Tuesday, August 15, 2017
PCT 15 - Soaked Forest - Bridge of the Gods to Trout Lake - 82 PCT miles
The name "Bridge of the Gods" evokes an extravagant grandeur unearned by the simple truss bridge over the Columbia River that takes hikers and other traffic from Oregon to Washington, but the river gorge itself is majestic and breathtaking.
Climbing from the low point of the PCT at Cascade Locks, the trail quickly climbs into a mixed evergreen forest with a tangled understory including ferns and matted moss covering both trees and rocks. Only frequent mists and rain produce this kind of vegetation, so it was little surprise when the second evening brought a soaking mist and intermittent light rain that lasted about 36 hours.
Having refreshed my gear in Portland, where I stayed four days with friends, I was hoping to charge up into the mountains with fresh enthusiasm. In all honesty this section found me struggling to get excited about being back on trail. Knee and foot pain, combined with simple fatigue and missing my family have been taking a toll. I know this happens to a lot of hikers at some point, so I am taking a day off at Trout Lake to rest before going on. The next section will take me through the Goat Rocks, which are famous for their beauty, so I am looking forward to hiking that section.
The trail continues to be calm and beautiful as you can see in the small photo set here: