Dry Creek Falls hike

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?