Last week I was up in Oregon visiting my mom. One of the best parts of the trip was having the opportunity to go for a long Camino training hike with several other pilgrims, whom, up until then, I had only met on Facebook via the American Pilgrims on the Camino Facebook page.
A few days before going to Oregon, I posted a message on the Facebook group, “Where Did You Walk Today?” asking if anyone from the Portland area would be able to get together for a hike in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. I was delighted when four people replied, “Yes!”
So last Wednesday, I drove 45 minutes east on highway 84 from my mom’s place in Vancouver, Washington, loving every minute of the spectacular views that lead into “The Gorge”, and met my new Camino friends: David, who walked the Camino Francés a couple of years ago and who is returning to Spain next week to walk it again; Jen, who walked the Francés in 2013 and who is answering the most recent call of the camino with “a big, fat, NO“; Laura, who is leaving for her first Camino in about a month; and Laura’s husband, Sam, who will enjoy biking and taking care of projects around the house while Laura is on the Camino ;-).
We met at the Eagle Creek Trailhead at 9am and began walking uphill on the rocky trail (which was every bit as rocky as the trail descending into Zubiri) toward Tunnel Falls. The weather was perfect, and we spent the day walking through moss-covered forests, snapping photos of multiple varieties of wildflowers, ogling stunning waterfalls, and, of course, talking pretty much non-stop about the Camino!
I want to thank David for sharing this beautiful hike with us (not to mention loaning me his trekking poles), and Jen, Laura, and Sam for driving two hours to meet us! Buen Camino!
Company: Laura, Sam, Jen, and David
Route: Tunnel Falls from Eagle Creek Trailhead in the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
Distance: 13.25 (21.3 km)
Elevation Gain: 1643ft (500 meters)
Time: ___ hours (9:30am to 4pm?)
Weather: Warm and sunny
Shoes: Brooks Cascadia 9, size 11 (The “Right” Shoe)
Socks: WrightSock Coolmesh II, short crew x 2 (one medium, one large)
Pack & Water: Mom’s Target daypack and her 1 liter metal water bottle
Notes: Borrowed David’s trekking poles. Had a great time talking about the Camino!