Washington--Beacon Rock, Fort Cascades & Pig Park

We climbed Beacon Rock!  Climbing Beacon Rock has been on my to-do list with the kids for a number of years, so when my dad suggested we tackle it with my niece one morning I jumped on the opportunity.  We dropped Grandma off at work for bit and Dad and the girls and I completed the climb.  I can't remember the last time I did it...safe to say it was at least 20 years ago!  I don't really recall the state of the trail at that point, but my dad says it has changed. It was very smooth and accessible.

The trail is only about a mile long, but it is 848 feet up with many switchbacks.

The views along the way are actually better than the views at the top.  Trees have grown up on top and that really blocks the view to the west.

view to the east along the trail

view to the west along the trail
 Look!  Photo evidence that I take a lot of pictures! 😂 (<--look added="" blogger="" emojis="" font="" nbsp="">

After we hit the bottom at Beacon Rock we headed to Fort Cascades.  I didn't take a lot of pictures there, instead I read the trail guide to the kids as it is a guided self-tour hike.  It was fun to go back--when I was a kid my dad used to take us there to ride our bikes.  We lived just a couple of miles away, so it was an extension of our own backyard in a way.

Here's my one picture...

...Thomas McNatt's gravestone.  This is his original headstone from 1861, though he is buried elsewhere.  McNatt was a key player in the town of Cascades which was on the outskirts of Ft. Cascades in the 1850's.  It's pretty amazing to think there was an army fort and a town where now there is nothing but nature.

It was a great way to spend a morning!  Still on my to-do list someday...Hamilton Mountain...I have such good memories of this trail as a kid!

We finished out the day with my cousin's family.  There's a fun park near my parents' house, so after lots of playing in the basement and outside, we grabbed pizza and picnicked in the park.   Officially the park is called "Campen Creek Greenway: Hartwood Park and Eldridge Park" which is a bit of a mouthful, so we affectionately call it "pig park" because the park has a farm theme and one of the first things completed was this piggie...

Here's the younger girl gang after pizza:

There were lots of giggles...a good way to end a day!