Justin and I might have inadvertently created a new tradition. Two years in a row, a mere 6 days after running a marathon, we've gone on a hike in the Columbia Gorge! Last year's hike up Dog Mountain was a bit more quad-busting than this weekend's hike at McCall Point, but both had one thing in common: the abundance of wildflowers.
Similar to Dog Mountain, we saw yellow balsamroot scattered across the landscape. But McCall Point also had numerous other purple, pink, and orange hued flowers. They were so dense at some points that it was as if someone had intentionally planted them as the platonic ideal of a mountainside wildflower garden. Thanks to this handy wildflower database, after the fact I identified Indian paintbrush, wild buckwheat, two-color lupine, and false indigo. Our hike was sunny, but incredibly windy--windy enough to prevent crisp photos of said wildflowers. The wind didn't interfere with the spectacular Gorge views: at the top we could see a panorama that included Mt Hood and Hood River.