October 16, 2011.
Ramona Falls Tr > Yocum Ridge and back
16 mi | 3500′ ele. gain | 6 hr.
On this beautiful fall day, Sue and I set out to hike as high on Yocum Ridge as our little legs would take us. A blanket of low clouds hung overhead as we packed up to start hiking. Our walk began along the Sandy River, which was running pretty low at this time of year. A couple streams of water ran down a broad, rocky wash. I imagined how incredible this would look in the springtime after a storm, filled with raging snowmelt and rainfall.
We crossed the river and headed up the gently sloping trail to the base of Ramona Falls. This is where most people call it a day. We, decidedly, are not like most people. Beyond the waterfall we found the junction with Yocum Ridge trail and started our ascent of the ridge. The clouds were still low but the vegetation looked pretty with its tinges of red and yellow colors.
As we climbed higher the clouds began to part and we were treated to wonderful views of Mt. Hood. The summit rocks were coated in snow and ice. Our pace slowed as we stopped to take one photo after the next. The mountain looked exceptionally impressive as it stood out from the friendly, green meadows below. We stopped about 8 miles from the car to sit down, have some food and enjoy the sunny vista in solitude. All that was left now was the walk back to the trailhead.
It’s always sad to turn your back on the mountain, but there’s joy in knowing you’ll be back again another day.
A long trek through the woods brought us back to the broad Sandy river plain. Now that the clouds had parted we could look back at Mt. Hood over the swath of sand and debris. The sun was still shining as we arrived at our car. A beautiful day in the mountains.