Monday, April 11, 2011

Springtime Scenery At Rowena Crest

Did you ever find yourself in a place of such amazing scenery, you just had to capture it with a camera, only to realize you left the camera at home? Click here and you’ll understand why, five years later, I’m still kicking myself for that. The colors on these wildflowers were on fire that day. 

Sometime this spring I hope to return to Rowena Crest, to see if I can capture these wildflowers while they’re in bloom. It’s one of many treasures in the Columbia Gorge. You'll find it east of Hood River, just past the little town of Mosier. The views of the river, the gorge, and the vegetation, will take your breath away. Hey, if you don’t have a springtime bucket list, you should make this the one and only item and get there before Mother’s Day, before the colors fade away. And if we get there this srping, let’s all promise to bring our cameras along, shall we?

Rowena Crest...from somebody else's camera
This picture was sent in by my buddy Glenn. He and I were on a bike ride and this is truly the way I remember the colors on that day.

Here are a few more enticements for you to make this a great biking or walking trip:
The Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. Start at the West Trailhead (just east of Hood River). Enjoy the Twin Tunnels and a very abrupt shift from Western to Central Oregon scenery.
Grab coffee in Mosier at 10-Speed East coffee shop.  Just being seen there increases your coolness by 10%.
Check out Grant McOmie’s piece on Rowena Crest.

DISCLAIMER: Ride Bikes Drink Coffee assumes no liability for the wind you may encounter on your outing to Rowena Crest.  It's a gorge, after all. Deal.


Jessica said...

WOW! Those pics are amazing! Where exactly is Rowena Crest? I know I've seen signs for it, but can't remember where. I'm GOING to go up there and take some pics. I've been dying to take the camera out. Time just gets away from me.

Kelly Carlisle said...

You+camera+Rowena Crest = TOTAL AWESOMENESS!
So, east of Hood River is the little town of Mosier. You can take the old scenic highway east from there, or there's an exit on I-84 for Rowena. Follow the signs to the viewpoint at the tippy top. I think that's also where the Tom McCall Wildlife Preserve is.

Jessica said...

I've done some "googling" and now remember where it is. I've never actually been up to the "tippy-top" up there. We're always on our way to my grandparent's house when we pass by there so I never stop. (And I usually have Holstien's on the brain. Our favorite coffee stop in The Dalles.)

I was supposed to go to Death Valley this spring break with some friends and shoot the wild flowers there, but our trip got canned. This will be a fabulous day trip to sort of replace that one. Do you know the best time to see the flowers?

As an added suggestion, maybe our families could plan a mini road trip! Wouldn't that be fun!

Anonymous said...

Looks fantastic! Came across your site while researching the Willamette Scenic Bike Trail which we are going to cover in some form this weekend. We'd love to camp it but apparently no showers at the campgrounds and we have 2 ladies along so that ain't gonna fly. Any tips, ideas or things we should make a point to see? We'll likely only cover about 120 miles total and have to do a down and back as we have no shuttle. Any info would be appreciated!

Kelly Carlisle said...

Thanks so much for the comment! Hey, maybe I'll see you on the Willamette Scenic Bikeway this weekend. I'm hoping to catch a little bit of it myself. Will you be on the long bike? (I saw your awesome blog site!)
So, you'll really enjoy rural riding on this route, and it will become obvious that somebody did their homework in terms of avoiding heavily used roads...until you hit Salem. There, you will unfortunately encounter a couple of the troublesome intersections that will take some time to solve.
Depending on where you start/stop, some spots worth pausing at would be:
Willamette Mission State Park
Clockworks Cafe in Salem--great coffee, good food, not crowded
Ankeny Wildlife Refuge
Countless wineries and fruitstands
Ride On!

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Wont be on the tandem but on my surly karate monkey with xtracycle attachment :) My wife will be riding a specialized stumpjumper with pink bashgaurd and pink pedals(with slick tires). She likes to let me be the pack horse so Ill be carrying all the gear. Well be in a group of 5 I think we are doing the last half of the trip but still not exactly sure, we like to roll that way :) If you see us, say howdy!