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Friday, September 30, 2016

Blogger Meet up on Eagle Creek

2016 has been the year for blogger meet-ups.  In June and early July I had the pleasure of getting to know three blogger buddies, live and in person.  Then in late August, another duo I follow rolled into Portland for a visit.

 Meet Hans and Lisa from Metamorphosis Road.


Bloggers united!

Hans and Lisa live full time in their RV and travel the US, hiking and sampling the local brews (they're living the dream!).  I've followed their blog for some time now, so it was fun to finally connect.

Of course I took them on a hike!


Narrow ledge trail

When in Portland, there's one iconic place that everyone needs to experience - the Columbia River Gorge's Eagle Creek Trail.  It's so wildly popular the parking lot routinely fills up before noon.  To beat the crowds, I got Hans and Lisa up early one morning.


Dense woods

The early bird gets - empty trails!  The first two miles of our journey we had the place nearly to ourselves.


Rocky shore below Punch Bowl Falls

We followed the well-graded trail as it slowly climbed above lovely Eagle Creek, and passed by several tall basalt cliffs.  Moss and fern-draped trees lined our path, with sunlight struggling to break through the dense forest canopy.


Lovely Punchbowl Falls

The Eagle Creek Trail is known for its lovely waterfalls.  First, I showed my new friends the overlook to view Metlako Falls, shooting out the side of a far-away cliff.  Then I led them down a steep side trail to the rocky beach below picturesque Punchbowl Falls.


My "official" group photo

This is a gorgeous setting.  A large rocky beach leads hikers to a mossy grotto, where tall basalt cliffs frame this lovely little cascade. 


Colorful water reflections

Much photography ensued!  I even unfurled my tripod for some long exposure shots of the water.


More lovely green reflections

I really liked how the adjacent greenery reflected in Eagle Creek's waters.


These kids floated a log towards the falls

We met a group of young people hanging out on shore.  Despite the chilly morning temps, these kids stripped down to their swimsuits and waded into the water.  They found a log bobbing nearby and floated it towards the falls.  It was fun to watch their antics (oh, to be young again!)


Lisa enjoying the views

I could've hung out all morning at the beach below Punchbowl Falls.  But there was more good stuff to show my friends, so we climbed back out of the canyon and rejoined the main trail.


Bridge damage

Last December a strong winter storm damaged one of the bridges beyond Punchbowl Falls.  Rendered impassible by a fallen tree, the Forest Service closed the trail.  (You can see the intact bridge about a month before the damage in this post from last fall.)


Trail detour through the creek

But late summer meant low flow in the creek below, and an unofficial scramble trail had formed.  This rough path guided hikers around the closure.


Lovely light on the forest

So we continued on, past the broken bridge, through more thick forest.


More steep cliffy trail sections

Passing by more steep cliffs, the trail a narrow ledge blasted into the rock.


Lisa checking out the scenery below
Although the Eagle Creek Trail continues for six miles, reaching the amazing Tunnel Falls, we chose the High Bridge at 3.3 miles as our turnaround point.


Looking down from High Bridge

The High Bridge is named because it spans a deep slot-like canyon.  Eagle Creek burbles away far below, its banks hemmed in by high basalt cliffs.  We all enjoyed viewing the creek's waters from above.  Dappled sunlight made interesting patterns on the water's surface.


Interesting water patterns in Eagle Creek


Although I usually avoid the Gorge during summer months, I was surprised by the beauty, even though the vegetation looked a little dry (Yes, I'm spoiled - I'm used to seeing this trail during the wet seasons when everything is either in bloom or sporting fall colors)


Heading back across a talus slope

On our return trip, the closer my friends and I got to the trailhead, the more people we encountered traveling the opposite direction.  Past Punchbowl Falls, it turned into a regular conga line of hikers.  We arrived to an overflowing parking lot, with vehicles beginning to line the entrance road.  Time to get outta here - and find some liquid refreshment!


More steep drop-offs

We ended up at Thunder Island Brewery in nearby Cascade Locks.  Hans and Lisa are my kinda people - they like to hike and drink beer!


Time for liquid refreshment!

After attempting to capture a group photo by propping my camera on the adjacent table's napkin holder, we drafted our server into action.  He got this nice shot of us overlooking the Columbia River.  Great views and great brews - here's to a wonderful day with my new blogging friends.  Cheers!


Beers with a river view

I continue to be amazed how many wonderful people I've met through this awesome community of bloggers.  Safe travels, Hans and Lisa!  Hope we get to hike (and drink beer) again soon!


Follow Hans and Lisa's adventures on their blog, Metamorphosis Road.

Sharing with:  Through My Lens

26 comments:

  1. Linda, you have such a lovely smile and I really enjoyed this series, especially the waterfalls and seeing you smile in your last two photos. :)

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  2. Eagle Creek is awesome, although I've yet to hike it on a nice day like you had. Definitely an iconic hike and a perfect place to impress visitors from afar

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  3. I hiked that trail one year ago today! It was a wet run then too.

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  4. wow thank you for taking me to the such beautiful place and adventurous walks really enjoyed single moment here

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  5. Another beautiful part of your world...keep on sharing Oregon's beauty.

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  6. Have to agree.. I love your smile.
    Also love how you captured this wonderful adventure.

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  7. Hello, another great hike. It is so nice to meet up with your blogger friends. The waterfalls and hike look beautiful. Wonderful shot of you all with the river view. I would like a beer after a hike too. :) Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

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  8. I ecrtainly recognized that hike from one of your previous posts, and so nice to join with Hans and Lisa. I follow their blog too - what a life!

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  9. Great shots of a fun day! I'm so glad we actually got to meet up AND share our favorite past times...hiking and beer sampling!

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  10. That is a beautiful trail, and what fun to meet fellow bloggers!

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  11. Fico maravilhado com estas caminhadas por paisagens deslumbrantes.
    Um abraço e bom fim-de-semana.
    Andarilhar

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  12. Nothing wrong with taht hike, such superb scenery and spectacular photos

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  13. Oh what a beautiful hike. I need to bookmark this one. I hope I can get out there someday to hike with you.

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  14. Punchbowl Falls is beautiful. how nice to meet fellow bloggers.

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  15. What fun! It's wonderful to meet fellow bloggers. And you all visited an amazingly beautiful place!

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  16. How great that you got to hike together! Your pictures of Punchbowl Falls are spectacular!

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  17. I would definitely be clinging to that chain on the ledge! What fun to meet like-minded bloggers and enjoy such a gorgeous hike (and a brew). (Can't believe you're hiking with a tripod! However, your photos are wonderful.)

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  18. Looks a lovely trail with some exciting airy sections. Nice photos.

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  19. Nice day out! Lovely photos as always. We've been in the gorge a few days and saw a few falls. Maybe go back to one we missed. Or not. We're having dinner tomorrow with a couple blogger friends. Look forward to that. We should get together again soon. Happy night!

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  20. You really do get to some great places - I have only ever met one other blogger!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  21. Hopefully we can meet up someday!

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  22. It is always wonderful to meet blogger friends! It looks like you all had wonderful weather for your hike and refreshing beer at the end.

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  23. Hi! It's very nice to go a hike with blogger friends. Your photos are very beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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  24. How fun to meet with blog friends, and this trail looks like it is amazingly beautiful. I know they absolutely enjoyed this hike. Your shots are amazing as always Linda!

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  25. What a beautiful place to explore and it looks like you all had a fabulous time together

    Mollyxxx

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