Monday, June 13, 2011

Eagle Creek Trail

Punchbowl Falls

I hiked 13 miles on the Eagle Creek Trail in the Columbia River Gorge on Saturday.

Oh, it was glorious! I hiked with my friend, Liberty Fort, all the way to Tunnel Falls and back.

Our husbands, Mark and Jason, hike with us to Punchbowl Falls, and then they relaxed/read books/played iPods/napped while we girls took up the challenge of making it all the way to Tunnel Falls and back.

The weather was perfect. 70-something degrees with a light breeze.

How many times have I hiked that trail? I tried to count to myself as we hiked along, but I've lost track over the years. Twenty times or more. I first hiked it in the early summer of 1989, and I've hiked it at least once almost every year since then. I can distinctly remember five different overnight backpack trips on Eagle Creek, but there may be more. My favorite overnight on this trail was the time Dorothy and I hiked in to 7-1/2 Mile Camp by ourselves in 1990. My second-favorite campout was the hike I made with Josh in 2009.

It was Liberty's first time to hike Eagle Creek, and it was fun to watch her be surprised at the beauties of the trail. I never get tired of it, but it was fun to see it again with fresh eyes. I grabbed Liberty's camera several times to take some souvenir photos for her, but for some reason, I never did snap any photos with my camera. Too busy hiking and enjoying the feel of the trail, I guess. I took lots of photos of the same hike to Tunnel Falls in 2008...but I had much better weather this year.

Final verdict: We hiked 13 miles in 6 hours, with only 3 rest stops. I was only a little bit sore afterwards, which surprised me because I am definitely not getting enough exercise lately. Was I pleased as punch that I made the hike in good time and in good shape? OF COURSE! Would I do it again? YOU BETCHA!!

 Rainy day on Eagle Creek Trail, March 2008

 Solo hike to Tunnel Falls, March 2008

 Lush green...March 2008

Rock formations - the tops of columnar basalt - March 2008

 The "tunnel" of Tunnel Falls, March 2008

 I made it! Tunnel Falls, 6.5 miles from trailhead, March 2008

 High Bridge, 3 miles from trailhead, March 2008

 Josh hiking Eagle Creek Trail, June 2008

 Josh and me on our overnighter, Eagle Creek Trail, June 2008

 Josh on the Eagle Creek Trail, June 2008

Creek crossing on the Eagle Creek Trail, June 2008
This picture makes me smile...Josh is 11 now, and so TALL!

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