By 7:30 a.m. we were out the door. Surprise, surprise; it was raining. I guess we didn't keep a close eye on the weather! We decided to go with our original plan and do two 10K walks: Wahclella Falls and Dry Creek Falls.
We ran into some frustration at our first hike destination. We were supposed to park at Overlook Campground parking lot. At the exit, we did not follow the instructions to Overlook closely enough and drove first to the Eagle Creek Trailhead, then to the Eagle Creek Campground, and finally called the help number on our walk sheet to find out what we were doing wrong. Once we got that little problem handled, we were able to start our walk/hike to Wahclella Falls in misty rain and wind. Thankfully we had our coats in the car because we were in shorts and T-shirts.
Parking for our walk was at the Eagle Creek exit off I-84 even though the walk was to Wahclella Falls. There was more parking available where we were at than at Wahclella Falls Trailhead.
The first portion of our walk took us UP the off ramp (we had just driven down) to the Columbia Gorge State Historic Trail along I-84. We then climbed stairs UP to the trail which elevated us above I-84 and into the trees, although the road noise was quite loud. As we neared the Wahclella Falls Trailhead, the trail dropped down next to the freeway and we were blasted by road spray and wind whistling through the gorge, as well as wind generated by semi trucks on the freeway - not pleasant.
Once we reached the trailhead, everything quieted down and it stopped raining. I take that back. Things did not quiet down. A school bus pulled in as we were walking toward the Port-a-Potties. Needing to go, we hustled to the johns but one of the teachers beat us. Susan and I were next in line. Good thing. About ten kids lined up behind us!
We jumped out on the trail and started walking fast to take advantage of the kids using the potties. We stayed ahead of them for a couple of miles, then about 20 of them passed us. Seventh graders - unlimited energy (especially the boys). This was their end-of-year field trip. We were so pleased to see the kids being active out in nature.
|First portion of the trail, nice and easy.|
|Susan M. - Wahclella Falls trail|
|Scenery on Wahclella Falls Trail|
|Susan M. on Wahclella Falls Trail|
From Wahclella Falls, we walked under I-84 to a gate into the Bonneville Dam Fish Hatchery where we walked by the sturgeon and trout ponds.
|Fish hatchery landscaping|
|Fish incubation building.|
|Susan stopping to smell the roses.|
|A huge white sturgeon passed by the window.|
|This is a sturgeon.|
|I wanted to take these rainbow trout home for dinner!|
Views while walking back to the car from Wahclella Falls Trailhead.
|Bonneville Dam and the locks on the left side.|
Washington state in the background.
|Very pretty wildflowers!|
|Looking across I-84 and the Columbia River to |
|Best Western made Volksmarchers feel special.|
|Thank you, Best Western in Cascade Locks, OR!|
|Pacific Crest Trail|
|Lupine or bluebonnets|
|It's official, we hiked the PCT! (Not all of it, of course)|
|Pacific Crest Trail|
|AVA (American Volkssport Association) route markers on the trail|
|Susan M. at Dry Creek Falls - taking a load off|
You never know what you'll see on a Volksmarch! From the Shoe Cemetery tree it was all downhill back to our start point at the marine park. Again we had our record books stamped, then headed back to the motel.
The hot tub called our names and we answered. 15 minutes of jets on our calves and thighs worked wonders AND it was so relaxing! After our hot tub therapy, we had a well-deserved dinner at Red Lobster!
We then met up with my long-time friend, Cathy, with whom I had worked at AAA years ago. We love movies and decided to see "Maleficent" with Angelina Jolie. All of us agreed it was a well told fable with good acting and beautiful visuals.
Quite a day! By the way, the rain dissipated by about 11 a.m., the skies cleared and we had a gorgeous 73 degree day.
Travel Bug out.