At the end of September, Steve and I took an Amtrak train from St Cloud, Minnesota to Portland, Oregon for a destination wedding. The following posts are about our experiences on the train and in Oregon, which I wrote down in my travel journal. You can read previous posts here:
- Part 1 or Oregon Trip: Taking Amtrak Train
- Part 2 of Oregon Trip: Columbia River Scenic Drive and Timberline Lodge
Friday, October 2, 2015
A night at the Timberline Lodge included a buffet breakfast. Anyone looking at me in the buffet line would have seen the face of a kid looking into a candy shop window. All of the food looked amazing! I wanted to try it all! I mistakenly took scrambled eggs before seeing the egg frittata (which I ended up eating instead).
We had plans to drive to a trailhead for a hike to Ramona Falls before we had to get to the grooms dinner. The hike was seven miles round trip and had an elevation climb of 1000 feet. We only saw a few people at the trailhead so it was the right hike for me. Unfortunately, seeing few people turned out to be a problem when it came to crossing the Sandy River. Besides the warning signs about how dangerous crossing the river was and how you should find a “good” spot to cross, there were no hints about where that “good” spot was.
Steve and I saw a skinny round log that did not look like a good option but there were footprints around it so we deducted others had crossed there. If they did, they were better tightrope walkers than we were. Steve bobbled and turned back. I bobbled and fell sideways onto a big rock, scraping my left hand up pretty good and leaving another one of the many bruises I seem to collect on my body.
We spent a long time wandering back and forth on a sandy stretch along the river, trying to find a “good” crossing. When we saw two hikers pass by us and head down a trail into the woods, we quickly stalked after them, thinking they might know what they were doing. We tried to keep a respectful distance so as not to creep them out. But because of that, we lost sight of them.
Standing in the trail and probably looking lost, a guy walked out of the woods and asked if we were mushrooming. We had seen signs that mushroom hunters were allowed to pack out thirty pounds of mushrooms, which this guy had managed to find. He told us that the river crossing was still farther down the trail and we couldn’t miss it. Yeah right, we thought.
But it turned out you really couldn’t miss it, once you knew which direction to go. The “good” river crossing had a tree that was wide enough for Bigfoot to comfortable step onto and even had a second skinny tree lodged in its branches that provided a handrail.
But it was the rocks we saw along the trail that made me gasp and stop in my tracks at first sight.
I’d never seen anything like it before. It’s so cool to see something for the very first time that is so outside your knowing. And then realize that’s it’s been there for so many years due to glaciers and volcano eruptions. Out of disaster there can come some crazy beauty.