adam stands underneath inchbowl falls

Adam and I spent the past couple days in the Columbia River Gorge, with a layover in Portland this morning so we could go to Powell’s and hot-tub in books and drink books and spritz ourselves with books and generally just get high like bookwormy lab rats on books. But at any rate, this is Adam standing underneath Inchbowl Falls for a waterfall shower on our way back to the trailhead. I agreed to let him do this because I had extra clothes for him to change into. He couldn’t resist after I told him the story about my first time on this trail: How I was so danged hot and sweaty after 12 miles of hiking that I sat down under Inchworm until I was wetter than a muskrat.

I was really proud of Adam after this hike. He walked 8 miles and was cheerful about it, and this was no garden variety eight miles- I’ve done a lot of hiking in both the Oregon and Washington Cascades (and Olympics) in my years and I consider the incredible Eagle Creek trail in the Gorge to be one of the most cliffy hiking trails I’ve walked, with a lot of exposure throughout. There was plenty of hand-holding and direction-giving, let’s put it that way. It was a very instructive day for Adam in that we talked often about various facets of trail etiquette and safety. Most of the trails in the Gorge have a reputation for being fairly busy as they are so close to Portland, but as it was a weekday we were lucky to enjoy relative solitude. We encountered less than a dozen parties all day long and most everyone was cordial (the ladies like to chat Adam up about everything from his educational history to his footwear).

Punchbowl Falls is deservedly one of the glamorous falls of the Eagle Creek trail. I was hoping we’d have enough energy left-over on the way back to explore the half mile spur trail down to lower Punchbowl Falls, but I decided against it. Adam was indicating a desire to go down, but I think that would’ve been pushing our luck for mileage in a day for a five year old. Our turnaround point was Four and a Half Mile Bridge, which seems to magically dead-end into a wall of mossy rock. I thought about that bridge all day and hoped we could reach it so I could show Adam. I was pretty excited we made it that far!

Hopefully I’ll get my act together and share pictures from this hike.

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