Monthly Archives: November 2014

“Wild” for the Gorge: Upcoming PCT Talk

As many of you have heard, Cheryl Strayed’s popular book Wild about the author’s journey on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is coming out in movie-form on December 5, 2014.  What does this have to do with the Gorge and Oregon State Parks?  Well, as it turns out, quite a bit.

 

WILD_movie_poster

“Wild” comes to movie theaters on December 5, 2014. Look for shots filmed in the Gorge!

 

Wild Book

Cheryl Strayed’s book “Wild” is about her personal journey on the Pacific Crest Trail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First, Strayed completed her hike of the PCT at our very own Cascade Locks in the Columbia River Gorge.  The Bridge of the Gods is the PCT route’s through the Gorge.

Second, it is a little known fact that Oregon State Parks manages the Cascade Locks Trail Head right under the bridge.  And although it is not officially part of the PCT, many thru-hikers take the Eagle Creek canyon route to get to the Gorge — completing their final miles by walking the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail to Cascade Locks.

Bridge of the gods trailhead

The Cascade Locks Trail Head — PCT thru-hikers pass through here en masse between the end of August and the beginning of September each year.  It also happens to be a lovely spot for a view of the Bridge of the Gods and the Columbia River.

 

Third, parts of Wild were shot in the Columbia River Gorge.  If you thought you spied Reese Witherspoon in the Gorge last fall, you just might have.

 

PCTA Wild Article

The Pacific Crest Trail Association has a new “Wild” webpage — along with resources, it features essays written by thru-hikers.  In this essay, I shared the aftermath of my trek.

http://www.pcta.org/wild/

 

And finally, in 2012, I took a leave of absence from Oregon State Parks to hike the Pacific Crest Trail.  I started on April 30, 2012 and finished on September 27, 2012.  151 days, 2660 miles, more than 6 million steps.  And this coming Thanksgiving weekend, I am going to share my story here in the Gorge.

 

Bridge of the Gods

I completed Oregon, passed into Washington, Canada-bound on September 3, 2012.

 

Please join me for a talk on the Pacific Crest Trail, “The Good, the Bad, and the Unforgettable” on Sunday, November 30, 2014 at 2 PM at the Bonneville Lock and Dam, Bradford Visitor Center.

 

PCT Talk Flyer_Bonneville Dam

In 2012, I took a leave of absence from Oregon State Parks  to hike the Pacific Crest Trail . . . this coming Thanksgiving weekend, I am going to share my story . . .

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Ice Ice Baby

For those of you who have wisely chosen to stay away this past week while the Gorge pounded out its first windy ice storm of the season, I thought we’d share a whip of the tempest.

Ice in the Parking Log

The sun’s reflection on the ice that coats Rooster Rock’s parking lot.

 

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The effect of that ice.  An accident on I-84 that sent rangers scurrying home.

 

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Weather changes quickly in the Gorge. On November 7, our big leaf maples looked like this.

 

Snow and Maple Leaf

By the following week, the trees sat naked, leaves lodged in snow.

 

Ice on Cliff

Icicles form at water seeps along the Columbia River Highway.

 

Shepperd's Dell and Bridge

Trails and bridges are coated with ice . . . and will be slow to thaw in the shadows of the Gorge walls.  This is a look at Shepperd’s Dell.

 

Shepperd's Dell

Shepperd’s Dell hourglass waterfall.

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The trail at Latourell is closed due to ice, but you can still admire the contrast of the icy falls and the glowing lichen from the lower viewpoint.

 

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When I arrived at Multnomah Falls (not a State Park, but a flagship of the Gorge), two visitors were beyond the fence at the lower pool side (not permitted).  While there are many reasons waterfall pools are closed, it is especially dangerous in the winter — water seeps into cracks between columns of basalt rock and then expands when it freezes . . . peeling off slabs of rock and sending them flying onto whatever lies below.