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Deschutes Upper Trail - 4-8-22

Posted: April 9th, 2022, 11:10 am
by arieshiker
On the 8th, I took my 33rd hike along the Deschutes. Since the docs released me from “foot detention,” I’ve been trying to get out every week, which so far has worked out well.

I got on the trail at 7:45, it was chilly but pleasant with the only threat being blustery winds, which proved an accurate forecast, and then some.

I’m still in slight recovery stage, so mostly it’s endurance I’m working on, for which these eastern Gorge trails seem a good option.

It was supposed to be cloudy most of the day, but that didn’t pan out as the clouds broke and the sun came out before eleven. The blustery winds were out all morning. At times a real pain to work against due to the total exposure of parts of the upper trail.

Pretty much a typical hike along that trail - a couple patches of Balsamroot and lupine were along the trail as pretty much the only wildflowers, and I thought it was appropriate that the only blooms were in blue and yellow, the colors of the Ukraine flag.

A recent rockslide of a chunk from the wall just before mile marker 4 was present, and there was another slide before mile marker 3 that is a bit older. The weather must be doing some damage to those slopes. I tried to capture the scene but couldn't really get a shot that showed much more than a pile of debris.

I saw my first snake on the trail after all these years but not a rattlesnake. It appeared to be a small brown snake, which I’ve seen down in the campground area. Probably a foot long and pencil thin.

The only other hint of wildlife, besides the ever-present geese, was a lower leg of a deer laying on the edge of the trail.

Several bikers and trail runners were out, but no one carrying a pack. With gusts hitting close to 35-40 mph, and swirling, I can see why interest was slack. A great day to be out, but also a great day to be next to a fireplace with a good book. Once I got back home, the winds just increased throughout the day.

The change in colors when the sky changes from overcast to sunny is always something that impresses me. Yesterday, the sky changed from very gray to an amazing blue with fluffy clouds being moved along by a stiff wind.

Re: Deschutes Upper Trail - 4-8-22

Posted: April 10th, 2022, 10:37 am
by bobcat
Sounds like a good day! Your small brown critter is a gopher snake. They are harmless to humans (and fairly tame).

Re: Deschutes Upper Trail - 4-8-22

Posted: April 11th, 2022, 8:14 am
by arieshiker
Thanks bobcat. Duly noted and stored for future reference. I'm an old hiker, but a newbie to critter nomenclature.

Re: Deschutes Upper Trail - 4-8-22

Posted: April 12th, 2022, 7:16 am
by west_linn_hiker
Beautiful photos; could I ask where the trailhead to this hike is located?

(I did a Google search but only found the Deschutes River Trail in Bend, but this is obviously far north of that)

Re: Deschutes Upper Trail - 4-8-22

Posted: April 12th, 2022, 8:44 am
by retired jerry ... River_Hike

about 10 miles past The Dalles on I84 - Deschutes State Recreation Area

Re: Deschutes Upper Trail - 4-8-22

Posted: April 12th, 2022, 9:08 am
by west_linn_hiker
Thank you Jerry!