Willamette National Forest (Detroit Lake Area) – Tumble Lake

Tumble Lake



INFO:  From the Oregon Hike Book by Sean Patrick Hill. From the edge of Detroit Reservoir, the Tumble Ridge Trail heads straight into the neighboring mountains, climbing steeply to the spire of Needle Rock and the vista of Dome Rock. Hidden up Tumble Creek is Tumble Lake, with a waterfall. Though you could hike in this way, there is an easier point of entry that makes for a quicker hike to these sights (which is what Scott and I did and this review is based on that direction to this easier hike). From the upper trailhead on Road 2223, go in 0.4 mile to a junction. To access Dome Rock, go left 0.5 mile to the 4,869-foot peak. To access Tumble Lake, go right at this first junction crossing a meadow down into a gully for 1.2 miles to the shore. Follow the shore to the left 0.3 mile to see the outlet creek and waterfall.

DIRECTIONS:  Drive 50 miles east of Salem on OR22 to Detroit Lake. Just before the Breitenbush River turn left on French Creek Road 2223 and go 4.2 miles to a fork at pavement’s end. (The road will initially split before the 4.2 miles and make sure to veer to the left. The road is super narrow so beware of oncoming cars/trucks) This is a picture of a pretty narrow part. My car (Honda Accord) is not that wide but it sure felt like it was a tight squeeze. Road to TumbleLake

At pavement’s end, fork left onto Road 2223 for 3.9 miles. It’s a good idea to watch your miles because there are no trail mark. We just found it because there were cars parked on the road and we saw a trail on the left. Permits are not required and parking and access is free.

JENN’S VIEW: Scott and I really enjoyed this trail. We have a 12-13 year old German Short-haired Pointer and a 6 year old tiny Maltese with us and they did better on the trail than I did! The climb back up was pretty brutal because it was a pretty steep incline. When we hit the lake, it was absolutely beautiful. So green and blue and very clear. Wish we had brought a raft to slowly drift around. Went looking for the waterfall but didn’t find it. I was a little bummed about that but give me a great reason to go back and do Dome Creek and then back to Tumble Lake. I was thinking of camping here next year. Scott promised to pack everything back up when we leave. Tee hee, I’m such a woos. I would say Pamelia Lake is prettier. You can get really pretty pictures with the mountain reflecting in the water. It’s flat and easier to get in to and tons of trails to hike around. Only problem with Pamelia Lake is that there is a limited access fee (not much $5 and can be ordered online) and must have a wilderness pass (another $5, I believe). Check that blog out here:  http://www.oregonhike.org/2011/06/mt-jefferson-pamelia-lake-9.html

The trail starts off with a small climb up. No big deal. The dogs were so excited to hit the trail. Too funny.  Scott being a “poser”. hahahahahaha….

Scott Wenger PoserThe first 0.4 miles is a steady climb up and you will actually see the sign to Tumble Lake. You will also see pretty cool rock spires (well that’s what I call them) and beautiful trees – Don’t ask, I normally don’t know what “type” of trees. It probably says it in my guide book but it’s late and I really don’t feel like getting out of my bed to check. LOL. Going to the left will take you to Dome Rock. We will hit that area next time  because its only 0.5 miles to the peak – I think. Then head down towards Tumble Lake after our OOOHHHH and AHHHH’s at Dome Rock.

Scott WengerTumbleLake3TumbleLake2


The next obstacle we faced was which way do we go? Follow what looks like a dry river bank. DO NOT FOLLOW THE TRAIL ON THE LEFT THAT LOOKS LIKE A TRAIL! Nor follow the flags that are on that trail. Scott and I sorta followed the flags and we eventually found our way out but we ended up on that dry river bed.

TumbleLake13Scott trying to figure out which flags to follow. We finally figured it out but it would have been easier to just follow the dry river bed!

_DSC0008After making our way out and on the right path, the climb down was a little hurtful on my poor little knees. It’s slippery too with loose rocks so be careful!

