Sunday, April 11, 2010

Play Day in the Columbia River Gorge

I'm happy to hike just about anywhere, but the Columbia River Gorge is an especially wonderful place to spend a day. Yesterday was sunny and clear, and we headed out for Eagle Creek.

While I was waiting for Mark to get his boots laced up, I read a nearby sign with the history of the Eagle Creek area. The trail was built in 1915 - nearly 100 years old! - and intrepid hikers used to come out on the train before the Gorge Highway was built later that year. The Eagle Creek campground (back by the trailhead) was also established in 1915, and it was the first U.S. Forest Service campground.

We didn't stop to take a lot of photos, because I was supposed to be training for next weekend's Goat Mountain Gallop, but here are a few of our fun play day.

Mark had to check out the fish ladder near the trailhead. 
Note the stylin' hat and sunglasses!

This is such a nice trail.
It's well-graded, and the climb is gradual and steady,
with something new to see around every turn.

One of the most common sights along Eagle Creek is a waterfall.
Here's one peeking through the trees, coming in on the other side of Eagle Creek.

Magnificent Punchbowl Falls, on the main creek.
Sometimes when I can't sleep at night,
I lie in bed and imagine Punchbowl Falls,
 roaring away in the dark.

I love the talus slopes.
"Talus" is the stuff that breaks off rocky outcrops above.
The talus slopes are always full of light, since trees don't grow here.

I couldn't resist playing on this rock. 
Can you see Eagle Creek behind the rock...waaaay down there?

We hiked in as far as High Bridge, 3 miles in, but it turned out to be a 7-mile round-trip hike because we did a little exploring here and there, and also the trailhead parking lot was full, so we had to park a little further out. By the end of 7 miles, I was feeling strong and fit - I think I'm as ready as I can get for the Goat Mountain Gallop next Saturday! I'll take some "maintenance" training walks - 3 or 4 miles at a time - throughout the week, so I stay in shape, but I don't want to start the Gallop already tired and sore, so I think that will be enough, along with my regular Curves workouts.

After we came home, we did some dreaming and scheming about what we might someday build on the back part of our property. Then we did the normal Saturday stuff--grocery shopping and laundry--and turned in at a decent hour.

Hope you had a wonderful Saturday, too. Don't forget to check out my giveaway on yesterday's post!


Dr. Carlson's Royal Weblog said...

Looks like fun. I'm glad you guys were able to get out! ---Polly :)

Dorothy said...

Hey, you made it to the Gorge, and looks like a great day, too! Thanks for the pictures. :)

Annemarie said...

Oh, this looks like a wonderful day outside. Thanks for sharing all these great pictures.