Monday, July 20, 2009

Gillette Lake

We got in a really good leg stretcher today.  The Pacific Crest Trail passes near here.  We decided to hike north along the PCT beginning on the Washington side of the Columbia River.  We drove east on I-84 about 30 miles to the Cascade Locks.  We crossed into Washington on the Bridge of the Gods to find our trailhead just to the left of the bridge.

This was a moderate hike starting out by heading west and following the road for about 3/4 mile before turning north and heading deeper into the forest.  We rolled gently along the side of the mountain for 3.5 miles, finally reaching the beautiful little Gillette Lake.

We had brought our sandwiches and had our lunch on the bank of the lake, but we could have caught our lunch if we’d brought fishing equipment.  Instead, we were entertained by the jumping fish who were catching their lunch of bugs just above the surface of the water.
Mountain above Gillette
Our quiet reverie was interrupted by a family group of 9 who came down to swim in the lake.  Who would have thought grandma, grandpa, mom, dad, aunt, uncle, and 3 children would have hiked 5 miles for a quick dip in the lake?  Why weren’t they at the hotel pool?  Actually, it was good to see a complete family on an outing together.  It is increasingly rare these days.  We took turns following each other back to where they turned down another trail to their car.  A little noisy, but a delight never the less.

Home now and having had showers, we are now planning a relaxing evening in air conditioned comfort.  It is hot today (in the low 90s) with a forecast of steadily warmer days until we reach 100 degrees by the weekend.

We have a short trip to Vancouver, Washington planned for tomorrow.  We’ll have to go early to try to beat the heat.

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