April 15, 2014 Eagle Creek Trail 440
I was really glad to discover Ainsworth campground. A good thing about the campground is that the A row of parking and the walk in tent camping is right up next to the wilderness forest, right at the base of a huge mountain. The B row is alongside the highway. But they have a nice spot, good water pressure and very hot water, the main things i like. Plus, there must be 100 waterfalls in the area and a hundred miles of trails to walk on. It’s very beautiful. I woke up in Ainsworth campground. I fell asleep until about 6:30am then i got up and made coffee. I wanted to get going on another hike, but i didn’t know where i was going for sure. When that happens, i just drive, and then i find out on the way. Well i had to wait quite awhile for the camp host to open the payment box, so i was looking around at their brochures and flyers, and thats when i found all the maps to all the main waterfalls in the area, plus to the whole Gorge area. Then i knew why i had to wait around for the camp host. Because now i had maps and walking distances, to everything. So i looked at the map and i quickly figured out where i was going for the day. First, i was going to go to Elowah Falls. 289 feet ! Then, after that, i was going to go back the other way on the scenic highway, and look at three waterfalls on that end, which are Bridal Veil, Sheppards Dell and Latourell. Now i don’t even pay attention to the names of the waterfalls, because it’s pretty ridiculous. They named Latourell after some loggers that went in there and clear cut all the old growth forest. Many of the ancient names of the falls have been lost and forgotten. So i don’t care what the name of it is. I just go there to see it. Like one waterfall, they named after some guy that worked for the Forest Service. OK. Well, anyway, I decided only to go see those four waterfalls and save a few for another time. Now that i had maps, i made a good plan. So off i go to the first stop, Elowah Falls. And next thing i know, i drive right up to Horsetail Falls. Oops . I went the wrong way. I get all turned around when i am a tourist. So i went and saw Horsetail Falls next, and it is right next to the road. And very beautiful. So then, ok, now i’m going to go in the right direction and go see Elowah Falls. I went up the road, and it is quite a ways. It is the old highway, so it goes here and there. I was getting close to where the Elowah Falls must be, but i can’t find them. Somehow, the map says they are on this road, but they are not. So i’m driving up the road, trying to find the falls, and next thing i know, i am forced onto the on ramp of the interstate highway going east. Oops. Now there really went my plan. Well, now i’m going east on the freeway, so that must mean we are going to see Bridge of the Gods and the Bonneville Dam driveby first, and then on the way back, stopping off to see the falls as i had planned. So here we go up the freeway, and that’s when i saw the giant Rainbow! It was so bright! I was very happy to see it. So then i went by Bonneville, and i couldn’t see much as i drove by on the freeway. I kept going north, because i wanted to see this thing i saw on the map that they called the Bridge of the Gods. So i drove up to Cascade Locks on the freeway and followed the Bridge of the Gods signs until i found the so called bridge of the gods that you have to pay a dollar to drive over to Washington State. But first, just before the Bridge of the Gods, there is a trailhead parking lot for the bridge of the Gods. So i went in there, and i found out there are hiking trails in that area. So i thought, hmm this is also where the Pacific Crest trail is, and also it goes to the EAgle Creek trail i read about online. Well, it must be for us to go on a hike in the future, because i already had figured out my plans for the day. So i left there, and went and drove across the bridge of the Gods, a bridge that goes from Oregon to Washington. I looked around over on the Washington side, and i saw that this was just a normal type of bridge. So, i was like , what? Then , i realized, the reason i came over here is because today i was going to go on the Eagle Creek hike i read about at the Bridge of the Gods trailhead! Very cool! Because this was said to be a 12 mile roundtrip hike along the Gorge and had several waterfalls, including Punchbowl Falls, upper and lower, also some others. That meant that this hike was going to take all day, and i wouldn’t get back til dark, and that meant that i was going to get to stay another night in the campground! It was a very happy moment for me when i figured out what we were doing. Because i thought we were heading back home today instead. So i went back across the bridge and gave that lady another dollar. Then , i went to the trailhead. And it is another of my many blessings that i have been given so many one dollar bills. Because they come in so handy sometimes. Like going across the bridge, and also, paying the fee to go on the hike and even taking showers for two dollars. So i went back to the parking lot and got ready for the hike. This time i only took 5 apples and one pound of almonds and 1.5 liter of water. But it was drizzly and rainy, and i didn’t know whether it might rain or it might even downpour, so i wore my jacket and my sweatshirt, and carried dry shirts and socks too. Just in case. Then i headed out the trail at about 10:17am. And i had the perfect time, because i calculated my time to go round trip would be exactly perfect to get back at dark. So i headed up the trail, and then i began thinking about the Pacific Crest Trail, and how i was walking on it, a little bit. It was very fun. I followed the signs, and went up the road, and found the signs and started heading up into the woods. However, the names on the signs were not the names i was looking for. I wanted to go to Eagle Creek 440 trail, and this was not it. Why not? Before i went too far into the woods, i began to think , why was this. I followed the trail and the signs from the trailhead all the way, so this had to be right. Or was it? Then i figured out, the trail goes two directions. North, and south. I went south instead. So when i figured this out, i turned around, and headed back. No problem. I only used about half an hour doing that. I still had plenty of time. But now i figured out that today, we were going to be doing something a little different.
