Swinging on the Gate

July 24, 2018

Dawn sent questing sunbeams to tap open my eyelids while a tiny breeze rippled the tent and whispered in my ear, “Today’s the day! Five hundred miles of trail await!”

I opened my eyes and looked at Jay. He was still sleeping, with orange foam plugs sticking prominently from his ears. I grinned. A hedge separated our tent from an active railroad. Thanks to spending five years of my childhood next to a railroad, the screech of steel wheels on rails had been a soothing lullaby for me last night.

Moving quietly, I packed my gear, putting it in the car. By the time I had finished my morning ablutions in the Marine Park Campground bath house, Jay was awake and packing.

We drove to White Salmon, WA, where we left our car in storage. Our plan had been to walk to Hood River and take a bus to Cascade Locks where the PCT crossed the Columbia River. But the bridge connecting White Salmon, WA to Hood River, OR, didn’t allow pedestrians. So we stuck out our thumbs and hitchhiked.

Larry picked us up, and offered us a ride all the way to Cascade Locks!

“My wife and I spent five years sailing around the world. It takes a special kind of relationship to share an adventure in such close quarters. I guess you two know that.” Larry smiled, memories shining in his eyes.

Larry and his wife work together as a boat forensic team. His passion now is paddling a surfski on the Columbia River. What an interesting life!

Thanks to Larry’s kindness, 45 minutes after leaving our car, we were ready to step onto the Bridge of the Gods, heading back to our own adventure. My time of idly swinging on the gate was over. Adventure called!

Sarah poses beneath the PCT sign on the Oregon side of Bridge of the Gods.
Ready to enter the woods of Washington after crossing Bridge of the Gods.

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