With cooler temps, perma-gray skies and the falling of leaves, my go-to spot for hiking becomes the gorge. As previously stated, I abandon the Gorge with glee come the summer months: too many people, too much heat, and too much humidity combined with the lure of the high alpine opening up is far too potent a cocktail to resist. Every year, though, come fall and winter, the gorge calls me home. It’s blustery, cold, wild and abandoned.
Andy and I recently took some time to revisit the Historic Highway, driving up the long, winding old road to Multnomah Falls (always a pleasure), then biking the Mark O. Hatfield West trail near Hood River. After biking the Hood River portion of the biker/hiker only trail, we (originally) intended to check out the newly completed portions of the trail from Cascade Locks to John Yeon State Park. Then Andy took an unexpected header-over-the-handlebars early on that portion of trail, so, like before, it will have to wait another day.
|Andy spoiler pic|
|Mark O. Hatfield Trail|
JOHN YEON STATE PARK TO TANNER CREEK
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon
~9.8 miles, ~620 feet elevation gain
Continuing in the theme of previously thwarted attempts: later that week I went back to explore a segment of the Columbia Gorge 400 trail from John Yeon State Park to Wahclella Falls trumped by construction last year. Like before, Upper McCord and Elowah Falls didn’t disappoint, and my only company for the day was the remaining vestiges of vine maple color and electric green mosses. It’s a long and lonely, lovely section of trail and exactly what I needed that particular day.
|Upper McCord Falls|