Completing the Oregon Trail
Beginning Elevation = 3,750
Ending Elevation = 125 (Off PCT)
Elevation Range = 125 – 4,300
Weather: Mostly sunny, high 75°F, breezy
We were motivated for town, so were up at our early time, searching for our way back to the trail. Our lakeside site was a bit off the trail, but it didn’t take us long til we were going again. Our path led up right away and kind of wound its way around the lake, almost circling it, but now we were way above it as well.
As is the typical way of the trail, if you go up, you’ll get views…
There was also a lot of burned forest today too…
We had a short sit break at this particularly nice viewpoint where we also got some cell service…
The trail did a few up and down sections and then began a steep downhill towards the Columbia River below. The mighty Columbia is quite large. So large that at first Snickers and TW thought it was a lake. Here’s some photos of the rest of our hike.
After a gruelling decent, I finally made it to a trailhead where I crossed underneath some highway…
And then found myself at the southern side of the Bridge of the Gods…
We all met at Locks of Dogs and Treats restaurant. When I walked in, while looking for a seat, a voice from behind called out tentatively, “Stevie?” Guess who it was? None other than dear Cheer and Calzone sitting in the corner, the only other customers in the place. An unexpected encounter seeing as they’d mentioned via text they planned to get on trail prior to our arrival into town. Of course we’d meet up at the legendary ice cream shop of town!
Legendary ice cream and hot dogs I should say. This is the “picnic basket” dog complete with potato salad, baked beans, and bacon. I’m asking for pain people, I know. At least I didn’t indulge in two of these baskets. That is what TW did, granted his was a slightly smaller vegan variety. I’d heard tales of this place’s huckleberry ice cream from some southbound hikers and their words of admiration were not falsely proclaimed. I very much enjoyed it all.
We parted ways with the girls. They headed to the trail and we made our way to the post office where I received a package from Big Agnes. This is not a hiker trail name folks. It’d be a good one, but it’s actually the company that makes my tent. I’d sent it in for repair and the gave me a new one in return! Hooray.
After the post office, we went to find the area within the town park designated for PCT hikers to tent. We found it easy enough and I enjoyed sharing some parting brews with TW before his departure to Portland.
Snickers and I set up tents and then joined TW at the bus stop to say goodbye. We stood on the sidewalk and waved as if parting with a family member…just like he was heading out on the Hogwarts Express or maybe like Forest Gump as he waved to Jenny on he bus in D.C. who once again was ditching him, or maybe it was more like folks waving to each other from port as Leo departed on the Titanic. You get the idea I think.
The rest of the day was spent doing our usual town stuff. Cascade Locks is small. It was nice to have everything we needed centrally located. In the evening, I went to the park pavilion where a movie was supposed to be out on in the lawn. They must have been having technical difficulties though because the screen stayed blue for about a half hour while I was perusing on my phone.
Here’s some photos from our tenting lawn adjacent to the Columbia. We shared it with at least thirty others.
Something else that I should note is that hikers and those that are into the backpacking scene are already flocking to Cascade Locks. There’s a festival called PCT Days taking place August 16-18 where lots of folks come and celebrate. Sounds like food and gear vendors and such will be there and they essentially take over this big island in the river, Thunder Island, for a few days. We thought of sticking around for the party, but ultimately chose to keep treking tomorrow before things get started. I’m sure it would be a fun time, but it’ll be nice to escape the crowds too and keep it moving. I do still plan to take my time in town tomorrow before getting going though!