Thursday, August 16, 2012

Day 113, Eagle Creek to Cascade Locks

Mile 2137-2155

Woohoo Eagle Creek and Cascade Locks, today was fantastic. Getting to Cascade Locks means I've made it to Washington which seems simply ridiculous. I can't believe I've walked this far and have so little left. And Eagle Creek, well I've been hearing about this alternate route for ages. Even non PCT folk have told me that I have to take it. So for 15 or so miles instead of being on the PCT I will be on an approved alternate route that takes you down Eagle Creek and then reconnects with the PCT at Cascade Locks. Horses can't go on this route which is why it's an alternate, at least that's what I've been told. It's apparently rocky and on cliff edges along the river, so exciting.
This is a pretty epic town day and it doesn't take much to get me going in the morning. The first 2 miles that connect the old Indian Springs campground where we camped with the Eagle Creek trail are something else. Really makes you appreciate the grade on the PCT. That thing was virtually straight down. It's been awhile since I worked up that much of a sweat hiking down a hill.
Now for the disappointing part of the morning. What happens when you try to take a picture of a sunrise and then accidentally turn on the video function in your pocket? Yeah your phone becomes a useless hunk of plastic and you get zero pictures of this amazing section. Caveman took a bunch so I promise that at some point I will belatedly post but until then just know it is amazing and well worth the day trip.
Once I hit the Eagle Creek trail I felt like I was walking on a highway. Lovely flat beautiful trail. As the trail made its way down to the river you passed a million streams and it just got greener and mossier as you switch backed and contoured down. For not feeling very wet out it certainly still looked like we were in a rainforest. When we finally hit the river it was pretty great. Your on this ledge on a steep canyon side with the river rushing past. Lots of waterfalls and clearly a hugely popular area. The trash and toilet paper were a little overwhelming. Glad I wasn't drinking the water from that creek, can you say ground contamination?
Caveman and I kept giggling and yelling like little kids, every corner was just another great view. And tunnel falls, that is a glorious sight. Picture rounding a corner to see a giant waterfall that you get to walk behind, don't get to do that too often. As we got closer to the trailhead we began to see more and more people. So glad we hit the main part of the trail early. Much better without the crowds. By ten we were in the parking lot still giggling and smiley because we were so close to such a big milestone. Just a few more miles on a bike path would take us to Cascade Locks. Turns out it wasn't too quick of a journey because of the massive number of ripe blackberries on the path. It's hard to walk when you are stuffing your face. And then we were next to the Columbia River and could see the Bridge of the Gods which is the border between Oregon and Washington. We had made it!

First stop, bakery. I highly recommend the lemon poppyseed pound cake it is fantastic. The cousins eventually showed up and after a little more eating it was off in search of a trail angel.
Shrek is still pretty new to the trail angeling game, and we are his first official class of PCT hikers. His house is a work in progress but he opened it up to us with open arms. And suddenly we had a sweet lawn full of cherry trees to sleep under, a kitchen, laundry, showers, wifi and even a TV. Life is good.

Plus check out our awesome laundry outfits. We were even asked if we were in a band, such fun.

Worked out our resupplies a bit but mostly just bummed around. Planning on spending the night so no rush at all. Managed to catch Plant wandering in town so now there are 5 of us here tonight. Back to the restaurant for all you can eat salad, tomorrow I'll deal with resupplying and all that official stuff. Tonight I just get to enjoy this milestone.

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