I was ready to head out the door when sanguinity and grrlpup arrived, but we had to go back in for a moment to put the dish of enchiladas they’d made for me into the refrigerator (non-dairy, because they keep track of such things). So that was a great start, right there.
We stopped for Hiking Breakfast at our usual spot, and headed out the Gorge. The day was cloudy, as expected. Then it was rainy, which wasn’t so much. The farther we drove, the more rainy it became. I wore my usual hiking garb; high-SPF shirt, jeans, hiking boots. I’d brought a sweatshirt, but wasn’t really prepared for rain (Note: I’m not saying I wasn’t expecting any precipitation. For most people, all water falling from the sky qualifies as “rain.” For Oregonians, there are several levels of mist, sprinkle and drizzle that don’t even count. So That’s how Oregonians can look out a window at drops falling from the sky and say “Good! It’s not raining!”). But even as Oregonians, we decided we might enjoy the hiking more if we weren’t so wet, so we stopped in Cascade Locks for Third Breakfast. So we got to the trailhead around 9:00.
Click on the images to see a larger version....
|The Trail doesn’t have much in the way of panoramic scenic views. But it meanders through some really beautiful forest, and different sections have very different looks. It was all quite lush. The trail itself ranged from being wide enough for all three of us to walk side-by-side, to a single-person track, like this.|
|We passed several waterfalls. This was the tallest. L checks out the pool, while sanguinity and grrlpup admire the falls.|
Here’s a view from the base of the falls, looking up. You can see that the day was still overcast.
This was taken with my camera held low for a candid shot, but sanguinity noticed. Still, I think it came out quite well. Notice how everyone looks quite happy.
|Another smaller waterfall. The rocks in the stream we had to cross were very slippery, but we all managed to get across without falling. Twice.|
|Some Oregon Grapes by the trail. There were many bunches in this area, so we had to be alert for Bears, who eat Oregon Grapes (if they can).|
|A pile of boulders had an open space beneath it, and sanguinity offered to hold my camera while I explored. Despite her encouragement, I declined to put myself under very large stones which might be dislodged by my crawling about. So I took this shot by reaching my arm into the mini-cave, but not actually getting into it.|
Grrlpup was inspired to reenact Maria’s spinning on the hillside by the beautiful view as we neared the end of the trail.
These pictures only capture a few moments of the entire time; we spent almost eight hours together before they dropped me off at home. We talked about all sorts of things, I shared some Triple-Chocolate Cookies for leader treats, they repeatedly offered to let me have L the dog, and... and... and. So much more. But there’s no way to cover all of the moments, all of the conversation, all of the times I looked at the woods and felt happy to be out in the wilderness with friends. It was great!
Once home, I thought I’d work on the newsletter, but it turned out to be more important that I sleep. So I took a nap. Which was pretty great, too.
ETA: I was reminded that grrlpup had an unfortunate encounter with a wasp on the way back. The vespid stung her ankle through her sock, and the mild-mannered grrlpup promptly beat it to death with L’s retractable leash. I think she gave it an extra whack or two, for good measure. (Don't make her angry. You wouldn't like her when she's angry.) And L wandered toward some Bad Dog behavior, due to his willful interest in wildlife, horses and rolling in Nasty Things. But he wasn’t my dog doing all that (despite Sanguinity and Grrlpup's efforts to get me to take him), so it wasn’t so very upsetting or embarrassing. For me, anyway.