Horray! I didn’t wake up in the middle of the night with my sleeping bag soaked from camping in the middle of a cloud. I did in fact sleep quite well aside from waking up and having to pee and taking way to long to get up and out in the rain to do so. Well, let’s continue talking about sleep so the start of this diary entry comes out quite weirdly and markedly removed from the actual hiking narrative. I had two surprisingly vivid dreams. The first one was about my mom accidentally setting the hedge of their house on fire and it spreading like a wildfire. The other was about me having to fight Demogorgon, an ancient demon here manifested in three doglike entities. That went well, quite unexpectedly.
Anyways, I was off to a late start as so many of the latter days as I only had twenty six miles to do. It had started raining in earnest during the night and it was still dripping, so I put on my rain clothes and started hiking. The other hikers should be thankful, as everyone knows the best thing to make rain stop is to put on rain gear, which evidently is what happened here, so I took it off and the rain didn’t return though it remained somewhat cloudy most of the day.
The trail stayed up next to a ridge line for several miles with many blueberries, huckleberries, and cloud berries, but I only dared to taste the former, which weren’t quite ripe yet, unfortunately. From time to time there views of the surrounding landscape, which was getting surprisingly hilly and possibly hinting of more interesting scenery to come.
Eventually, the trail got into a section burned just last year by the Eagle Creek Fire. It had been started by a kid playing with fireworks and said kid had subsequently been ordered to pay thirty six million dollars! The Pacific Crest Trail had recently reopened but the incredible Eagle Creek sidetrail, which most people take was still closed. That was a bummer, but I can always come back in some years to do it. Amongst others it had a tunnel under a waterfall. Regardlessly, there was something nice in store today, which soon came into view from the mountain top. It was Cascade Locks. It was way down, though, and the trail started a long but gradual decent.
As the trail descended, the temperature rose, and I thought to myself “I wonder if there could be poison oak here?” even though I hadn’t seen any in the whole of Oregon. Unfortunately the answer was a very resounding yes. I’m not going to bother you with many more words, as I think I have already spent too much time on that matter. It didn’t dampen my spirits much, it just slowed me down. There were a couple of interesting volcanic rock formations somewhat similar to Devils Postpile, but not with as organized magma columns.
Once I finally got to the bottom of the descent, after over three hours, I reached a new low here on the PCT. Literally but not figuratively, though. It was the Columbia River near Cascade Locks, which at elevation of just 77 feet is the lowest point on the entire trail. It is also where “The Bridge of Gods” crosses into Washington. I wasn’t going to hike out of Cascade Locks, but I couldn’t help but wanting to cross the bridge to be do e with the Oregon section of the PCT, so however silly it may seem I did just that, touched the “Welcome to Washington” sign on the other side and went back over the bridge. That felt really nice! A guy asked if I were a through hiker and asked if he could have a selfie with me, which he of course could. The name “Bridge of the Gods” actually came from the indians, as a mudslide hundreds of years ago created a temporary, natural land bridge near where the modern steel bridge is now.
Back in the Oregonian side of Columbia River, I went to Cascade Locks Ale House, where I had ordered some things from Amazon to. I saw Bandit and Oldtimer there having dinner there and as it was a bit past dinner time and I felt quite hungry, it only took a fraction of a second to also get something to eat there. As per Bandit’s recommendation, I had an off-the-menu item called “hiker thrash special”, which apparently was a large burger with pizzas instead of buns. It was a bit vulgar but it surely was very filling. I had a beer and then was told that there was a free hiker beer, so I of course had to have that one as well.
Extraordinarily tired I went to my hotel and then shopping for breakfast. I was quite disappointed with the hotel that I had gotten as my first choice was fully booked, but oh well, it had still been a very nice day and I am now done with Oregon!
This days miles: 2121-2147