Thanksgiving Day Hike – Eagle Creek

11.24.2011
Behind the weeping cliff

On Thanksgiving we decided to hike Eagle Creek, a trail on the Columbia Gorge. Several of my friends have told me that it is one of their favorite hikes and I’ve wanted to try it for a long time.

I was completely blown away by the beauty around me. I lagged behind to photograph almost everything. I found myself alone on the trail while Susie and Raf walked ahead and I didn’t  mind it at all. As I was walking along I found myself walking along a cliff that was literally weeping. There were cables attached to the side of the cliff that I could grab hold of, which I did. I noticed that there was a sheer drop to the bottom and I was tempted to let fear overtake me but I didn’t give in and I kept walking. Actually, the fear kind of came and went pretty quickly and I wasn’t so bad. I finally reached Susie and Raf who waited for me and I remarked, “that was really sketchy.” Susie agreed that it took her a few times hiking it before she felt comfortable with that part of the trail. I realized that I had walked it by myself and hadn’t completely passed out from fear. I was kind of proud of myself for that!  Had I known that people died on this very trail I might have felt a bit differently (so glad I didn’t know this before hiking this trail! yikes!!)

After the sketchy cliff trail we arrived at Punch Bowl Falls, one of many waterfalls along the trail.

We hiked to High Bridge, which is a little over three miles from the trail head. We originally wanted to hike to Tunnel Falls but didn’t because of the time. We weren’t too keen on hiking in the dark. Plus it had started raining pretty hard and the forest was already darkish from the cloud cover.

I love the bits of wispy fog that we get here. The fog  hangs in place and stays there for a while. It’s so beautiful. This is what we saw on our way back to the car.

IMGP8559

When I was taking this shot a young couple walked by and the girl said, “It looks like C.G.

sigh.

We passed that couple as they were talking to some people with backpacks. Then they passed us again. As they walked by the girl felt compelled to tell us, “I just was talking to someone who I went to High School with in New England! And she lives in Seattle!” Their mind was clearly blown by this bit of synchronicity. And we were too.  It gave us something to ponder as we finished our hike back to the car.

When we finished our hike we decided to check out the salmon spawning in the creek near the fish hatchery. Amazing! I’ve seen this a couple of times (having lived here for two years) and I never get tired of it. The salmon are huge! We saw some that were, I swear, as big as sharks! We were standing on the bridge in the rain, watching the salmon and I decided I needed to get a video of it. So I ran as fast as I could to the car to get my camera. As I was running back to the bridge I felt this incredible feeling of happiness and I thought “today was fucking fantastic.”

Here is a video (though it doesn’t begin to capture the awesome).

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