Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Bridge of the Gods

Day 117-119:

I left for Timberline Lodge after a hearty breakfast. It was extremely cold and wet 40 degrees F/ 3.8 degrees C. I really wanted to see the lodge as it features in the movie "The Shining", although only the exterior of the building, the interior scenes were shot in an hotel in Colorado and on a studio set. 

The structure is magnificent and built with fine craftsmanship.

 I met up with many other PCT hikers there including Apache, seen in the photo and Snake Charmer who I last saw at Yellow Jacket Spring after the windstorm in the desert. 

After charging my phone and enjoying a cappuccino, I set out again, braving the cold weather, passing beautiful Mnt Hood and the ski lifts and managed to get in another five hours of hiking. 

The hike meandered through forests, climbed and dropped, crossing numerous streams and creeks.

 I finally set up camp in the forest above the Sandy River. 

Washington State is almost within grabbing distance. Just another thirty six miles to Cascade Locks. Wow, I can hardly believe it!

Day 118:

The very cold and damp morning had me lying snuggled in my sleeping bag, unable to move until after 8am. Shortly after that I had to ford the fast flowing Sandy River and couldn't find a spot with adequate stepping stones, so I took off my shoes and tried to balance across sticks and stones and made it across with very wet feet. After a lot of climbing and meandering, I came to another creek which had to be crossed "Indiana Jones" style on fallen tree logs. 

More climbing followed through forests with occasional beautiful vistas of the ever present Mnt Hood. I feel as though I've seen the mountain from almost every angle as the trail follows a huge 3/4 wide circle around it. 

As I hiked along, I ran into numerous hikers going southbound on day excursions or section hikes. One hiker passed by and asked "Are you Heather"? He introduced himself as Grey Wolf and said he had been following my journey on the internet. Wow! What are the chances? That is amazing. 

Just before darkness fell I came over the crest of a hill and saw my first mountain in Washington, Mnt Adams. What an exciting sight! I camped at Indian Springs campground and plan to take the Eagle Creek alternate route to Cascade Locks tomorrow. 

Day 119:

My last day of hiking in Oregon was epic. Indian Springs trail is very steep and it joins into the Eagle Creek trail which takes you through a beautiful rainforest setting, passing by too many waterfalls to count.

 The highlight of the day was Tunnel Falls.

 The trail continued along the creek, passed by multiple campsites and over numerous bridges and continued along a gorge, finally arriving in Cascade Locks, alongside the Colombia River.

 It was exhilarating seeing the Bridge of the Gods, as tomorrow I'll walk across it and start my Washington leg of my journey.

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