Another big milestone today, as Oregon is now complete and I am finally in Washington. This is the first time I have set.foot in Washington, so this is really two milestones for me. Kevin has headed on to Portland and I’m on my.own again.
We woke up at our usual time of 6:30 and had a quick breakfast and cold coffee and headed out by 7:15. The evening was much warmer than the previous two nights and I slept like a baby all night. We camped at the perfect spot. It was just about a mile short of where all the waterfalls begin in the canyon. We were facing eight miles of waterfalls then two miles on a bike path into town. Today should be epic.
Right off the bat we come to a decent sized waterfall which we never learned the name of. Even if it had been the only one, it still would have made the trip worthwhile. But it was not the only one. The very next waterfall was tunnel falls. They have carved a path behind the waterfall so you walk behind it. The canyon here is very tall and very steep. I’m not sure how high this fall is, but it has to be well over a hundred feet. Most of the canyons here are about six hundred feet deep and to think the tallest point.in Florida is just over half of that. You could stack two Floridas in this canyon.
We kept on trucking down the canyon and the falls just never stopped. I didn’t bother to count them but there must be about a dozen that are over fifty feet and many dozen small ones along Eagle creek. We stopped to look at every one of them. One pool that was not far from tunnel falls was a wide deep and rectangular pool that looked just like a swimming pool. If it were not 8 am and cold, it would have been a great.place to take a swim.
The closer we got to the end of the trail and the trailhead, the day hikers got thicker and thicker. The last quarter mile we would pass a group about every one or two minutes. The parking area was huge and we stopped to look at the display at the salmon hatchery before heading out on the bike path.
Once on the path, we picked up the pace, as there was less to look at. The path is apparently the old highway from the teens. It was well graded and wound around the trees. We saw a few cyclists on the path, but no other hikers.
We finally.made it into Cascade Locks just after noon and after a quick break in a park to rest our feet, we headed straight across the railroad tracks to the local brewery. They had an eight beer flight, which I got, and baby back ribs on special, which I also got. The beer was decent. I was not a big fan of their dark beers, and they had only one IPA, but it was a good one. The food was also good.
I ran over to the grocery store while Kevin waited for his friend from Portland to come and meet us at the brewery. The store was well stocked, and I was able to get everything that I needed. By the time I returned and got everything packed, she pulled into the parking lot. We chatted a bit, then the two of them accompanied me across the bridge of the gods across the Columbia river. I was able to cross for free, but the two of them had to pay a $1 toll to walk across.
Once on the Washington soil, we said our goodbyes and they headed back over the bridge. I headed north into the woods again. It had been hot in town, and there were many open sections on the climb away from town that were also hot. But in the trees the temperature was much more pleasant. After two days of coolness, I had almost forgotten what it was like to sweat. Almost.
I chugged along probably.only six miles or so out of town before finding a camping area with nice stumps to sit and cook on. I found a spot for my hammock about forty yards further in the woods and set up quickly then went back to the stumps to cook.
Taking over a week off has made me soft and slow, but it’s just now starting to feel normal again. Yesterday afternoon I was stiff, but today alot of the muscle pains have worked themselves out. The feet are a bit more sore today, though. I look forward to having a full day in the woods tomorrow to get my groove back groovin. But for now, I am hoping for another night of grade A sleeping.