Oh Pacific Northwest...
What a lush and special place you are. This past week you have wooed us with waterfalls, sunshine, wild forests, rolling trail, and great town stops. We have only one simple request... keep it comin'.
After leaving the high of our tree house adventure in Eugene we were rolled right into some magnificent wilderness in Northern Oregon. Our first few nights out, there was an unmistakable chill in the air, a crispness that means just one thing: fall. We woke up multiple mornings with lots of dew on our tents and walked with gloved hands and fleece-hatted heads for a number of hours. We had a day of picturesque views of Mt. Jefferson before being rerouted on (yet another) fire detour. But our spirits were not muddled. Sure, we missed a 20+ mile section of the actual PCT and had to road walk for far too long, but we were sent through a sweet forest that looked like something from a children's book. Big trees covered in moss and surrounded by prehistoric looking giant ferns. Not only that but a big hearted, local law enforcement officer was kind enough to shuttle ten hikers in his truck through part of the road walk.
We spent two days back on the PCT putting miles under our feet and crossed 2100 in the meantime.
On Sunday we woke up at 4:45 and were on trail by 5:45, the motivation of food getting us moving. We excitedly walked 5 miles to reach the much anticipated Timberline Lodge All You Can Eat Breakfast Buffet (I feel like the whole thing deserves to be capitalized, it was that good). The hike to the lodge was just lovely, with cool morning air and up close and personal views of Mt. Hood.
We arrived just as the buffet was opening at 7:30 and sat and ate, plate after plate, until the buffet closed at 10. There were over a dozen of happy, face-filling, hikers there to keep us company. The front of the classy and classic lodge looked like a backpack parking lot.
The Eagle Creek Trail is a PCT alternate into the town of Cascade Locks, OR. The trail, mile after mile, delivers views of grandiose waterfalls and leads you along the walls of the gorge. The first waterfall of the day was Tunnel Falls, which you literally get to walk behind!
The Love Train pulled into Cascade Locks, our very last Oregon town, to take a rest. Cascade Locks sits on the Columbia River and the PCT takes us right over the Bridge Of The Gods into WASHINGTON. It's been a pretty weird sensation to take a day off, sitting around for a day and a half, staring across the river at our last and final state of this trail. It's so close. Like. Right there.
I've never been to Washington and I can't wait to get there. And I can't believe I'm arriving there on foot. Trav has done some epic trips in Washington and has been excitedly pumping it up since we were in the desert. We know that the terrain will be difficult. With fall in the air, the days are already getting shorter. There will be rain. Probably lots. And it will be cold. But Washington is the ninth inning. The home stretch. But we're fueled up and ready to take on the last 513 miles... so again I say, keep it comin'.