After nearly killing myself the past few weeks at home getting things in order for my CDT hike, I decided it was time to take an overnight trip to test out my gear kit and knock the rust off my joints.
I met up with “Tomato” and “Sweet Potatoe” at 9 am on Wed and we enjoyed a few peanut butter and jelly donuts and then started the long drive out to shuttle cars around for the hike. After a few wrong turns, we finally made it to Harms road to stash a car at the end and descend back down to the mouth of the Klickitat River to start our hike.
At the crack of 12:30 we finally set off. For Tomato and I this trail is nostalgic, two years ago the two of us plus our good friend “Snorkel” pioneered the Chinook Trail a 300-mile route through the Columbia River Gorge, one of the on trail sections was the Klickitat and we were excited to see it in a different season. For Karluk this one as his next section to connect on the Washington side since he left us at Bingen and has since been working to section hike the sections he missed.
The three of us plus Sweet Potatoe’s dog Rodney started up the trail. The first thing we noticed. Was how high the Klickitat was all the recent rain it was pushing high up its banks. The trail also has waterfalls cascading down the walls, wildflowers were Blooming and the overcast sky kept things just cool enough to leave on a wind shirt.
We enjoyed working our way up the rail bed towards the town of Klickitat. We stopped along the way to let the dogs drink from fresh streams and eat a few snacks. We made it into town around 4:15, not bad considering it was 15 miles or so from where we had started. We immediately headed to the Canyon Market a little small town American mini-mart with VHS tapes you can still rent, a mini grocery and the warm case of food to fill any hikers belly. We got some highly processed chicken products I opted for the last chicken patty sandwich in the rack. It was about as industrial as a sandwich could be even down to the bun, I ate it nonetheless and washed it down with an ice cold Coke. Now, this is why I love the Canyon Market, as we sat out front the guy who worked the store saw our dogs and came out with a big bowl of water for the two of them, I mean such great service considering my total bill was about $6.
After grabbing and few snacks for tomorrow we headed not far out of town towards the Icehouse. Now the Icehouse is a weird campground and the decrepit old building and proximity to the highway make it something right out of a horror movie. The site is where a natural carbon dioxide spring bubbles up the water and CO2 were harnessed for years to make dry ice. When the factory finally closed they made the area a boat launch and campground but left the creepy old building.
Now we are settled in our tents out here by the river, the fishermen in the campsite next to us have music playing and fire. Karluk is curled up on the end of my Neo air and we have settled into our tents to escape the gentle rain that has started and get some well-needed rest.
So far my gear seems dialed in for the CDT and I am counting down the 22 days until I leave like a kid pulling the doors off an advent calendar waiting for Christmas to come.