Call this our Summer of Lake Hikes. Up today: Lost Lake. About 20 miles outside of Hood River, up in the hills, Lost Lake is a "resort" that you have to pay for to use the day use area ($7). We actually drove all the way up here late in the day quite a few years ago when we had a NW Forest Pass, thinking that would get us in (FYI, it does not). We ended up just turning around because we didn't want to pay the fee so late in the day.
By the way, did you know there are 19 "Lost Lakes" in Oregon?! Holy... !
And then we just never made it back. I had been there once a long time ago - I remember renting a pedal boat with Mom and my sister and having fun - but Wifey had never been. So, we packed Misaki, lunch, and water in the car and headed out.
This is the sign outside of, well, the general store (as always, click the picture for a bigger version). This is where you can get snacks and rent the boats (they have row boats as well) and, as the sign says, there are no public restrooms. Lame, because they probably have the only flushing ones in the whole "resort."
This (above) is one end of the lake from the 3.2 mile trail that circumvents the lake. The day was overcast most of the day, with occasional breaks and occasional darkening, even sprinkles. This one ended up with nice color
This is the opposite end of the lake - I'm a sucker for reflections, even when they aren't clear.
The trail is generally flat, though riddled with roots, rocks, and the occasional muddy spot. Misaki didn't mind. We managed the whole lake in about two hours, with plenty of stops for pictures. The trail is well maintained for the most part with a lot of "boardwalk" type construction, which always makes my day.
Like I said, occasional sun breaks. Very occasional. This pic probably did the best justice to the colors of the water, which when you look into it up close is clear all the way to the bottom.
And this is quite obviously not a sunbreak. The mountain in the background is Mt. Hood. Supposedly on a clear day you can get some spectacular pictures, but not on this day. This is the best view we got of the mountain. Sure isn't Trillium!
Here is Lost Lake from the point of view of the little red ninja.
I don't claim to be a naturalist, expert or otherwise, but some of the plants at Lost Lake jumped out at us - like this one. Check out those spines on the leaves!
Below is a leaf from the same plant, with my hand over it for perspective. This one, thankfully, did not have spines. I have no idea why some do and some didn't.
Some more pretty red berries, different plant.
If you, dear reader, have any idea what these are, please leave a comment. The internet wasn't very helpful.
We didn't see much when it came to animal life. People were fishing, but we didn't see any jump and none were visible near the edges of the lake. There were plenty of tiny chipmunks, but those guys don't hold still for pictures.
However, when we sat down to eat our lunch of course the birds came to visit. This first one is the ubiquitous - and extremely loud - Stellar's Jay. This spot in the tree was probably 10 feet from our picnic table. He was closer at one point, but then noticed Misaki.
This bird was interesting. He would announce his entrance like we should fall to our knees and grovel - sort of like what Sera (our Bengal cat) expects.
He also cracked us up. After disappearing once he came back literally 30 seconds later, only he looked like he just came from a dunk in the lake. I wasn't quick enough on the camera to get him really roughed up, but he still looks a little wet below.
Anyone have an idea what this bird is?
MISAKI LOVED THE LAKE
This is Misaki on the trail, at the edge of what looked like a landslide into the lake at some point. As we crossed this she continually reminded us with her running over these loose rocks she is much, much more nimble than us. She'd run a few steps, then turn around and gives a look that said, "Are you coming?!"
This is Misaki deep in concentration at the edge of the lake. About a minute after this was taken we pounced on a bumblebee that was buzzing around here head - quite the exhibition of quickness.
Misaki got water breaks just like we did, though she stubbornly refuses to drink. The look on her face says it all. "Are you done yet?! We need to GO!"
And finally, Misaki under the picnic table as we ate lunch. She doesn't get breakfast on days like this when we leave the house early, because with dogs it seems like breakfast ends up on the back seat or floor of the car. Since she sits on Wifey's lap during the drive, we prefer that not to happen. Here she is practicing her Shiba Mind Control on me, trying to get some of my sandwich (or even better, some potato chips).
Sorry to say, her skills need a little more work. Sorry puppy!
And yes, she did get a good-sized meal for dinner, despite what she will tell you.
The weather wasn't great, but the pictures sure turned out well and we got some good exercise. Not sure we'll be in a hurry to return, but we can check it off the list.