Balsamroot on Rowena Crest April 6, 2007

Rowena Crest, Hood River County, OR: Head east from Portland on I-84, travel through the Columbia River Gorge, enjoy the spectacular waterfalls, and then, past the town of Hood River, before reaching the town of The Dalles, find the exit for Rowena. Head west on old highway 30 and wend your way through the hairpin curves until atop the plateau. Immediately to your left will be Rowena Crest. From the sign the trail heads uphill along the crest of the ridge, offering big picture views of the gorge. Wildflowers are numerous and the predominant species will change with elevation and the season. Watch out for poison oak.

Marvin and I were intent on finding Glacier Lily (Erythronium grandiflorum). During the peak of the bloom these flowers will literally carpet the ground, usually under the canopy of oak trees.

This day provided copious quantities of Balsamroot. In a few more weeks lupine will be in bloom providing fields of purple and gold that would warm the heart of any UW sports fan.

A few butterflies were fluttering about sampling the blossoms. They will try your patience and make you wish for a telephoto lens. This one is a California Tortoiseshell.

California Tortoiseshell
California Tortoiseshell Butterfly Balsamroot Rowena Crest 4/6/2007

We chose not to test our leg strength by climbing to the top but people of all ages were hiking the trail.


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