We all went for a hike on Friday, along the Eagle Creek trail in the Columbia River Gorge.
It was my man’s idea. Miss T had the day off from school, and that’s about all I needed to ask for an extra day away from work. My attitude there has dropped and I needed a mental health day if nothing else. Mother Nature condescended to make it beautiful out.
M cooked us a big breakfast to fill our hungry girl bellies and then off we went. We found the trail in a snap – it’s basically the only right turn available off Exit 41 West; drive to the end of the road and park – and were walking in less than an hour.
We hiked along the creek all day, which is in a rather narrow canyon. Our late morning start was perfectly timed, because – though our breath came out in frosty puffs during the whole hike – the sun was just cresting over the trees when we arrived, and three hours later on our way out, the sun was falling behind the trees again.
Apparently one of the most popular hikes in the Gorge, I can see why people would come to Eagle Creek. There wasn’t a 10 foot stretch of trail anywhere that didn’t inspire me. But then, this is gorgeous Oregon, and it’s simply one of the most beautiful places on Earth no matter what trail a person walks on.
One of the most incredible sights was the rising sun through the moss-draped trees from the shady forest beneath. It’s a magical thing to see, and was nearly impossible for me to capture on camera. You can see all the photos I took (plus some of M’s) on my flickr site.
T told us the day before, “I hate hiking! I don’t want to go! You guys always make me do this stuff and I hate it so much!” Yeah right. As soon as the car stopped, she burst forth and we were left in her dust the rest of the day. She started whining about 2 hours into it, so I fed her, and off she went again. That girl loves the outdoors; she was simply being 11 years old. What a faker.
A hike in a frosty, sunny morning is soul food to me. We played in the countless showers of tiny faery falls hurtling over dizzying cliffs of moss and wildflower buds on the verge of flowering. Sunlight lit up the water everywhere as iridescent glitter. Spring green moss covered most available surfaces and there were knots of bright purple roots coming to life at eye level in the cliff walls we passed.
Eagle Creek was clear as glass, despite it’s frenzied rushing to the Columbia, and all its tributaries were equally clear and shockingly cold when we tasted it. What a beautiful beautiful world I am blessed to live in.
We hiked about 9 miles total, and figured that was a day. We went home, cleaned off the mud, ate some leftovers, and took off for OMSI.
T has been working her way through human history in her 6th grade classes. Right now her class is studying ancient Egypt, and in particular, the pharaohs. OMSI has an IMAX domed theatre, so aside from the topic – films in there are always jaw-dropping for me. (Yes, I am that easily impressed) We learned about some of the fabulous Egyptian tomb-related stories, and the 45 minute show was the perfect length for our long day.