River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018

River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018
River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Trail with the Most Poison Oak Award Goes to... - Sat., June 18, 2016

Herman Creek Pinnacles Trail in Cascade Locks, Oregon. Our group met at 8 a.m. to hike to Herman Creek Pinnacles, starting temperature 55 degrees. Weather.com's hourly forecast predicted thunderstorms with heavy rain starting at 1 p.m. We wanted to get our hike done before that happened. Trails are treacherous enough in the gorge without adding running water into the mix. Elevation gain: 1,000', length 5 miles.

All of us were on time and we were able to secure parking spots in the small trailhead parking lot. The local Volksmarch club sponsoring this hiking weekend posted warnings about poison oak on the trails. We had seen some, but nothing like we were about to experience.

The beginning of the trail switch-backs up a steep mountainside, then levels out under some power lines. On this hike, we had ups and downs to give our legs a reprieve once in a while. My legs are so sore after the hikes of the past two days. I stretched a little before we left, but probably not enough.

This trail passed through deep woods, across a number of rockfall areas, went across a stream, past Pacific Crest Falls and through a moss-covered boulder field where hobbits might feel at home. But the most awful part was all the poison oak on both sides of the trail. We tried hard to avoid it, but if we steered toward one side of the trail to avoid poison oak on the other, we would back into it on the side where we were trying to avoid it. Some of the poison oak was chest high. I had my big coat tied around my waist and Dennis told me the bottom of it was dragging through the poison oak. Aaack! I'm really allergic to the stuff! Here's hoping it didn't get on my skin.

Moss-covered boulder field
View from high up on the Herman Creek Pinnacles Trail
Rockfall area
Looking down  a rockfall toward the Columbia River
(Washington state across the river)
 Part of our hike was on the Pacific Crest Trail as indicated by the markers below.

A small rivulet coming off Pacific Crest Falls
Here are the Herman Creek Pinnacles. Now I can say I've been there, seen them, and don't need to go back.

Diana on trail up to the pinnacles
Carol (in back) and Marietta making their way up to
the Pinnacles
Carol showing off her fancy footwork
Below is Pacific Crest Falls. It's not the biggest or fullest waterfall, but it is tall. If you enlarge the photo and look carefully at the top center, you can see the top of the waterfall. Notice the random person at the base of the falls.

Gary and Marietta traversing mossy rockfall
Beautiful forests on all our hikes
Another view of the moss-covered boulders
Shasta daisies under the power lines
We finished our hike at 11 a.m. and made a beeline for the hot dog lunch. So far not much rain to speak of, only a couple of light sprinkles. We bought and fixed up our plates outside by the grills and took them inside to eat.

As we were eating, the pouring rain arrived. It was 11:45 a.m. The big rainstorm arrived early and rain was forming waterfalls off the roof. I felt really bad for all the people who were out on the trails in that weather. I hope everyone was okay.

As for doing the 5k Town walk, that wasn't going to happen today. The walk spends a lot of time out on an island which doesn't have a paved path, just boot-high grass which by now was drenching wet. If I have enough energy after my heavy-duty hike tomorrow, I will do it then.

Today, I decided to go home, do laundry (especially the coat and clothes I wore today to get rid of poison oak oils), write blogs, and go to bed early. I want to start tomorrow's hike at 7 a.m. to make sure I get a parking space ahead of the weekend crowds that flock to the Angel's Rest Trail. Good night.


  1. Oh that poison oak is scary stuff! I think a contender for your worst trail would be the North Umpqua River trails. Ack. I had to work in the stuff my last 4 years in northern California and ended up in the hospital several times. Goes right to my lungs. Steroid shots make me crazy. I'm thinking good thoughts for you, Susan...no poison oak!! I used gallons of technu, do you have it?

    1. Your poison oak experiences sound terrible. This trail had large patches of poison oak, but the whole length of the trail wasn't covered in it.

      Never heard of Technu. What is it?

  2. Now I have to look up pics of poison oak, I actually often think to myself that I should know what it looks like...


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