and their tractor. n that day, the parking lot was full and the words for the refuge staff were very unfriendly. I contacted the refuge headquarters and they said they would be working to repair this section of road immediately. I am wondering if they were telling the truth.

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