Tumble Lake

Eventually you will hit what my book calls a “meadow”. I guess. It’s a field of raspberry or some type of “prickly” bushes. Be careful – it hurts. I had to turn my capri pants back to regular pants. Man, I love those pants! Poor Scott was wearing shorts.

Tumble Lake

 After that, it’s a short walk to the lake. I just kept looking up thinking to myself how hard it is to climb back up! GRRRR, it’s gonna be brutal but after reaching the lake – the excitement of making plans to camp, raft, hike, etc all came about when we hit the lake. Sam, who is OLD OLD OLD dog, hates the water – actually jumped in the water. He loved it!

TumbleLake8 TumbleLake9 TumbleLake10

We saw someone camping up near the rocks and one guy fishing in the lake on the other side. We didn’t stay too long because we had to get to a party that night.  We will definitely be back and with more time. Did I mention – the hike back is B.R.U.T.A.L.!

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Wouldn’t be a post without a picture of the one and only – MEEEEE!



Columbia Gorge – Latourell Falls


MAY 24, 2012

Info: Taken from the Friends of the Columbia Gorge website (http://gorgefriends.org/display.php?modin=51&uid=4886) Beginning from the Latourell Falls Trailhead, follow the paved viewpoint trail up to the viewpoint. From here, a dirt path leads away to the left, steeply around the basin. Look for side views of the falls, particularly in the winter, when the trees have lost their leaves. The trail climbs for about 1/3 of a mile to a bench at the top of the falls.

The main trail continues southward beside the creek. The trail here is rocky in places and the undergrowth next to the trail is very thick, blocking most views in the summer. The trail crosses four pleasant, small wooden bridges and then comes to Upper Latourell Falls. This waterfall is a two tiered drop: first a block fall that’s almost hidden and then a plunge into a pool. The trail crosses Latourell Creek at the base of the falls and heads back down the west side of Henderson creek. Follow the trail to the Historic Columbia River Highway.

Hikers can return to the trailhead by hiking across the bridge, but there’s more trail fun to be had. Across the road, there’s an old set of stairs that start a trail dropping down into Guy Talbot Park. The trail drops down to a parking area with picnic tables. From here another paved trail heads back under the highway bridge to the base of Latourell Falls. The bridge, dating from 1914, is interesting in its own right, with special lightweight construction due to the unstable soils in the area. At the falls, the lichen-covered columnar basalt formations around the falls steal the show. From here, it’s a short, paved, uphill hike to the parking lot.

Directions: From Portland, drive east on I-84 to Exit 28 (Bridal Veil). Turn Right on the Historic Highway and drive 2.8 miles to the Latourell Falls Parking lot on the left. From the east, take exit 35 (Ainsworth Park). Drive 10.8 miles west on the Historic Highway to the same lot.

Jenn’s View: Since this was the only “TRUE” hike I did, I really enjoyed this one. It was about 2+ miles round trip and I think I took a wrong turn somewhere because I didn’t end up at the parking lot that I originally started in. I wasn’t too far off though :). Great hike for the family. I saw little tiny kids on the trail. They have this rated as moderate and I would have to agree at the beginning of the trail. It does “SLOWLY” climb up so not too hard or strenuous.  Meaning, slow elevation gain. Take the kids and the dogs! Dogs must be on a leash. I didn’t get great pictures. The lighting was off – too much sun. The best place that I had a blast taking pictures was Bridal Veil. I am soooo not a professional or even an amateur, I just take pics to add to the blogs.

From the parking lot, you climb up the paved path to a viewing area of Latourell Falls. Talked to a family who had a young German Shepherd and three kids.  One of the kids bent down in front of Shadowlynn’s face and my dog jumped up to either lick her or just “bonk” her on her nose. I was busy talking with the mom and not paying attention to her little girl. Gave her a bloody nose and felt soooo bad!

