Columbia Gorge

Stopped in the Columbia Gorge for a quick day hike on my way to Portland.

Why Portland? Because I have a a dog and a daughter. The dog can’t go hiking with me and would be unhappy alone all day by herself. The daughter loves the dog and kept her on my previous hikes while she was in college. Now she lives in Portland, running an initiative campaign to dedicate unclaimed lottery funds to outdoor education. So I’m driving Bonny to Portland, then flying to LA where my brother will pick me up and drive me to Walker Pass. It’s complicated but everyone will be happy and where they need to be.

The air in the Gorge was amazing – lush, heavy, fragrant, bountiful with life. The dark soft greens and moist browns were so different from the dry rocky tan granite soils and scratchy gray greens of the forests and hills of Boulder.

So different yet the freedom and exhilaration of the trail was there step by step as the path unfolded before me. There was the same revealing and becoming unwinding as we glided through the forest.

The Herman Creek trail meets up with the PCT after a couple of miles and I followed it down to a a slim sliver of a waterfall where two southbounders were stopped for lunch. They had enormous packs and knew they were carrying too much gear but weren’t quite sure what they really needed. But they didn’t need a lecture from me, the trail will teach them what the need and what they only thought they needed.

Walked back in a downpour. It could well be the last rain I see on the PCT this year. I’ll be in SoCal tomorrow, back to the land of little rain.

Bonny checks out the greenery in Columbia Gorge