Many of us are starting to venture back out onto the trails and explore some of our state's hidden and most likely, local treasures. For the last several months, most of us have been confined to the four walls of our house and stores within 30 minutes of home. It's exciting to finally feel the cool mountain air or the warm breeze from the ocean, but let's do our best to not take advantage of this gift.
When searching for a trail, we started off using the AllTrails App. If you're not familiar, check your app store and download it. The app is completely free and offers an excellent baseline for most trails in your region. While it is not always accurate, we have found their maps and reviews to be super helpful!
Our goal was to try and find a hike within an hour of our home to respect the guidelines put forth by our state and find a trail that wasn't going to be busy on a Sunday morning. Easier said than done, but we definitely succeeded with Henline Mountain!
Before heading out on the trails, we always put the following items on each dog:
Spot- harness with traffic leads attached to the back loop. Since Spot stays close to us on trails, we attach both his and Emma's traffic lead to his harness. Having access to a lead in case we need to pass someone or come up to a steep cliff is imperative!
Since this trail is only about 6 miles out and back, we packed pretty light. We always bring a first aid kit, water, and a phone. This time we left our victory snack in the car (homemade applesauce) along with meal replacement bars for the four leggeds.
Alright, now that we're all geared up, it's time to hit the trail! In the case of Henline Mountain, it was definitely easier said than done. The dirt road heading into the trail was FULL of potholes, most being unavoidable. Our GPS said it was going to take us 20 minutes to go 2 miles in our SUV and let's just say Alexa didn't disappoint.
When we finally arrived, the pups were eager to start climbing. This is definitely one of the tougher trails we've done as far as grade goes - you pretty much climb straight up for 3 miles but thankfully we were blessed with some pretty fantastic views about a mile in!
Most of this trail is your typical Oregon Valley forest with towering pines and ferns galore which makes having the bright Journey Collar and bear bell on Emma even more imperative. We encountered numerous rock slides which Gunner's fancy feet didn't care for but for the most part, the pack had no issues. We eventually came to a patch of snow a few miles up which Spot was THRILLED about. He made sure to breakdance before we turned around.
Unfortunately we never made it to the summit due to the trail being washed out and quite honestly, it was too dangerous to traverse without the proper equipment of Emma's mountain goat talents. But let me tell you, going down was MUCH easier than going up!
On our way back down we stopped for a few photo ops and were graced with low-hanging clouds and the most beautiful light mist. As a native Michigander who had never seen anything more than a manmade hill prior to moving to Oregon, I'm forever in awe by the beauty that surrounds us.
Until next time!