The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
- Robert Frost, excerpt from Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Depending on who & what you consult, the Gorton Creek-Indian Point-Nick Eaton loop in the gorge is anywhere between eight and nine miles, gaining somewhere between 2600 and 2900 feet in elevation gain.
Basically, it goes up. Then back down. Laws of physics and all that.
Continuing in the theme of revisiting gorge trails I haven’t hiked in a while, I gathered up myself and my new wee hiking shadow for a midweek hike.
|wee hiker & trilliums|
|Gorton Creek trail|
The Herman Creek area has a vast network of loops, hiking explorations and hidey holes branching off from the main trail; it’s one of those areas of the gorge that I absolutely love in the rain. In fact, I’m not certain I’ve ever really been here on a 100% sunny day. Regardless, even in mist, shadow, rain, snow and fog, the green is ever-present, the trees looming and old. Boulder gardens, waterfalls, humming creeks, moss, hanging wildflower gardens, all the treasures of the gorge are found.
|I have always loved this tree along the trail|
|Herman Creek trail boulder gardens|
Until today, I’ve never actually visualized Indian Point, previously always hidden in mist and snow. And with my vertigo, there is also no way I will be climbing out to experience its aerial views, its soaring heights. No. Thank. You.
|trying to find Indian Point- Gorton Creek Trail 2010|
Still, it is a great lunch spot: Wind and Dog and Augspurger visible along the silvery, meandering ribbon that is the Columbia River.
|The mighty Columbia- Wind, Dog & Augspurger mountains on the left|
|Indian Point. As close as I'm gonna get|
This high up in the gorge, it’s cold and blustery and all my layers are keeping me company on this mid-April day. Once on the Nick Eaton trail, however, the trail descends at a frightening clip through hanging gardens, mossy oaks and old growth fir- it’s positively balmy by the time I reach the junction with the Herman Creek trail again.
|Dropping down Nick Eaton Ridge, the Columbia winding west towards the ocean|
Only me and my shadow today. Just how I like it.