Hike Distance: 9.0 miles Yearly Hike Distance: 1585.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 2058 feet Yearly Elevation Gain: 207969 feet
A fantastic day to reach, and exceed, 15,000 miles on my journey! I picked a particularly nice destination to reach this milestone; Beacon Rock State Park.
Gorgeous weather and very few people helped make this day extra special. I parked at the equestrian trailhead and headed up the road. I then reached an intersection, and headed onto the trail leading to the horse bridge. After reaching the horse bridge I crossed over and soon intersected the Upper Hardy Creek trail, and then turned right. Continuing on I turned left, just north of the Hardy Creek picnic area, which leads toward Hamilton Mt.
I only needed 5.5 miles to reach 15,000 miles, and this luckily happened while at the Hamilton Mt. Saddle. The views from the saddle are spectacular, and the Columbia River and Table Mt. were just a couple sights seen from this high elevation vantage point! I could also see the tip of Mt. Hood peeking above the mountains in Oregon! I stayed on the saddle for at least 20 minutes, enjoying the moment, and then hiked back down toward the Equestrian TH.
One interesting observation on this hike was the amount of frost heaving on the shaded west side of the park. The ground was cold, and the water formed crystals that lifted the dirt by some fraction of an inch. Walking on frost heaved soil is interesting in that each step causes a crunch, and your body sinks down by the amount the soil was lifted.