A day on the trail

It's really random how we discovered hiking could be enjoyable, we were at the coast and tide was rolling in so there wasn't a lot to do if we didn't want to sit on the beach and watch the water.  On past visits we were able to walk out a good distance on the sand and see tidal pools, waterfalls coming down on to the beach, not on this day.  Since we drove the hour out we decided to poke around at the trails and see where they led and soon found ourselves half way up a mountain.  The view was amazing and we realized now that we weren't smoking it was manageable so we made plans to go the next weekend on one of the trails along the Columbia river that we knew promised beautiful scenery.
That was mid February and we've been out every weekend to see what else we can discover. This weekend was a return trip to a trail we love, Eagle Creek.




Eagle creek is probably the more relaxed trail we've been on. It's a gradual climb along the creek which has many waterfalls as we hike along the side as well as smaller falls that seem to randomly appear on the rock 'walls' on either side of the river.


This is a favorite stop of ours on the trail, a nice smooth descent to the river and if you're lucky enough to have a lower water table you can sit out in the dry areas of the river to have a snack or lunch.  From this point we know Upper Punch Bowl falls is through the opening to the left in the photo and this week the water was nearly low enough to walk out and have a look, in the freezing cold mountain run off water, whose idea was that?

 

Didn't quite make it to the middle to get the nice framed shot I would have liked but by this point my feet were completely numb as were my ankles because I slipped off the moss covered rocks a few times for added fun.

 
This is the end point of our hike most times, we did get adventurous one Sunday and trekked the full 6.6 miles out to Twister falls which was beautiful but there was the requirement to hike all the way back since this is an out-and-back trail.


This part of the trail was a welcome reprieve from the heat that is started to warm up the trail.  Most of our hikes to date have been done in cooler weather, extra layers and gloves occasionally required.  This has been our first where it was warm enough for shorts and short sleeves and when the sun started coming through it got hot really fast.  Every time we hit a point near a creek or a waterfall it was a few wonderful moments of cooler air.
This trail, sadly, was very busy this week and as the weather continues to improve its only going to get worse.  That plus the warmer weather, I believe we'll be venturing toward the coast for the next few months to try some trails there.  We were on a few that looked promising but in early spring it was far too muddy to go very far and the parks services hadn't time to clean up after the winter storms from all the downed trees.  We'll see how that goes, we might also look further south along for some variety.

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