I wish we hiked more. I wish I hiked more. Life’s to-do lists too frequently gets in the way. Exhaustion too often robs our weekends.
Yesterday, I used my birthday as leverage to make a hike happen. The problem was however, finding a hike that I hadn’t done already. The criteria was that it not be too far of a drive, moderately difficult and one that I hadn’t already done half a dozen times. I landed on a strip of the PCT in Cascade Locks.
We picked up the trail on the Oregon side of The Bridge of the Gods and followed it until an access road perpendicular to the PCT lead up about 100 feet to a water fall.
Dry Creek Falls to Herman Creek it is called.
All seasons bring unique kinds of beauty to a hike in the Pacific Northwest, but spring and fall are my favorites. Yesterday, brought a patchwork of colored leaves and crisp, cool sunlight intermingled with high clouds. There was no fear of rain and the trail was mostly dry. A perfect recipe.
There was also something I did not expect: fungi.
I wish I knew more about that particular branch of botany that concerns mushrooms, but alas, I know very little. We spotted at least seven or eight different kinds and most I captured with my trusty Nikon.
Here’s how I hike. I make it about fifty to sixty yards then I spot something that must be photographed, I snap a photo or five and then jog or race walk to catch up to my traveling companions. Usually by the time I’ve caught them I’ve spied something else I was to shoot. And so it goes.
The falls was the pinnacle, or perhaps the goal is a more accurate way to put it, of the hike. It was indeed a pretty sight, but honestly it was also par for the Columbia Gorge course. The kind of waterfall found all along the western end of the Gorge: a powerful length of water falling from a sheer lichen-ed cliff onto large boulders and logs below; curtained by ever green salal, Oregon grape, and sword ferns. A bit cliche, but always wondrous.
On this hike I allowed the boys to take turns with the camera on the way back out and let myself just enjoy the sights. Here are a few of the images they captured that I found particularly lovely and interesting:
We arrived home after a little shopping and eating out and were quite tired, but it was the good kind. Not a day filled with laundry, repairs and paperwork, but with stories. laughter and nature. The best kind of exhaustion.