Hike Distance: 7.4 miles Yearly Hike Distance: 1576.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 638 feet Yearly Elevation Gain: 205911 feet
A cooler day that turned down right cold due to heavy winds! I was prepared for this weather but some of the strong gusts still are unexpected. Knowing there would be heavy winds today I came here to avoid having the possibility of trees and/or branches falling on me!
The heavy winds sure kept away all the people, save for a few odd people like me. haha I met a previous year PCT Thru-Hiker named “Breakpoint” and we struck up some wonderful conversation. 🙂 I thoroughly enjoyed meeting up with another serious hiker and sharing stories of our adventures.
Cottonwood Beach was empty, and the wind was tame due to the Cottonwood trees providing a break. The sun was strong, overhead, and I enjoy taking photos of the sparkling reflection in the Columbia River. There were also plenty of birds on the east side of Cottonwood Beach.
I next headed out east along the entirety of the Columbia River Dike, into Steigerwald NWR land. The wind was brutal on the dike, and hiking east was like fighting against a turbo-prop. I took quite a few breaks and enjoyed the solitude and putting my back to the wind.
The seasonal Gibbon Art trail was closed but I still went to the bridge that gives a superb view of Mt. Hood over Steigerwald Lake. Such beauty! There were also plenty of wintering birds in the lake, along with a few undesireable Nutria.
A great day, if you’re dressed properly!