August 23, 2017
Mile 2136.14 – Cascade Locks (2136.14-2144.36)
Hello everyone, I am alive! A decent internet connection is not easy to come by out here in Washington, so the majority of my blog posts may not be live until we reach Canada. I promise we’re still out here!
The hike into town this morning didn’t take too long. It was almost all downhill which was nice, and there were even some nice views. Soon, we were walking into the town of Cascade Locks. We got our first view of the Bridge of the Gods, which we’ll walk across to get into Washington tomorrow. It’s way bigger than I was anticipating. The town is really nice too. Everything is along one main street, it’s right on the Columbia River, and it’s super hiker friendly.
Our first stop was the Eastwind Drive-in, where we had heard rumours that you could get a soft serve ice cream cone a foot tall. Gummies went all out with the large cone, but I decided to be slightly more reasonable and get the medium (which was still massive). After we finished our ice cream, we walked across the street to check in to our room at the Columbia Gorge Inn. We decided to treat ourselves to a hotel room (even though we just had one a few days ago in Bend) since this is pretty much the last full service town until Canada (and maybe our last chance to sleep in a bed until then).
We spent the afternoon lounging around the room and not doing any of the productive things we probably should have been doing. I did get to have a nice chat with my parents, and they even briefly video called me in to my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary party, so I got to wave hello to all my family members who were there. Eventually, we were hungry and thirsty, so made our way over to the Cascade Locks Ale House. We had just finished ordering when a familiar-looking bearded person walked up to the table. It was Sam (aka Chill Step), who I went to high school with!! We both had known the other was on the trail, but he started a couple weeks after me so we didn’t know if we’d ever end up running into each other. He’s hiking with Trevor (aka Crimson), another guy who went to our high school, and they’ve been crushing the miles so they ended up catching up to us!
Hiker trash burger at the Cascade Locks Ale House
It was so much fun seeing familiar faces out on the trail and getting to catch up with them for an evening. Gummies and I both ordered the ‘hiker trash burger’, which consists of two burger patties sandwiched between two child-sized pizzas, topped with cheese and bacon. They were able to vegetarianize it for me and it was incredible. We got some really good beers as well, and it was just a really enjoyable evening. Afterwards, we headed over to the local Thunder Island Brewery, where they have a trail magic program where people can buy a pint of beer for a thru-hiker. We got our free beers, and were joined by Crimson and Payless (another guy who’s hiking with them). The brewery was awesome, we got to sit outside right on the riverbank, and the beer was really good.
Trail magic station at the Thunder Island Brewery
After the brewery had closed up for the night, we headed back to the hotel to get a good night’s sleep in possibly the last real bed with a roof over it for the next month or so. We’ll probably get back on the trail fairly late tomorrow, since we still have a bunch of town chores to complete, but we will eventually be entering the final state on the PCT. It’s kind of surreal to be this close to the end, but it hasn’t fully set in yet. It’s going to be a crazy feeling crossing that bridge tomorrow.