Please please please, educate your children on the importance of NOT going up to a dog without owner’s consent or without owner’s supervision. OR bending down and being eye level to a stranger’s dog.

(BTW, the”professional picture above to the right here was not taken by me. It is from the Friends of the Columbia Gorge website)

From the viewpoint, there is a trail that starts the slow climb up. I think that was probably the hardest part of the trail besides all the deep mud puddles you encounter on the trail.

I came to the falls and loved how “neon green” the moss was next to the water. Had to take a picture, of course.

Climbing up the hill, I saw a couple of people on this log taking pictures of the river/creek/stream so I patiently waited my turn and got on that log. It freaked me out because it was quite slippery and my stupid dog kept running back and forth on the log with me on it! She has absolutely no manners and will knock you off first chance she gets because you are in HER way.

I didn’t get any good shots from this bridge, probably because I wouldn’t walk all the way across fearing my dog would knock me off. Here is what I managed to get. Nothing spectacular.

Hiked up a bit more and decided to stop and eat my Subway Sammich. MMMM yummy… 9 grain Honey Oat with Turkey and cheddar cheese. Add spinach, tomatoes, jalapenos, a little bit of mayo and mustard and got myself a awesome lunch. Shared the meat with Shadowlynn, of course. While sitting there, I heard a crack and large branches from the tree next to me fell. Didn’t hurt me or the dog but that was our cue to go. Came to the first bridge of the hike. You encounter a few.

It was so muddy on the trail. My poor shoes. Someone asked me (Scott’s Aunt Cathy) what shoes I normally wear and for the love of God, I couldn’t remember. Probably because I was nervous meeting the family for the first time. They are KEENS! That’s right! Need to do a product review on those babies here soon. I didn’t get a shot of the little cascading stream at the bridge. I figure I get enough of those. LOL

We finally get to the upper part and we have Upper Latourell Falls. Real pretty but the spray from the water and the amount of people on the trail made it quite difficult to get a shot.


I moved further down and across the bridge but someone with a camera/tripod was out taking pictures. He was patiently awaiting for people to pass. Nice equipment but I think he gave up to trying to take a picture of this fall. He kept wiping his camera lens.

While I was waiting for the people to pass, I found a little stream and started taking pictures.

Heading down, I found these flowers I would love to add to my potted plants. Not really sure what they are but they awfully pretty. While going down, I came to a fork in the road. I did take the path to the right thinking I would end at the bottom path and back to the highway, but I swore that path ended so I climbed back up and took the other path. Hmmm…It was a bigger path! Every now and then you would get a break in the tree line so you can see the Gorge but the trees are pretty big that it was hard to see. Like I said at the beginning, I didn’t end up at the parking lot. I did however end up NEAR the parking lot, close to the bridge.

Overall, I think this hike was pretty nice. We got a great break from the winter weather we have been having to enjoy and soak up the sun. Even though my allergies were killing me, I still had a marvelous time!

It wouldn’t be my blog without a picture of me! he he or Shadowlynn

Opal Creek Wilderness – Henline Falls Trail


May 30, 2011

Info: Taken from the US Forest Service (http://www.fs.usda.gov) The trail meanders through young Douglas-fir and Western Hemlock forest. The trail ends at Henline Falls. Here you will find remnants of old mining from the 1930’s. A mine adit was built into the solid rock wall and goes back in about 1500 feet.

Directions: From Salem, travel East on Hwy 22 to milepost 23 at the Swiss Village Restaurant. Turn left on North Fork Road, which is marked “Little North Santiam Recreation Area”. Travel about 19 miles to forest road 2207 junction, continue past this junction for ¼ mile. Trailhead is on the left side.
This also provides access to Ogle Mountain Trail #3357 where it intersects with Henline Falls trail.

