Sunday Hike: Ruckle Ridge and Benson Plateau

This hike was to Benson Plateau, via Ruckle Ridge. It's a lesser-travelled Columbia Gorge trail, on the Oregon side, starting from Eagle Creek Recreation Area.

The ascent to the plateau and highpoint climbs just over 4,000 feet in about 4 miles. It's quite steep in places and a wee bit airy on the 'catwalk' at around 3,000 feet. Certainly some care is required, as the ridge is quite narrow at times and in some places, is precipitous on both sides. 

It's a beautiful trail. My favorite part was the Benson Plateau and the fact that we saw only three other hikers, all day. The nine mile round trip, took about 6 hours. 

Here is a clip of the beautiful forest at Benson Plateau, and a few pics from the hike. 

Beautiful moss-covered basalt columns.

Beautiful moss-covered basalt columns.

Zach leading the way.

Zach leading the way.

Summer is here

Summer is here

about 3000 feet up on the ridge.

about 3000 feet up on the ridge.

This guy looks pretty relaxed

Adventures in the Gorge: Walking the dog

Dog Mountain, 10 miles east of Stevenson, WA is a short (and quite steep) hike through a dense forest and then through fields of Yellow Balsamroot flowers. The trail rises 2800 feet in 3.5 miles to give spectacular views of the gorge and surrounding mountains.   

I'm committed to my half-marathon training program and didn't really have time to hike today, so I ran/walked the Dog as fast as I could and was up and down in two hours. Next time I'll take my time and enjoy the gorgeous views.  

Here is a video and a couple of pics. 

Fit By Nature: Journaling - Week Three - Progress.

Flowers are progress. 

The other day, while running, I was looking at the new colors in the forest; blues, pinks, yellows and the bright-green needles on Douglas firs. Seeing the changes of the seasons, is one way I feel my journey and time in nature reminds me that nothing stops the flowers coming through. So for this week's journaling, I've been writing about a sense of progress. 

No matter how quick, or slow, or sideways our progress is... It's possible to be deliberate with action. We can train, stretch, heal, plan, learn and grow. Importantly, we ought realize that progress often involves setbacks or slowdowns. Often the biggest progress involves transition; breaking-down, letting-go and breaking-through. It's not easy... but what a difference it can make. All of the steps are progress, especially the tough ones. And they might not feel comfortable.

Sometimes, it's easy to feel like we don't have energy or motivation - to go after a goal, but that's not always true. We know what we want. And even if we can't get it today, we can move forwards and let the future unfold. It's important to consider, that the flowers that grew half-a-foot in the past week, rested, virtually unmoved... for months. And here they are!

This week, write about progress. It could be fitness, strength, endurance, healing, planning, goal setting or attitude. Consider the following topics and write about how you relate to them. 

  • Resilience. 
  • Persistence. 
  • Faith.
  • Desire.
  • Direction.
  • Growth.    

What if you feel like you have not made progress, or have had a set-back?

Write about that, too. Get it all out on the page.

click to go to

week one journaling 

week two journaling