Sunday, May 7, 2017

Palisades Trail

For our BIG TRIP later this year, we'll be doing some hiking at altitude, and in preparation for that, we have many hikes planned between now and then. Today, it was the Palisades Trail, where the theme of the day was "Looks Warm. Ain't."

 Do I look warm? I ain't.

TBGuide ain't, especially having to expose that hand to show the way.

Lovely falls, nice trail, what could I be pondering?

Great Googly Moogly, what kind of crossing is that?! 

The kind you figure out if you want to go more than .2 miles, that's what.

 Looks easy. Ain't. There was a lot of climbing which helped warm us up anyhow.

Looks slippery. Ain't.
But man alive, the water rushing under your feet plays tricks on your brain, and you have to try to "unsee" it while you cross.

Finally, one that wasn't just a twig thrown over the death rapids. And the climbing to this point has fooled us into thinking we can be happy without the jackets.

 As the trail climbs, Lower Dalles Falls is visible across the way, and it's quite nice but isn't very photogenic due to trees and angles and such.

What did I tell you?
You think you're done climbing? Ain't.
These stairs lead to the climbingest part of the trail, a series of short switchbacks

which lead to the first viewpoint, where we caught up with other folks we'd seen along the way. 

One of those folks kindly took our picture. 

From here, the trail cuts back into the trees, but the climbing portion is pretty much done for awhile. You can go almost 16 miles total on this trail, but we weren't anywhere near that ambitious today, planning a slightly longer trek (~8 miles) than we did (~6 miles). We made our turnaround at the two-hour point.

I share this picture because it is the only one that shows how blue the sky is, how green the trees are, and what a nice open area it was for our lunch snack. That's my new waist pack, too. It's dreamy.

The trip down was, of course, much faster than the trip up, but not necessarily easier because of the steepness. We marveled several times that we had come up it at all. That first (now last) river crossing was even harder going back across, if you can believe that. Can you?  You should because have you ever gotten yourself in such a position that your top half is too far out over your bottom half, and you can't straighten up your top half to stand back up all the way to continue walking? If not, stand in front of a wall and bend at the waist until the top of your head touches the wall, then move your feet back about six inches. Now, without using your hands, stand up. Yeah, that's what I thought. If TBG hadn't been there, the river would've won that round.

And see here? If TBG was a puma...well, I wouldn't have this picture is one thing.

And this? That's me descending those stairs, double-rail-grip all the way. We passed a lot of fellow nature-lovers on the way down, many of whom didn't seem to be loving the vertical gain of this particular nature. They did look warm, though.

I'm glad we didn't have to climb that.

Or this.

After the rainiest October through April this area has ever had (since they started keeping track of such things, so maybe not ever) I won't complain about it being sunny, but I will always cry just a teeny bit about it being cold, especially when it looks warm but ain't.