Entering Washington

Aug. 27th: Cascade Locks to 2167.0 (2144.6 to 2167.0) Daily miles: 22.4

Aug. 28th: 2167.o to 2192.6  Daily miles: 25.6

I crossed over The Bridge of the Gods, whitecaps rolling across the river and sailboats off in the distance.  The river widens west of the bridge, so that it resembles a lake, and an old fashioned tourist riverboat churned away on the south bank.  The road over the water is just a metal grate, so you can look below and see the river.  It’s disorienting when the wind is blowing hard and trying to push you around.

Columbia River, looking back into Oregon

Soon enough though it’s all past and I’m in Washington, the state border being somewhere along the Columbia River.  With it comes a big climb, up into the mountains of the northernmost PCT state.  A 3000 foot climb, so that the noise and movement of the Coumbia River Gorge falls away with the landscape below  and I’m among the quiet hills and forests.

Lookit Mt. Hood, all the way from WA.

The air cools too, as the thick canopy blocks out the sun.  The ferns in this old forest are nearly as big as me, the trees all carpeted green from base to tip.  At night all is quiet and dark.  So dark I can’t even see the outlines of the trees and bushes right outside my tent. I sleep deeply, one of the soundest sleeps of the trip so far.

I wake to hordes of hikers passing my tent, all going single file as PCTers are wont to do.  It’s a lazy morning for me, but I get going and then really push my pace until I’m running.  I don’t know why I started to run, I guess it just felt good.

I sit on the banks of Panther River for lunch and hydrate for another 3000+ foot climb, which is apparently Washington’s specialty.  It takes me almost 4 hours of hard climbing to finish this one off, but I do it.  Along the way there’s views of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams to keep me company.  Mostly though, it’s just the forest and me, which is alright too.

I crash into camp tired and hot, but hey it was a good day.  Sometimes it feels good to push my body as hard as it can go.

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