Wandering the Vortex

still life with self, pug and ornament

It’s always a good day when you finally find what you were looking for.

December passed with no hiking trails logged. For most people, this isn’t a big deal. For me? I start to feel practically unbalanced. Hiking is my reset button.

On this particular day I just needed to be out, and I set out to hunt for a minor oddity in the Gorge- a place I was fairly certain I’d circled around a few times but never actually discovered. So, I decided to play a game of hide-and-seek, see what I could find. And hopefully, not get lost.

Just when I had gotten to the point of determining I wouldn’t hit my mark today- ding! A red and glittery glass stocking caught a ray of sunlight. Found it: The Ornament Trail. [GRIN.]

ice skate? stocking? I dunno

The Ornament Trail is a well-known curiosity/secret located somewhere in the Multnomah Basin area of the Columbia River Gorge. Although not exactly difficult to find, if you aren’t familiar with the area, you will most likely get turned around. As my hiking/blogging buddy Allison put it, “I could tell you where to go, but not without my maps…Multnomah Basin is like a vortex, though. It's easy to get confused on the myriad trails through it.”

"found" Nesika Lodge too

So I was well-pleased when I finally happened upon it, as I had been prepared for a very, very long backtrack through trails I did know (which would have made for a crummy and exhausting day).

I still wasn’t entirely sure where I was until I finally popped out on the familiar Multnomah Creek/Larch Mountain trail, where it was all downhill to the lodge.

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon
~10ish miles (includes a bunch of backtracking), ~2300’ EG (?)

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