Once we return from a camino there is always that period where we just don’t want to do anything other than rest. A little recovery is fine and well earned, but as the days slip by it is all too easy to shift more into city life and lose the conditioning that you worked so hard to acquire. Yes, a trip or two to the gym helps and there are always neighborhood walks that get you out of the house and back on your feet. All these are things that have become more or less routine. However, as we are blessed to live in the Pacific Northwest with an abundance of nearby hiking trails it seems a shame not to make use of them.
On our last pilgrimage we met a Basque fellow who exemplifies this kind of commitment to local hiking trails. He walks almost every day along one trail or another just to be out and enjoying the beautiful countryside. I thought this is something that I should also do. We live nearby the Columbia River Gorge which is replete with trails both on the Washington and Oregon side of the river. There is plenty of opportunity for elevation gain (strengthen those legs), and grin spreading vistas. So I have resolved to do more training in the nearby mountains and enjoy the view as well. One thing I have discovered is that there are numerous hiking trail websites that list all the details of hikes in the Gorge. Armed with a senior discount access pass (one time 20 USD charge) I now have lifetime free entry into all federally managed lands. So now I have no excuses for not “hitting the trail.” A popular hike on the Washington side is Dog Mountain. This a short (7 miles roundtrip), but steep climb that reminded me of the Hospitales route on the Camino Primitivo. This is a perfect camino training hike.
|Near the summit looking westward at the Columbia River|
Another less strenuous but still a great day hike is the hike up along Eagle Creek to the High Bridge Falls. There are many options with regard to trails in the Gorge as several trails interconnect so one can add more distance or elevation as time, strength and desire permit. More to come…
|Mind your step|