12/29/2012 – Alder Flat and Riverside Trails – 574, 723

Date of Hike: 12/29/2012
Location of Hike: Alder Flat and Riverside Trails
Trail Number: 574, 723
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 10:15 AM
End Time: 2:30 PM
Hike Distance: 6 miles
Pictures: Link

Description of Hike:
I wanted to get out in the woods, but didn’t want a big hike. There was a “challenge” on the trailadvocate.org site to try and re-create where a photo was taken. I thought it would be a good challenge to see if I could figure out where it was taken. So, off I went – a little later than normal, but knowing it would be a short hiking day (short hikes for short winter days), I thought I could go a little later. I wasn’t sure how many people I might run into since both of these trails are relatively busy trails.

When I got to Ripplebrook, where Alder Flat is, I was surprised at how much snow was there. Not a ton, but the parking area had 4-6″ in it, and since the road is plowed there, getting into the parking lot you had to break through the berm of snow that the plow created.

We started hiking down the Alder Flat trail, looking for the site of the photo. Stupid me – I printed out the photo to refer to, but I left it sitting on my desk at home. Oh well, I just had to do it from memory. I figured I could take a bunch of photos and compare when I got home. I didn’t see anything that looked too familiar, but I did snap a couple of photos that might fit what I remembered:

We got to the river, looked around a bit and then headed back to the truck to go up to the Riverside trailhead parking lot. As we got closer to riverside, the snow kept getting deeper and deeper and the road become unplowed and single track travel. By the time we got to the Riverside trailhead, the snow was 8-10″ deep. Interestingly enough, there was a couple at the trailhead that had started a fire. I think they were just enjoying being out in the snow.

First good look at the Clackamas River from the Riverside trail:

Here is the shot that matches the one that was posted (the “challenge”):

Nice shot looking south up the Clackamas from the Riverside trail:

Here is what a lot of the Riverside trail looked like:

One sad note – there used to be a bridge over Tag Creek that was a Boy Scout Eagle Project. I was always quite impressed with the bridge – it must have been quite a job to put that bridge in – surely a challenge for a boy under 18! The sad news is that it has been replaced with a new bridge. I’m guessing that the old bridge succumbed to the elements, and it needed to be replaced. The last time I hiked this trail (in 2008), the bridge was still there, but the railings were falling off. The bridge itself looked in good shape, so i don’t really know what happened. Nature taking back what is hers I guess.

Although there was nothing really noteworthy on this hike, it was a beautiful day to get out into the woods in the winter. I needed to stretch my legs a bit.

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