Old Columbia River Highway

We awoke to another beautiful day we enjoyed breakfast in the sun and then headed off to the trailhead at the Senator Tom MacColl Preserve just east of Hood River.  Sections of the old highway have been repaved and opened to pedestrian and bicycle traffic only and this make a really nice ride, high above the river.  This segment of the trail begins with an uphill but levels out with some gentle ups and downs.

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Overlook from the trail

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Wildflowers

Two of the tunnels have been re-opened and about 1 mile from Mosier the trail begins a long descent back down to the river and, of course, that means  a long uphill run to return.

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First Tunnel

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Second Tunnel

There is a wonderful viewpoint before the long down hill into Mosier and this is where we turned around.  My hip was not handling the uphill segments very well so we rested here and enjoyed conversation with a couple of stay-at-home dads who had drive out from Portland for a day of riding with their 3-year-olds.

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Balsam Root in bloom

 

The downhill run back to the van was delightful although I was still a little nervous about the ravages of the goatheads and couldn’t help wondering if there were more embedded in the other tire just waiting to flatten the tire as I picked up speed cruising downhill . . . not this time.

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