Well, We Made that Harder Than it Had to Be…

Last I left off on yesterday’s post, I’d done a quickie workout of weights at the gym before my boyfriend and I were going to drive out to the Gorge. Had I known how my day was GOING to pan out, I would have skipped the gym…

Michael and I started our sunny Saturday with a wine tasting in Hood River. I had a Groupon for a tasting for two that included a meat and cheese plate at one of our favorite wineries in the gorge. It was a lovely drive out the Gorge and every hiking spot we passed was full. It seemed that everyone in Portland had the same idea as us. We arrived at Cathedral Ridge Winery and it was hopping.

Our tasting was good but felt rushed. It was busy and noisy and rather difficult to enjoy the tasting but the wine was good and we ended up leaving with a bottle. We tried the Halbtrocken (tasted like candy and strawberries), the Necessity Red (supposed to taste like a Jolly Rancher but it wasn’t overly sweet), Bordheaux Red (dirty, strong and bold), the Cabernet Sauvignon (tasted like berries) and the Syrah (tasted like leather, pepper and black licorice).

We sat outside in the sun for a bit before heading over to one more winery to do a tasting. This time we went to Marchesi Vineyards. It was one we had never been to before and I really liked it a lot. The place was quiet and inviting and while it was crowded, it was bigger so people weren’t feeling cramped in like sheep.

The staff at Marchesi was super friendly and fun too. They gave us a complimentary meat and cheese plate as well. They even cut the salami right in front of us with a huge meat slicer.

Marchesi was a different kind of winery, using Italian varietals that reminded the owner of his home in Italy.

Michael and I both loved the first two wines we tried at Marchesi. I ended up buying a bottle of the Pinot Grigio because I loved it so much. The Pinot Grigio was a crisp, cool white that tasted like peaches and honey. The other wine we both loved was the Dolcetto–a fruity red wine. I also liked that Marchesi was much more generous with their pours than Cathedral Ridge.

After chilling out for a bit, we headed back to Cascade Locks to go on the hike we planned on doing. It was Dry Creek Falls Hike (trailhead directions here). It was supposed to be a moderate hike with a beautiful waterfall as the payoff. I wrote down the directions for the hike and thought we were good.

It was a hot day and we brought four water bottles with us (probably not enough). The trail is part of the Pacific Crest Trail. It started at the Bridge of the Gods and wound through old growth forest on soft, easy to walk on trail.

The trail ended and we were supposed to take a dirt road up a hill and then pick up the trail on an old road following the powerlines.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t a distance associated with the old road following the powerlines. The instructions said the trail would be easy to find but somehow we missed it. We were walking up and down, up and down those super steep roads following the powerlines, eventually finding ourselves way off the trail.

The hills were steep and I knew I’d feel that hike in my calves the next day (which I did! And still feeling! Ouch!). We were so far from the trail that we felt discouraged. Three out of the four water bottles had been drunk and we were the only ones out there on the hills that seemed to go on forever. Michael was teasing me that it was too early to switch into “survival mode” when I mentioned that I was glad I had my water purifying tablets in my backpack just incase. I was just so thirsty and my mouth was parched, which made it hard to swallow.

When we found ourselves on a dirt road that looked like a giant pickup truck had driven through there, with empty Milwaukee’s Best cans scattered in the weeds and I was humming the banjo music from Deliverance, I decided we were giving up on the hike and going back. Where the hell had we missed the trail?

It was hot but the sun was starting to cool a bit and it wasn’t as hot and sweaty as we made our way back to the main trail. We kept our eyes open for this elusive trail and *maybe* found it? Not sure, we decided to head back to the car.

We most definitely went at least a mile or two out of our way on the trail and never did see the beautiful waterfalls. If you want to see what this hike SHOULD have looked like, check out this guy’s hike report. Oh well, next time perhaps. I had no intention of doing such a long, strenuous hike–especially since I’d done a workout that morning. In my mind, I thought we would do a leisurely hour long hike and call it good. Boy did we make the whole thing harder than it had to be!

Hike Stats:
Time: 2:06
Calories Burned: 867 (but 1379 total burned for the day) 
Mileage: God Only Knows!

We drove back to Portland and looked for somewhere to eat dinner. We we both exhausted, sweaty and ready to eat all of the food in the world. Since everyone in Portland seemed to be out, all the restaurants we tried to go to were packed full. We ended up settling on the Bridgeport Alehouse on SE Hawthorne. It wasn’t as crowded and we got a seat outside immediately!

Michael and I enjoyed a Hop Czar Imperial IPA with a lovely frothy topping as the sun began to set over Hawthorne. A nice, cool breeze picked up and made the evening much more comfortable.

