Lyle, Klickitat County, WA: This morning I drove from Gresham to Heppner, starting at 0600 AM. The wind in the gorge was strong enough to move my Dodge diesel 4wd pickup that weighs in near 8, 000 pounds. Just past Hood River the sky went overcast and freezing fog was present the rest of the trip.
On the way home I crossed the Columbia River into Washington at The Dalles, planning to take a look at Catherine Creek, near Lyle WA. I was the 12th car in the parking lot and before I could unload my camera gear another car parked, its occupant quickly headed up the hill on the hiking trail.
It had been rumored that the first blooms of spring have been seen at Catherine Creek but I had no luck finding anything. It must be a popular place to bring the family pet judging by the number of doggy bombs along the trail. Apparently hikers here do not pick up after their dogs.
The wind was light but it was bitter cold. Exposed flesh turned numb within a few minutes. Snow was visible on the higher ground with snow sticking to the trees. Icicles were common wherever ground water was present and puddles were frozen over. It is still winter here.
When I returned to my vehicle a number of hikers were gathered in the parking lot. I would guess the day was used for hiking rather than searching for wildflowers.