Amtrak is not for impatient people. We reached Portland 45 minutes late, worried we would miss our connecting train. The eastbound train was equally late, so we waited an additional 90 minutes before we were finally were on our way. Portland was very smoky from the fires and it got worse the further east we traveled. We could hardly see across the Columbia River as we arrived at White Salmon, WA at almost 7:30pm.
The lodging was on the Oregon side of the Columbia River, at Hood River, OR and the bridge had no Pedestrian walkway. This lovely family offered to take us across and dropped us off at the Hostel. They were super nice. The Hostel was fairly new, being a converted day care building. The men’s “Dorm” was a spacious room with 12 twin beds and only two other guys. It was a quiet night.
We woke early, as we usually do and took showers. (Only one shower in the building! Glad we were early) The mile walk to the Egg restaurant was easy (Awesome Breakfast!!! I will stop there again if I ever travel through in the future) and the mile walk to the highway was equally easy. We needed to hitch the 45 miles south to the ski resort called Timberline Lodge, on the south flank of Mount Hood.
We only waited about 20 minutes before someone picked us up. However, He was only going 10 miles up and dropped us off at a corner. We scored another ride up an additional 15 miles to a trailhead. A couple from France picked us up and took us the rest of the way. Viva La France!
Total hitch time: 3 hours. But it worked.
It was close to lunch and we didn’t want to pay $20 for the buffet, so had some soup and we were off.
Since we started at 12:30, we only hiked 10 miles before calling it a day. The sky’s were still full of smoke, and I could only get one shot of Mount Hood from the Trail Head at the lodge.
The day started with a creek fording across the icy Muddy Creek. Nothing like frozen, numb feet to wake you up before the sun is up. 😜 Another beautiful day, only marred by the smoke in the air. We couldn’t smell it, but it was too thick to see much.
The other problem was Turtle’s left ankle. Somehow he was either bit by something or he banged it on something, but it was swollen and hurt to walk.
We still did 15 miles, but he was hurting bad by the end of the day.
The wind finally changed to easterly, blowing the smoke out and we could see some views! By this time we were north of Mount Hood and it was hidden behind some hills, but we could finally see Mt. Saint Helens, Mt. Rainier, and Mt. Adams. Here is Mt. Hood. I’m not sure from what angle. (Correction from before)
Wednesday, August 25 ——–
Another beautiful morning, waking up next to a stream. It never gets old.
We only had eight miles to go to Cascade Locks, which was good since Turtle’s ankle wasn’t any better. The trail was great as far as not being steep, but much of the trail was carved out of old lava and had many sharp rocks sticking up. It was a mine field for Turtle since stepping on a rock could flex his ankle wrong and cause pain.
Canada is still a priority for us. More later on our plans. Right now we are in Cascade Locks and Turtle is resting his ankle.
The view from inside my tent looking up: