Jacob Leistra / "Game Boy" / PCT 2019

Day 104: Bridge of the Gods (Into Washington)

Mile 2147.1 -> Mile 2182.6

I had a miserable night’s rest at the Marine Campground in Cascade Locks. In addition to the many trains loudly going by at all hours of the night, the rain continued into the late night and was followed by buffeting wind. It was like being caught in the intro of the Wizard of Oz except I never got taken away from Kansas. The ground was packed so hard I couldn’t stake out my tarp well enough, and the stakes were ripped from the ground several times in the night. I had to crawl under my leaning/lopsided tarp, shove the stakes back in with all my might (read: not much), and hope for the best. Even after I finally got the stakes in for good, the wind cycloned around me and made my tarp walls function like a subwoofer.

But that was no big deal, because I’m heading into Washington today! The anticipation was making me giddy. I got a hot latte and packed up all my stuff and left Cascade Locks around 8 AM. A late start, but I wasn’t planning on doing much more than 30 miles.

I got to the Bridge of the Gods, a large bridge for cars to cross from Washington and Oregon over the Columbia River. The PCT goes right over top of it, so as I was walking across drivers were waving at me or impatiently swerving around me.

After a brief walk into Washington, it was time to go up. Unfortunately, all the elevation gain was paired with yesterday’s foggy, gloomy weather. I was pretty bummed to not see anything for all the of morning.

Around 1 PM the sun startrd shining through as I was descending into hills and mountainsides near Carson. The terrain was pretty familiar with one exception: I kept passing by old growth trees. These trees were sometimes massive, sometimes slender, but always with tons of character. Often times there was years of miss hanging from the bark and branches. Often they were surrounded by ancient looking ferns. It was a trippy but awesome sight. I felt like I was walking through Isla Nublar from Jurassic Park. The trees and foliage were so historic.

My legs (namely shin and feet) we’re feeling great so I decided to push to a good campsite before another big climb. And what did I see when I got there? The whole campsite is surrounded by those old growth trees. So cool.

Main Photo: The Bridge of the Gods on August 22.