Heat. Haze. Big roving rain clouds. Trails carved out of cliffsides. Waterfalls that drop loudly into deep, green pools. This is the seduction of Oregon in late August. Last weekend, Kelly, Marsha, and I were its victims.
After dealing with real-life bullshit all morning, we gathered at my house midday and drove east into the Columbia Gorge—for that is the province of waterfall hikes. On this day, we chose Eagle Creek Trail, a pretty famous Oregon hike that leads you ramblingly into the wilds by following the Eagle Creek itself.
Now, this trail is part of the Pacific Crest Trail, and as such, we passed tons of "PCTers" on it; all of them friendly, all of them covered in dirt—reeking of moss, earth, and abiding body odor, all of them heading north to Canada as we forged south toward Punchbowl Falls. In comparison, we were just lowly day hikers, carrying—all carefree-like—nothing but water bottles in our hands.