We had breakfast in Portland, resupplied, and headed back to the trail. We needed to return the rental car to Hood River and then hitch back to Cascade Locks. Cascade was on the way so I dropped the boys there to make hitching easier. Once I returned the rental, the fourth car picked me up, a guy heading to Cascade to wind surf.
We took the Eagle Creek trail out of town, an alternate that goes by some waterfalls. Almost every hiker does this alternate, but I did find one hilarious review of it in Guthook’s app:
Great comedic value, but I still wanted to see the falls. We are hiking south now, so I was heading up to the trail instead of down from it. The beginning was very crowded with day hikers, at least one hundred of them. It was rocky but not bad. I kept my speed up.
The day hikers started to peter out a few miles from the trailhead. I reached Tunnel Falls and sat there watching it for a while, waiting for my friends to catch up to take pictures. The trail was blasted into the side of a mountain so you can walk right behind the falls. Very cool.
The rest of the trail was fine, until the last two miles. It got steep. It wasn’t constant, but there were frequent short sections that were very, very steep, probably the steepest I’ve hiked out here. I hadn’t eaten much today so I had to stop halfway up the last part and eat a Snickers for enough energy. I had thought I’d arrive back to the PCT at Indian Spring at 7:30, just at dark. Because of the tree cover, it actually got dark at 7:00, and it took me until 8:30 to get there.
I was very happy to make camp and eat dinner. It is way warmer here than in Northern Washington so I was even able to sit at the picnic table nearby to eat without freezing. 15.5 miles today.