Jenn’s View: I really do like this hike. It’s real easy and quick so if I have the urge to do something close, I can go here. I would probably head up to Silver Creek Falls but it’s normally crowded so I don’t go there as much. Plus, if you are courageous enough you can go in the mine…I wouldn’t suggest going pass the barrier though. It freaked me out! All I can imagine is something crawling on the ceiling and then grab me and pull me in!

The first time I did this was with my daughter, Makaila Hunter.  She’s so funny and fun to hike with. Of course, I brought Shadowlynn with us and she was sporting her wonderful doggie backpack that carries nothing in it. It’s terrible to hold anything in it, I just use so I can spot her. 🙂 The Dog

You go through the woods and it’s a pretty flat area to hike into so the hike was pretty easy. Most of the pictures taken were when we reached the falls.

A couple of pictures of us. It wouldn’t be my blog without a picture of me :)!

We did manage to do another hike very close by. These pictures were taken with my camera phone and my ELPH camera. Unfortunately, my little ELPH broke.

Taken at river levelIt's Jenn

REVISIT: March 11, 2012
So, silly me decided to once again go hiking and be unprepared for snow. Gosh darn snow! Besides, Scott Wenger had my snow pants when we went skiing that last time I was in Sisters, Oregon. EEEK. First time skiing since 6th grade. Quite comical on skis. I think I should invest in snow shoes.

Here was my drive in. I drive a 4 door Honda Accord so any snow – blah for my car. I love my little car especially now that the gas price is over $4.00 a gallon so my SUV has to wait once again.

Sorry it’s such a dark picture but the settings of my camera were way off and I forgot to adjust them before taking the pictures.

There was another car parked in front of the sign so I know that someone else was on the trail. You would normally do the self issued pass that is located on the sign in the little box but there were none so I didn’t fill it out. Next time, I should leave a small pad of paper and see who would write on it to tell me about the trail. hmmmm…. SCIENCE EXPERIMENT!

To Henline Falls and Ogle Mountain

Most of the trail was covered in snow. Man, it would have been nice to have my snow pants, just saying….

You come to a fork in the road. To the right, that’s the trail to Ogle Mountain. I wouldn’t take that road just quite yet. It’s long and bit more difficult.

You know when you are on the right track when you come to the sign to Henline Falls

When you are on the trail, you will start hearing the water… At the end of the path is good ol’ Henline Falls

Wouldn’t be a blog without a picture of me….Isn’t that what I normally say?

Product Review – Salomon XT Wings 2 Trail Running Shoes

Me sporting my shoes on Smith Rock
PRODUCT: Salomon XT Wings 2 Trail Running Shoes purchased at REI as a birthday present.

The Salomon XT Wings 2 trail-running shoes combine outstanding cushioning and stability with agility to help you fly down the trails and through the miles.

  • Nylon mesh uppers feature Sensifit™ synthetic leather overlays that wrap and secure insteps for a precise fit
  • Quicklace™ lacing system takes just 1 pull for an exact fit; lace pocket hides lacing away
  • Protective toe and heel caps guard against bumps and abrasion
  • Agile Chassis System (ACS) integrates 3 components to increase runner efficiency: the skeleton, muscle and tendon
  • Clear thermoplastic urethane insert and outsole heel wrap act as the skeleton to facilitate heel-to-toe transition and side-to-side stability
  • Triple-density EVA midsole muscle maximizes cushioning, comfort and responsiveness with twice the durability of average EVA foam
  • Contagrip® outsole tendon acts like a spring to collect heel strike energy and transfer it to toe-off for forward momentum
  • Running Contagrip rubber outsoles deliver optimal performance on mixed terrain even at high speeds
  • Reflective detailing increases your visibility in low light

If you go on REI’s website, it’s an interactive photo where you can zoom in and out. Makes ya kinda dizzy but it’s fun to look at all the great details in this shoe!  Picture was taken off their site as well at http://www.rei.com/product/795722/salomon-xt-wings-2-trail-running-shoes-womens.

