Today was an adventure, a challenge, and an accomplishment. I call it "Susans' Boot Camp," meaning that our boots and selves got quite a workout today. We did 25K (15.5 miles) in six hours (including 20 minutes for lunch, photo stops, "oohing" and "aahing" stops, and slowing down to walk very carefully along narrow cliff ledges with steel cables to hold on to. Keep reading. You'll get the picture shortly.
From our parking space, it was a 1/2 mile hike just to the Eagle Creek Trailhead. Today's walk took us way up into the Eagle Creek watershed. Awesome and amazing come to mind.
The Volksmarch description called it "the premiere hike in the Columbia River Gorge." They also warned people not to go on it if they were afraid of heights. Susan and I are both afraid of heights, but we decided to go.
In the 30 years we lived in Oregon, I had only hiked a couple of miles on Eagle Creek, just a little past Punchbowl Falls and have always wanted to see Tunnel Falls. The extra waterfall, Crossover Falls, we saw at the turn-around point was spectacular. Today was the day to push past former boundaries and perceived limitations. Susan joined right in on the
One good thing I have to say about this trail: it is never too steep. We followed a gradual grade up and up and up until we were hundreds of feet above the river. Heck, we were up as high as the tops of huge Douglas fir trees, looking straight down cliffs!
Here is your armchair guided tour. Come along with us on this amazing hike. (Pssst. I forgot my camera, so all photos were taken with my smartphone. They're not as high resolution as usual.)
|Our trail sign at the start.|
|You better have some rockin' hiking boots!|
|Susan M. on the rocky cliff trail.|
|The tunnel behind the falls.|
|Tunnel Falls is very high.|
|First view of Crossover Falls!|
|Our view while we ate lunch|
|Susan's gear and her leftover lobster pizza.|
|Happy hiker...just ate her lobster pizza.|
|As you can see these cliff walls go straight down!|
|Lots of cliffs to traverse.|
|Steel cable bolted into rock for us sissies.|
We signed up for two more walks tomorrow: a 12K and a 10K. Status: pending. Our feet and legs may tell us differently. I have two blisters, one on each small toe. Ouch!
Again, we made use of the hot tub to soothe our aching muscles. I can tell you it really helps.
The reality of the road is setting in. Susan M. moved into her own hotel room today. She is a very light sleeper and doesn't like my snoring. She said she wasn't getting any sleep. Now we both have our own space which is very nice. I can blog until the wee hours and she can go to sleep at 9 p.m. Tomorrow morning she'll pick me up at 7:30 a.m. and we'll see how our feet feel and if we can do a 12K walk.
One more blog coming tonight because I have something else on my mind.
Travel Bug out.