PCT OR Section G

Oct. 14: Cascade Locks and the Climb out of the Columbia Gorge

Following a long morning of gathering and packing right up to the time I was supposed to check out by, I set out into the tiny town of Cascade Locks to buy some snacks for breakfast and some Emergen-C for my daily vitamin D supplement.

The grocery store didn’t have any vitamin D in any form (but it did have pickle chips, yum!), the convenience store across from it didn’t have any, and the other convenience store was closed while glass was being installed and wouldn’t do curbside delivery, but probably didn’t have any either. That was every store within five miles, so after eating the food I had bought, I set out for the trail without the supplement.

The trail picks up under a bridge above the Bridge of the Gods and immediately starts climbing up the side of the gorge. I was climbing out with a full pack and not really feeling motivated or particularly speedy. Then another hiker coming out for a long weekend trip came up behind me. We started chatting and I sped up to keep his pace to the top of the gorge and along the plateau beyond. He stopped at the first tent site, a little nook on the edge of the hill in the trees, but I kept going. I stopped in a clearing to do my nightly text in case the trees were thick at my final destination, then continued down to a trail junction with a bunch of downed trees in the saddle near it overlooking the remnants of a fire. It was supposed to be a campsite. So I camped. The last light of dusk was disappearing when I started, so I got set up by headlamp light. I remember it being a pretty cold night, but not below freezing.

Total distance: 17 miles

A different sort of cornhole?
The toll plaza and PCT marker at Bridge of the Gods
When the snag forces you to crawl under

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