Usually Mother tells me not to rush on the trail. But today i understood that i was going to do what i learned about before. Which is hurrying without rushing. What i was going to do was move quickly without rushing to the turnaround tree, then once there, i could walk slowly back and take my time. OK. Today my backpack was feeling better already. I only had 5 apples, and i ate one right away, so i didn’t have to carry so many. I finally found the trail going to the north, and it actually took me over to the Cascade Locks Trailhead, another hike to go on. It also is the State Trail to EAgle Creek, which is the one i wanted. Finally, about 11am i found the right trail, and it was flat and paved, and i felt like i was taking the freeway to Eagle Creek. After hiking up steep rugged trails the past few days, this flat ground was really nice for walking on. Except i prefer dirt trails to pavement. I was just cruising over to Eagle Creek. That trail takes you by Ruckle Creek and some pretty scenery. It also takes you through a tunnel that goes all the way under I84 freeway. I got over to Eagle Creek, then i realized i could also have taken the Gorge 400 Trail and gotten there. Eagle Creek is a very pretty setting, right alongside the creek. Which to me is more like a river. I saw a lot of birds, colored singing birds and ducks too. And also, on this hike i saw a lot of flowers. I got to the trailhead at EAgle Creek and looked at their map. I saw the trail goes some 14 miles or more, much farther than i can go. But, also saw that 6 miles up the trail is Tunnel Falls, which has a tunnel that you can walk behind the falls. So i thought, this is it, this is the falls i have been looking for, the ones you can walk behind. So knew then i was going to go another six miles up this trail to Tunnel Falls and turn around. The only way i can do so is if i go quickly without rushing. But this hike had many rewards – Punch Bowl falls and several other falls on the way. So i was happy again. Now this Eagle creek trail is rated Easy, which is a lot easier than Wahkeena or Angels Rest. Now i began to appreciate all those tough hikes i went on previously. Now i feel like going up Eagle Creek is like going for a walk in the park. Very cool feeling! And i had to move quickly, because according to my calculations, my plans had changed, and now, if i went quickly then i would walk back the last hour in the dark. Which would be OK, because it would be the paved trail going back. So no problem. Suddenly, i found out i was in the middle of a 17 mile hike. But it had Tunnel Falls as the turnaround tree, so i was very game. So i took off up the trail, and it is very stunning. Spectacular. It’s so amazing. I can’t describe the feeling when you are walking through the forest, and you come around a corner, and suddenly, boom, right there in front of you is a 150 foot tall waterfall! It’s amazing. It’s so beautiful there. I also learned another thing from my hike on Monday going up to Angels Rest. And that is, God told me, take pictures mostly on the second half of the hike, on the way home. Otherwise, i will use up my batteries and not be able to take pictures of everything, as i did on Monday. So i took pictures sparingly on the first half, in order to have batteries left over at the end. Monday i was trying to video a bluejay walking in the trail, when right behind the bluejay a small bunny hopped across the trail. It was so cool, and my batteries were out. Anyway, i started booking out Eagle Creek trail, realizing i was going to walk back slow, and take my time. I was only hurrying to the turnaround point. Well, it’s a stunning hike, i highly recommend it. My second favorite hike. Its very wonderful. There are a few places the trail is only a few inches wide, on the edge of a cliff. But fortunately, they put a handrail there, so you can hang on for dear life. Because if you let go, it’s hundreds of feet over the edge of the cliff. That made me think , Jesus is our Handrail on the straight and narrow way. If we hang on to His Hand, He will never let us go. It is such a beautiful hike. I was going along, and there was a field of wild flowers. I looked at them. Some were bright yellow, some were purple. Some were white and yellow, some were white and red mixed together. The flowers are all different colors of the Rainbow , and combinations of the colors. Nature is very beautiful and diverse. Moving along the hike quickly was easy on this trail, and i just kept going. I got to the halfway point just as i calculated, about twenty minutes late. No problem. I don’t mind walking in the dark. I actually kind of like it. I saw the most beautiful scenery, the river, the waterfalls, birds, ducks, some kind of hawk or falcon, beautiful places to go camping, way out in the wilderness area, it is so amazing. Again, the scenery was just stunning to me. I never knew these places existed, or i would have come here before. Earth Mother said to me that i didn’t have anyone to tell me about these beautiful places. So She said that’s why She told me about them. She said I loved nature and the animals so much that She knew i was going to really love these hikes, and She was very excited to show them to me. I am very grateful She did. I am so grateful She invited me, and She even went with me there. It is so very wonderful.
