Tempting myself to look down I shudder at the hundred foot drop below me, this was my experience crossing the ‘Bridge of The Gods.’ This monumental bridge is where Washington meets Oregon, along the Pacific Crest Trail. Crossing the gargantuan Columbia River Gorge into Oregon marks the beginning of my time hiking through Oregon.
Shortly after refueling at the local market in Cascade Locks and making my way across the Bridge of the Gods, I found my way to ‘Shrek’s Swamp.’ Sounding like a place straight out of a fairy tale this generous trail angels home is not far from it. Shrek, as he is known, opens up his back house and yard for hikers to stop and relax along their journeys. Along with taking a shower and other amenities this stop was a wonderful opportunity to hang out with the many hikers headed in both direction of the trail, as well as reconnect with some trail family I had already established earlier in the week.
The trek out of Cascade Locks was brutal, gradual but persistent, climbing almost 3000 feet as the Bridge of the Gods slowly disappeared behind me. I was rewarded with an abundance of berries as I made my way closer to Wahtum Lake. Unable to take the Eagle Creek Alternative due to a series of fires I found myself very content with the rambling forest scenery of the official Pacific Crest Trail; route and the occasional glimpse of Mt. Hood.
The night before arriving at the Timberline Lodge I stayed at Ramona Falls. This magnificent waterfall is an alternate path that closely follows the Pacific Crest Trail. I fell asleep pondering Schopenhauer’s unique brand of pessimism and looking forward to tomorrow’s short hike.