Michael ordered the burger. He said it wasn’t that good. He ordered it medium and it came well-done (which is often how it comes in restaurants, unfortunately) and the spicy mustard it was supposed to come with wasn’t on it.

I ordered the pulled pork sandwich. I was craving a sandwich but nothing on the menu appealed to me for some reason. I guess I was just in that “I’m too hungry to make a decision” zone. I’ll be honest: the pulled pork sandwich was WEIRD. Instead of BBQ sauce it came with a sweet, tangy Asian sauce and slaw on top. The flavors were really, really bizarre. But I’ll admit, I started to warm up to it’s strangeness as I continued to eat.

I’m disappointed that our hike was a bust and we didn’t get to see the waterfalls. I’d do the hike again with more detailed instructions, but maybe not for awhile. I’m a little bitter right now. 🙂 All in all, it was a fantastic day with intense fitness, good wine and a fulfilling dinner. Here’s to summer! Cheers!

QUESTION: What is your worst hiking experience?

14 Responses

    1. Probably! I was disappointed that we never found the right trail or saw the waterfalls. I’m also glad that we didn’t get too turned around and found our way back.

  1. Sounds familiar. My husband and I grew up in small town with lots of forests and hiking trails on one side and the ocean on the other. I had been to this one waterfall a lot as a kid, but never as an adult, so I got the idea that we should hike to it before we moved to the city. Everything started off fine, till it started raining and we took the wrong trail. We ended up hiking for hours and came out the other side of the trail unto the freeway. We had to finish walking into town, soaked to the bone and exhausted, to call a friend and have them give us a ride to our car. We never did get to see the waterfall again either.

    The wine tasting sounds like fun though, I have always wanted to do wine tasting!
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    1. Oh no! That definitely sounds worse than my experience this weekend. At least this weekend I knew that I could just back track the way we came.

      Glad your story ended somewhat well, even if you didn’t get to see the waterfall. Wine tasting is really fun and usually fairly cheap.

  2. My worst hiking experience – convinced my sister and her then boyfriend to go hiking with me. We parked one car at a nature center at the bottom of the mountain, and drove the other car to the National Park where the trail head was. The trail was supposed to go down the mountain and end up at the Nature Center and took a little less than 2 hours. Somewhere along the way we got off the trail and ended up hiking along the edge of the mountain, until we were at the back of the mountain near a college. Being somewhat familiar with the mountain, we knew if we walked out to the main road we could walk back to the car at the park. So we walked, and walked and walked. We had no water and no snacks, but my sister had enough money to buy a soda out of a machine at a closed gas station. So she bought a can of DIET COKE for us all to share!! I was so irritated with her – we needed something with sugar!! Finally we got back to our car, 4 hours later, drove to the bottom of the mountain and got the other car out as they were closing the gates to the nature center.

    My other bad experience involves hiking in the dark, so I hike with a flashlight regardless of where I am or the time of day.
    Your trip sounds like it was fun!

    1. Wow, that would definitely be considered a bad hiking experience. In general I carry a backpack with a few protein bars and granola bars in it. I have most of the hiking essentials–water tablets, compass, matches, etc etc. One thing I don’t have is a flashlight. That’s a good reminder that I need to pack that in my bag.

      And yes, a REGULAR coke would have been much better for you guys!

  3. Well, I wanted to get to Huachuca Peak, but took a trail that the arrow was pointing down. It became really steep and then the trail ended. Still being young my buddy and I blazed our own trail until it peak and then we decided to just hike back along a creekbed it was fun but very disappointing.
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    1. You’re definitely brave! I am usually reluctant to go off trail much (as illustrated in my experience on Saturday). But if I had a GPS system I might be more willing to give it a try.

  4. I went to Sauvie Island last summer with a friend and we couldn’t find the trail head. We started down the beach figuring we would run into it at some point but never did. We ended up hiking on the beach/ wading in the Columbia River, for 2-3 miles. Then had to climb through some blackberries before we found the trail! We took the trail back to the car. It was quite the adventure and fun in retrospect 🙂

    1. That is definitely not a great hiking story but I’m glad you can laugh about it after the fact. I still haven’t spent much time on Sauvie’s Island. It’s on my list. Although, I’ll skip wading through the river. 🙂

  5. I haven’t had a bad hike experience as I have only been on a couple LOL! It is scary to get almost lost, though. Not really lost, but thinking you could get lost.

    I don’t mind coleslaw on my BBQ, because this is kind of standard, but if you are serving me BBQ – it better be southern style! 😀
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