Last Friday before my aunt Arlene and Arneta came over at my place for girls night, they enjoyed their first Oregon hike. It was a beautiful day with gorgeous views. Two down, 48 more states to go!
Hike: Angel’s Rest (OR)
From our vantage point atop Angel’s Rest, the Columbia Gorge looked like a gentle waterway taking a slow right turn on its way to the Pacific Ocean. However, the making of this gorge must have been anything but gentle with the repeated cataclysmic floods at the end of the last Ice Age. I read somewhere that the floods unleashed from the melting ice dams released water flowing up to 65 miles per hour, carving out huge canyons and tossing gigantic boulders all along its path.
It was awfully nice to be viewing this “big geology” from a comfortable flat boulder on an unseasonably warm and calm late winter afternoon with the Gorge winds being the only reminder of the powerful forces of nature.
The Angel’s Rest Trail was well maintained, well used (we were able to get the last parking spot in the lot at the trailhead), and made for a well mannered 2.3 mile ascent to the top. A fire in the early 1990’s has opened up plenty of views from the trail, and made the landscape near the summit very grotesque and striking.
The trail itself provided pleasures of both the botanical and zoological kinds. Trilliums were blooming in abundance on the first mile of the trail, and bleeding hearts were just beginning to open. However, from the looks of the foliage on the trail, this hike will no doubt provide one magnificent floral show in a month or two.
As we were combing back down the trail, my eye caught a flash of bright green which seemed to move. Four garter snakes had come out from a nearby rock to harvest some solar power.
I will remember Angel’s Rest as a beautiful, gentle place in a very unusual part of the world. I will remember the hike as quiet, warm, and peaceful, ironically created from thundering waters of enormous destruction