Day 137 8-9-07 Tarp Tent 2480′
Blue Ridge Camp – View point, spring near Table Mountain
9.7 (8.2) miles; 2165.3 (75.46) total miles; 4030.3 trip miles
60-70’s, Overcast – clearing as the day went on
Days camped alone 20
Critter Tour General Category
Deer count is 125
Marmot count is 53
Elk count is 23
Pika count is 8
Bear count is 7
Rattlesnake count is 6
Slug count is 2
Badger count is 1
I woke up feeling pretty good. For one thing it was wet outside my tent. I packed up rather slowly for some reason. I got going and was feeling good.
I passed Punch Bowl Falls, Little Punch Bowl and two other impressive falls (I sent home my pages with the names by mistake). The gorge changed shape and height with every turn. At one point the gorge went from a few hundred feet wide to 30′. There was a bridge across it at that point so you got to look right down into the gorge. The trail crisscrossed the river many times along its way to the parking lot. I passed 5 people on their way up as I came down. I also passed two more sets of campers. When I finally got to the parking lot, I had to do a short road walk to another parking lot and pick up the Gorge Trail. The directions were total crap and I, by chance, found it without much extra walking around. I took the Gorge Trail to an old highway that is now a bike path. This took me right into Cascade Locks. I text messaged Sam as I walked the path. Once to town, I made my way to the PO. As the postmaster asked me if I had any packages, I said yes; but then said no. My Mom told me to just buy since the town had a market. The postmaster said he did have one package for me. I couldn’t think of what it might be for the life of me. It turned out to be my bounce box which “I” sent to myself! I can’t even remember when I send myself stuff. I’m so screwed when I get home. I won’t be able to remember anything.
I went to the hardware/liquor store next to see if they had fuel and the guy opened a gallon can and filled my bottle up. He also had the movie 300 playing on the TV. 300 was the last movie I saw before I left. It was almost to my favorite seen so I asked if he minded me hanging out to watch and he said no problem. I watched my scene and off it was to the RV park for a shower and laundry.
I met a guy named Two Spirits at the market and we talked a bunch. He had some cream with ibuprofen in it, which he said he’d bring by the RV park for me to have some. (I think I left it in the laundry now that I think about it). I started my laundry and Two Spirits came by and we talked about the PCT and the AT. He was pretty interesting fellow. After he left I took a shower and finished my laundry.
I went back to the PO and sent off my bounce box and memory card. Then it was to the market for Wet Ones. Finally, it was then time for pizza at the pub. The pizza took a while so I did some emails and looked at the data for the upcoming section. The pizza came and it was good. I finished the whole pie and then it was off to the trail.
The first obstacle was the Bridge of the Gods, which spans the Columbia River. This bridge has no sidewalk and the center portion of decking is metal grate. I made my way across as traffic sped by and stopped to take a few pictures. As I reached the other side, I saw a banner welcoming me to Washington and then the classic sign with a picture of the state doing the same. So I crossed my second and final state line at 2:20 PM.
The first part of Washington was not very exciting though I was overjoyed to be there. The trail was super rocky and overgrown. There was also poison oak to look out for. I climbed through some clear cuts, under power lines and by green colored ponds before I reached some woods again. I crossed Greenleaf Creek via a bridge and up, up, up I went.
I passed a day hiker and his dog coming down from Table Mountain and we talked a bit. Not long after speaking with him, I got some water at a spring and then got to the point I thought I was going to camp at. It was still early so I decided to tackle most of the 3000′ climb. When I got to the junction with the Table Mountain Trail, I met Gus, Levi, and Gus’s dog, Yukkie. We chatted a bit and off I went. The climb that followed was the steepest thing I’ve seen in some time. The book said it was 17%. Just about the time it abated, there was a creek and a camp spot. I throw my stuff down and went for water. The hike down to the water was insanely steep. It was slippery and loose. I got the water and then started dinner. The guys showed up and decided to stay. It was a tight squeeze but we made it work.
Scatman 2011- This was one of those days where you do a lot but don’t feel like you did. Then again I only hiked 9.7 miles so maybe I didn’t do much after all. Most of my accomplishments were off the trail. Food shopping, fuel, pizza, showering and laundry, PO and watching a little tv.
As I pointed out Washington didn’t start with a bang. Even so I was really excited to be here. It was yet another milestone in my hike. I was on high alert for poison oak the whole time. It was everywhere in the lower elevations. As I climbed it faded out but I still was weary. My camp with the guys and dog was tight but my tarp fit just right. I enjoyed talking with them as I did most of the people I met on the trail.
Get out there!