JENN’S VIEW: I love these shoes! I should have bought two because I see them wearing out from excessive use but for $130 a pop, hmmm, maybe not! I did my research (like all the many products I buy) and found that the user reviews on these shoes were great. So, without trying them on (since they didn’t have it at the retail store), I went blind and had my sisters and brother buy it for me for my birthday. I’m glad I did my research and glad that they did turn out phenomenal!  I wear them on hikes as well as trail running. I have used it on the 7+ mile run through Silver Falls one summer and they did fantastic. I have used them on hikes and notice my back does hurt after mile 5 but I’m also carrying a pack and really not meant as a backpacking type shoes. Also, I think I want to add different insoles in them to see if it will help on those longer hikes.

If you have these same shoes, please leave a comment and let me know how you like them! If you have a favorite pair of trail running shoes – LET ME KNOW! I would love to hear about other shoes out there. I don’t care if they are stinky, old pair of shoes! My first shoes were old, pink and black Puma running shoes. Soles were worn down, I think I may have had a hole at the bottom or some where on them but I didn’t care. They molded to my feet. Absolutely no traction and eventually they found themselves at the bottom of the garbage pail. I’m a believer of user reviews and base my purchasing habits by that. My boyfriend, Scott needs a new pair…hmmm!

The old Pumas completely covered in mud from the Lower and Upper Butte Falls hike
Me sporting the shoes on my hike to Niagara Falls – in Oregon. 🙂

Columbia Gorge – Tom McCall Preserve (#22)

January 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.
 Jenn’s View: Great hike. All relatively flat and total miles roundtrip, I would say, was about 2.5 miles. I could be wrong. Too many conflicting signs and had a not so great headache happening. Saw some wildlife and glad that I didn’t see any snakes. Sorry, snakes are NOT my friend. 🙂 We did this hike with the McCall Point trail and looked at the Rowena Crest Viewpoint. I was a little disappointed to find out that no dogs are allowed on the trail. I understand that they want to keep the “preservation” but it was obvious people didn’t mind the sign cuz there were evidence that there were dogs.

So, Makaila decided to stay back while Scott and I did this quick hike. 

She did say that she had her iPod to keep her company 🙂

So we hit the first plateau. I was amazed to see that there were quite a few people hiking out today. Probably because it was a clear day and sunny! Still cold but SUNNY! I even saw a lady with a nice long skirt, nylons, flat shoes, nice jacket – looks like her Sunday best doing this hike. 

This lady was taking pictures at the edge of the plateau. I think her boyfriend/husband/significant other/friend was afraid of the edge cuz he was no where near her. Hmmm, sounds familiar, right Scott?

There was a small trail off to the right before the plateau where I got these great shots!

I’m obsessed with that double bridge
OH NO! The sun is going down quick! Like I mentioned above, he won’t go near the edge 🙂

Went around on to the plateau to take more shots of that bridge. I knew if I took enough pictures, I would get one good one. 🙂

The double bridge…Thought it was pretty cool but just couldn’t get the right “shot” Click on it to get the “bigger” picture
Beautiful Columbia River!

On our hike to the plateau, we tried to take a self picture. Hmmm, didn’t work. I think it still turned out cute, even with 1/2 the face. 

You definitely don’t want to click on this one to make it big. I might scare you!

Started heading further down the trail. You end up hitting 2 small ponds but we really didn’t stop to take a look. No biggy. Was getting a little tired any ways but you get great pictures of the gorge!

I tried to yell to the boatsmen where they can find this picture! Yelled “jennshike.blogspot.com!” I don’t think they heard me though. Bummer. One of my favorite shots! Click on it..

So, we thought the trail looped all around but we came pretty much to the end of the road. We turned around and headed back to the car.

On my way out of the gorge, we took a few more shots of the Gorge and said our goodbyes!

Jenn’s Recommendation: Wait until spring but great hike for family and kids of all ages. Remember, no dogs!

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!!!! :))