On this hike, i had a few hours to think, which hiking helps me do. It seems walking quickly helps me think better. Otherwise, my mind is absorbed by looking at the things around me. I began to understand some things better, while other things still seem a complete mystery to me. Like, why Portland isn’t called Babylon, is a mystery to me. Because it has all the same things, sexual immorality, drug use, violence, hatred towards one another. And then i thought, all my brothers are exactly the same, in some respects. For example, all colors of all my friends like to party and partake, and chase women and try to score etc. Not all of them, but many. All my brothers, no matter what the color have given in to the sins of the flesh. And, all my brothers, no matter what color, they also dislike working, and mean bosses, and jerks. In many ways, we are all exactly alike. Then i began to better understand Satan’s attack on Holy Matrimony, and everything good that God has created. No matter what God has given us that is good, Satan turns it into something dirty and nasty. All the men going around lusting after all the women who are dressing to make men lust after them. I went to Portland, and it reminded me of when i was on the dairy farm and all the cows hung out. Satan takes God’s Procreation act and turns it into homosexuality. That’s why, when we see a homosexual, an abomination, standing in the holy place, that is an abomination desolation. It makes sense to me. I began to understand a little better. Lately i have been giving thought to the scripture statements As it was in the days of Noe, thats what it will be. That could mean a lot of things. Floods, tsunamis, great disaster, etc. But to me, the main theme of the story of Noah is that the world was destroyed because of sin. And many people were also destroyed, and only a few were saved. Another thought i had – along with not outsourcing your banking, and your security, i do not recommend outsourcing your childcare, nor your child’s education. After all, isn’t what goes into your child’s head just as important as what food they put also into their head? I thought of the old days and the ancient native americans who lived in the Columbia Gorge, hundreds of years ago. And they had families, they believed in marriage, they believed in God, yea, they were a Godly people. What it must have been like , to live in a village near the Columbia, with your children running around playing. I bet they never left their mother’s eye sight. Just like a hen and chicks, mothers never separate from their babies in the natural world. And so it must have been a wonder, to live in a place like that, with plenty of food and a beautiful garden to live in.
When i was on the Angels Rest hike, i had pondered about the almonds, and i imagined that they were magic beans, that give me energy and make me live. Then i asked God if it is OK because i’m always drinking so much coffee. And God said Yes, God made coffee too. And God said, Coffee is a different kind of magic bean that gives me energy. Earth MOther, who is the HOly Spirit did also tell me that She has been preparing me for some time.
Also during my trip, i thought about all the many things that had to happen for me to be able to go on this trip and these beautiful hikes. Which are i had to be freed from my old motel job, to be able to have the time and money for one thing. My old boss tracked me down at my new job, and came asking me to work for him on my days off to fix his phone system. Now i just got three days off, and i don’t want to spend them working. Then my Mother said to me, Would i trade my day off with Her for money? And i said no, no amount of money would i trade rather than spending a day with Her. Other than the days i have to work, because there is no amount of money that is even worth that. Neither do i want any more money. I already have enough. God has already provided me enough, so that i don’t have to work any more days. Also, my vehicle had to be fixed, the days off, the money available. So i thought of all the blessings that i have received, just to make this vacation hiking trip possible. I am very thankful. These were some things i thought about on my hike. However, there was more also. And i hadn’t even reached Tunnel Falls yet, which is the Turnaround Tree for todays hike.