Sunday, August 05, 2018 – 10.70 miles
I walked down, down, down into Cascade Locks today.
The drop in elevation caused a sharp rise in temperature, and I started getting cranky because I was hot and sweaty and needed to pee but day hikers kept popping up everywhere.
Eventually I reached the trailhead and trailhead washrooms and saw the Bridge of the Gods, which crosses the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington. I’ve been feeling sentimental about crossing the bridge, like my hike is ending there. No girl, there’s like 500 miles more (my sentimentality is not requiring me to look up the exact distance).
I headed to the Port Marine RV park, which has a gorgeous camping area for PCT hikers. It overlooks the canal from which the town got its name; a canal and locks were built here to allow boats safe passage past dangerous river rapids that existed before the construction of Bonneville Dam downstream. Camping is only $5/night, which seems generous considering the location and the free showers that many other businesses along the PCT have charged for. A code is required to access the showers, which blast you with one solid stream of water with the force of a billion suns. They may not be the showers that hikers want, but they’re the showers we need.
After showering I immediately got sweaty again by walking in my rain clothes to the other RV park, which has laundry machines available for public use. I bought pop, which I never drink in normal life but will drink during long hikes. One of the most common refrains during conversations about hiker foods is ‘I never eat/drink this in normal life, but…’, featuring variations like ‘I haven’t eaten animal flesh in 15 years, but…’ and ‘I feel like I’m injecting diabetes straight into my veins, but…’.
For supper I went to the hot dog restaurant, which has a world map and U.S. map into which visitors can insert a pin to show where they’re from. Other people from Sasky have been here! Two people from Saskatoon and a spattering of people from elsewhere in Saskatchewan.