Bridge of the Gods Mile 2144.6 to Trout Creek 2174.1.

I had long talked with my mom and little sister about meeting up on trail sometime after the solar eclipse. They were both going to be on the west coast and the plan was for them to drive over to meet me somewhere in Oregon.

Well, it turns out my older sister had a baby just before the eclipse and I was a little further along than I had predicted. Nonetheless, the two made time to come up and visit with Bedazzled and me in Cascade Locks, which sits on the beautiful Columbia River. It is home to the Bridge of the Gods, which links the states of Oregon and Washington.

I can’t tell you how good it was to see my sister, which I hadn’t seen for over half a year and my mom, which I hadn’t seen since Mojave in Southern California. We had two full days to spend together. The first day consisted of talking over drinks at the Double Mountain Brewery in Hood River, checking out an art exhibit, and buying 20 days of food at Walmart to ship out to resupply points in Washington.

For anyone in the area, Hood River has a nice downtown with a number of breweries and shops as well as an active wind sailing community. Definitely check it out. The second day, we had a little more fun and checked out one of the Columbia River Gorge’s famous waterfalls.

Sadly, Bedazzled didn’t join because she said she “doesn’t want to hike on zero days,” but the rest of us enjoyed the 2 mile hike to the waterfall and even put our feet in the deep blue pool at its base.
When we returned, we collected Bedazzled and had some fish at the local market. I had the Columbia River salmon fish and chips.

Afterwards, we all swam in the Columbia River and then had some great brews at Thunder Island Brewery while listening to live music. I almost didn’t feel like I was hiking anymore.

The next morning, however, we woke up at 6:00, had breakfast, and then got ready to go.

It was such a pleasure and honor to have my mom and sister join Bedazzled and I as we walked across the Bridge of the Gods together!

Standing over the most powerful and beautiful river in the region while entering the final and my most looked forward to state was such a joy.

I had been looking forward to getting back to Washington ever since I visited the Olympic Peninsula and North Cascades last September.

As we crossed the bridge, I felt a deep happiness well up in me. It was the beginning of the end and hopefully we saved the best for last.

As we started on trail, we snacked on the blackberries that lined it and not before too long we had views of Mt. Adams in the front and Mt. Hood in back.

Mt. Adams

Mt. Hood

In the forest, the understory was full of ferns and fallen trees had turned into nurse trees for the next generation of sprouts. Our eyes feasted on the luscious greens and deep browns of the forest floor and blue skies followed us overhead.

I have a renewed excitement for what lies before us and my legs have a spring in them that has been missing for some time. It’s time to explore this state and finish this trail.

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