Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mosier Twin Tunnels

Mosier Twin Tunnels: East Side.

Mosier Twin Tunnels trail

My son and I took a nice spring jaunt up the Columbia gorge in search of flowers, Vistas, and a little exercise.  We started out just east of Hood River at a little place called Rowena Crest. A very nice place to see some interesting wild flowers. The Balsam Root was just at the end of its season when we visited. If you walk very far around this area, make sure you know what Poison Oak looks like.



After this little scenic escapade, we headed back to Mosier to find the East end of the Old Historic Highway (at least this part of it). The West end of this 4.5 mile stretch of the old Columbia Gorge highway is located in Hood River. We didn't make it that far today. We just did the short 1.5 mile out to where the Mosier tunnels lie nestled up against the cliffs overlooking the columbia gorge. A nice little piece of history. This section of the highway had to climb up the cliffs because the RailRoad already owned the easy right or way down along the river (and presumably it would have been too costly to fill in the river 100 years ago).
The highway did fine for Model T's, but it very soon became obsolete, fell into disrepair, and the tunnels eventually filled up with debris and were closed. However, in the 1990's the trail was recovered for hiking and biking and is now a very pleasant little jaunt.
It is completely paved. Plenty big enough for everyone to enjoy.
Just keep your eyes open for occasional bicyclist going much to fast down hill. Funny, they complain about how insensitive car drivers are to their right or way and then go blasting down the hill in a pedestrian area.
Luckily, us walkers can spend a good bit more time looking up and down and around and general enjoying the view.

About a mile into the hike from the Mosier Trailhead you will come to the entrance to the tunnels. They are pretty cool. Take some pictures !!




At the East end of the Tunnels, only about 40 feet in, is a place where someone has carved a message into the rock. I have to find out the story about this. It reads (as far as I can tell): Snowbound,  Nov 19-27, 1921. Chas. Sadilik (and another name). Now that MUST be a good story. Unless some guy put it there last weekend.

SnowBound: 1921

You always see different things going one way than the other. Be sure to stop at the new scenic overview point that is right at the East entrance of the Tunnels and the local high point for the trail. There is a picnic bench there, and lots of flowers.

I need to come back here sometime with either more time, or a bicycle. The part of the trail past the tunnels toward Hood River is beckoning and from the river, it looks like it would be fun !!

stone crop



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