Thursday, September 20, 2012

Day 152: epic side trail, and Cascade Locks!

Monday 9/17/12
Miles 2132-2155 (23 miles)

We took an alternate trail into Cascade Locks and it was AMAZING!!! Oh my gosh, the trail today reminded me a lot of Hawaii. There were so many waterfalls and the trail followed a creek the whole way, and it was just soooo rad!

Getting to the trail was kind of nuts though. We took a shortcut trail off the PCT called the Indian Spring Trail that connects to the Eagle Creek Trail, and it pretty much went straight down. I had to make sure not to step on any twigs laying horizontally across the trail, or round rocks, otherwise my feet would slide out from underneath and I'd fall on my butt. Lol! Basically we were dropping into the Columbia River Gorge. It's a deep canyon. We started at around 4,000', and Cascade Locks is at about 200' elevation. Wow. Thats so nuts. I think that is the lowest elevation on the whole trip.

We saw the strangest thing in the creek. There were fish in there and they were HUGE! Like the size of really big koi fish. And they were splashing and and making all kinds of commotion in the water. We thought they were fighting. Later we found out they were coho salmon and they lay eggs by moving their tails rapidly back and forth to dig a hole to lay their eggs. Cool!!

The trail goes right into Cascade Locks so we walk into town. The Columbia River is huge! The biggest river I've seen on trail thus far. The Columbia River Gorge is a world famous place for windsurfing. But they do it by the town of Hood River which is 20 miles east. Darn. It woulda been rad to go windsurf. Except the water is probably so cold.

Right before it got dark, we find our way to Shrek's Swamp, he is a trail angel in town. He bought the house in February and is in the process of renovating it himself. Its a cool little house with a huge yard where hikers can camp. There's also a shower and laundry room. Yay! Time to do laundry and not walk for a bit. Lol!

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