Columbia Gorge – Rowena Overlook/McCall Point (#21)


 June 8, 2011

Info: (from my Oregon Hike Book) More than 300 varieties of plants grow on the dramatic oak grasslands above the Columbia River and Rowena Dell. Thanks to the Nature Conservancy, this fabulous preserve – named for former Oregon Governor McCall, a conservationist-is open to everyone. Spring and early summer mark some of the showiest wildflower shows anywhere, though poison oak has a grip here, too. Lava flows and ash deposits coupled with massive floods have produced this strange mound-and-swale topography that baffles even the experts on that sort of thing. Here you’ll find meadowlarks, the Oregon state bird, as well as canyon wrens, Pacific chorus frogs and mule deer. Flowers include grass widows, prairie stars, lupine, Indian paintbrush, balsamroot, milk vetch, shooting stars, and waterleaf, several of which are found only in the Gorge. 
Directions: Drive east of Hood River five miles on I-84 to the Mosier exit (Exit 69) and follow “Scenic Loop” signs 6.6 miles to the Rowena Crest Viewpoint.
Thanks Kevin for the wonderful calendar!

Jenn’s View: OKAY so my challenge is to do every hike (or visit the places and then find a nearby hike) in my new Oregon Calendar that I received for Christmas. The first hike for the year was taken at the Rowena Overlook. No where in my book shows a Rowena Overlook so had to look it online. Well, it kept pointing me to the Tom McCall Preserve so I went with it. Now, the picture on my calendar shows it with snow but as you can obviously tell in my picture – no snow. It was a little “blah” and not very picturesque but I bet its pretty phenomenal in the Spring when the fields are blooming with sooooo many colors. I wouldn’t mind going back to see the show in the Spring. 🙂

We first visited the Viewpoint. We had to stop for “directions” on how to get to the trailhead and to ask for advise on which trail to do first. Very nice cyclists and the lady would have talked your ear off!
All the signs were pretty confusing and not trust worthy on the length of each hike. The first hike we did was to McCall Point or the Rowena Overlook (?). It was pretty cold but the sun was shining. Thank goodness cuz when we left Salem, the fog was so thick, I didn’t think I was gonna get a good picture!
 The trail was pretty muddy and wet but steady climb up to the peak. Not good when you drank a little too much of very delicious Jalapeno, sweet thang Margaritas – courtesy of Mr. Scott Wenger.  The higher that we went up, the peak of a mountain was starting show. That was a great highlight.

My Daughter…Not happy…Teenagers!
We hit the first mark and decided to take some pictures!
Posing the same way. I wonder if she got that from me or me from her?
AWWWW, my man!
Here is the peek-a-boo of a mountain top.  We couldn’t figure out which mountain that was. It was definitely on the Washington side so I was thinking it was Mt. Adams?

Had to get a picture of the “rolling hills”.

Steady climb up and found some normal trees!
My Sherpa. 🙂 I started with the backpack and he ended up carrying the rest of the time. Thank goodness!
The higher we climbed, the more I saw this mountain. 
More steady climb up but we are sooooo very close!
Posing for the camera. Easy picture taker!
We finally reached the top and was clear enough to see Mt. Adams (?) and Mt. Hood (?). Maybe that was Mt. Hood with all the snow.

We reached the top and stopped to enjoy the view and Kaila to finally eat her victory Banana! Should have stopped at Subway to eat our Victory Sandmich!

Kaila hidden somewhere in there eating her nana

Well, I didn’t want to take a picture of up, down and all around for the 360 photo software. It’s kinda a pain in the butt so I’d rather do a pana shot. I know, I know…lazy me. Oh well. 🙂

Click on it! I swear it does get bigger!!!! :))


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