Tri-Cities Weekend

Over the weekend, Sara and I escaped to the Tri-Cities to visit her cousin and just get away for a while. Coincidently, this weekend ended up being when Puget Sound got hammered by a snowstorm, and while our frantic families worried about our safety, we ended up avoiding the worst weather and road conditions. Perfect!

Due to the passes being closed, we took the southern route through Portland and along the Columbia River. Except for a small section near Hood River where a recent ice storm had coated the trees and ground, we had decent winter conditions and made good time. We pulled off at Rooster Rock to see the frozen wonderland before continuing on our way.

One stop we had to make was at Multnomah Falls. I’ve heard of it and seen photos and always wanted to go, so we went! Even though the weather (and subsequent half dozen barriers and “area closed” signs) prevented us from going up the trail to the bridge, the views were still amazing! Definitely have to go back in the spring or summer to get to the bridge! One highlight was returning to our car and noticing a couple spinning their tires on the ice. They didn’t speak much English, but through gestures and stubbornness we got him unstuck and on his way. Not sure what they made of two white girls coming to the rescue and shoving their car free, but we had a good time for sure!

As we were driving out, Sara noticed another waterfall up the hillside. Wahkeena Falls, the sign advertised. The trail looked dicey being completely piled with snow and ice, but there were no closed signs and the entire path was visible from the road, so we decided to add one more frozen waterfall to our itinerary. She did not disappoint! 

The rest of the drive was quick and uneventful as we arrived in Kennewick, rendezvoused with Sara’s family for a Hockey Game, then made our way to their house to relax.

Sunday morning, Sara was kind enough to humor my endeavor to knock out another hike in my “52 Hike Challenge” so we set our sights on Badger Mountain, the local mountain/hill rumored to have amazing views from the top. Due to the snowy conditions, we opted to test things out first and after a quick stop at The Local for breakfast of yogurt, honey, and granola, and one of the best Chai Teas I’ve ever had, we made our way to Bateman Island to see how bad the trails were. 

Even though the snow had a thick crust, we were able to walk without much trouble and after a jaunt of a little over two miles, we decided to try for Badger Mountain. Bateman Island is a preserve with tons of wildlife, especially birds, and while it was fairly desolate this time of year, it must be a lush sanctuary in the summer.

When we arrived at Badger Mountain, the snow/sleet had stopped but it was very icy. We could see others on the hill and found a way to stick to the edges of the trail to keep our footing, so we opted to go for it. The elevation gain wasn’t much (the east summit being at 1,579 feet) and we made great time, all slipping and sliding considered. No views from the top, but still a nice hike after being in the car for so long.

Of course, as we were leaving town Monday morning, everything was clear and beautiful. Looking up at Badger, we were tempted to try again, but the need to get back to the west side before the weather changed was too great. Next time!

The drive back along the Columbia was breathtaking. We hit some patches of rain, but overall it was clear and beautiful and worthy of a few stops to admire the views. 

To follow our trail:

Multnomah Falls
Wahkeena Falls
Bateman Island
Badger Mountain – Skyline Loop


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s