Giddy to be able to breathe better today, and hoping very much for clouds with rain like this in the Gorge. I’m super glad I have visited it every excuse I had! This fire is so heartbreaking.
I think some of my friends are having a bad influence on me. i saw a mountain today; and ran up it. Got done with that and went on a hike with a 10% grade. Finshed the day 1000 calories under.
Brian at Latourell Falls, Oregon.
On Sunday, we went hiking for about nine miles on the Twin Tunnels Trail. It was a good hike with many beautiful things to look at as you walked. It was a pretty easy walk because there wasn’t much elevation gain (although if I was on a bike I’d’ve died, it was slow and steady gain).
Formerly, the trail was the historic Columbia River Highway. The new highway is below this (Hwy 84). This section had been shut down to cars and people for years. The tunnels had been filled, and it was unused. Just recently, the tunnels were cleared and it has been restored to be a place for biking and hiking.
According to Portland Hikers, these windows in the tunnel are called adits. They also close and lock the tunnels at night to protect them from graffiti. Well, and also to protect the graffiti from graffiti:
In the 1920s, some teenagers got trapped in the tunnel during a freak snowstorm for eight days. One of the ways they passed the time is carving their names into the side of the tunnel (and after a few days, it had to be so that they’d be identified too). Very cool to see. There’s more of it, but it was really hard to read after nearly a hundred years so I didn’t try to take a picture of it. It was pretty hard to notice at first, even for me and I was looking for it! I told several bikers who pulled over to enjoy the coolness of the tunnel to go back and look at it.
Having driven on both the new and old highway, it felt odd for a bit to walk on it without fear of being run over by a car, but the views were incredible, and I want to do it again (maybe in the fall when it’s slightly cooler).
Oh and for wildlife, we saw a doe along the trail and the doe and I watched each other for five minutes or so (I gave in and wanted to hike on).
On the drive to the trail, right along the Columbia River, a bald eagle swooped over Brian’s car holding a squirming fish in its talons. It was so surreal to see that in person – I think we both started laughing just because it was so exactly what you’d see in a movie or a commercial, not in real life.
As you can probably tell, I am finally happy. It is so good to be home, and you can tell – I am smiling, my skin color is better, I’m getting back into shape. How could you not be happy when you live in a place as amazing as Oregon?
Something I already knew: no matter how many times I see Iron Giant, I cry at the end. It is the only movie I can remember making me cry.
After staying up last night until 1 a.m. doing tech support on my sister’s computer (not her fault – the stupid McAfee had issues) and getting up at 7 to see them off, we decided to go for a long hike on the Gorge. It was an awesome hike, about 4 hours long. I think we may be crazy. Pictures to follow tomorrow when I download them and get some sleep.