Elowah Falls, Upper McCord Falls, Gorge Trail 400
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon
~4 miles, ~600 feet
I had plans for today, about eight-miles-more-than-the-four-I-accomplished worth of plans. Today, I learned (thought I already knew this but clearly actions speak louder than words) it would be helpful to read signs before hitting the trail.
Upon return to the parking lot, I saw this:
What I was trying to do today was create a leg stretching jaunt connecting the Elowah/Upper McCord area with the Wahclella Falls area to the east using about 3.1 miles of Gorge Trail 400 as the connector. Somewhere along the way, I guess the Oregon Department of Transportation received federal funding for a grand construction project to revitalize a new section of the Historic Highway. This means lots of construction and blasting. And no trail. However, it's a really, wicked cool project so it's hard for me to be angry about it even if it did screw up my plans for the day.
If there is one thing I have learned about hiking, you win some and you lose some.
That said, the four mini miles passed in that beautiful, spring green fashion the gorge assumes as April nears- not quite leafed out, but surely contemplating bursting into full color soon. The gorge is always green, but in the spring it's really, really green. I did my best to avoid squashing banana slugs and getting the proverbial big fat water drop perfectly aimed down the back of my neck off some overhanging tree branch- failed on both accounts. But I delighted in the mud and the little bits of color springing forth, tiny trillium blooms here and there, and the sword fern fronds brushing me in some places up to the waist as they peeled themselves skyward off the forest floor.