Warren Creek · Starvation Ridge Trail #414 · Columbia River Gorge · Cascade Locks · Oregon · USA
After a busy Thanksgiving and following weekend on call I found myself certifiably (stir) crazy and starved for anything that didn't involve sitting in front of a computer, talking on the phone, or faxing documents hither and yon. Plans for an early-morning hike were thwarted by a 5am work-related call, so I slept in a bit and then headed out for a trusty cold-season conditioning romp around the Lower Starvation Loop Trail. In less than three miles you traipse past four prominent waterfalls while gaining over a 1,000 cumulative feet of elevation with vertiginous views east and west down the Columbia River Gorge. An unprecedentedly early cold snap (at least in my lifetime experience in these parts) brought a good coating of ice and snow to the Gorge and rather bemusing if inarguably pathetic anticipatory panic to the local news-watching citizens of my dear town of Portland, Oregon. Chaos and terror ran roughshod over the area, but we are a proud and resilient people. In any case, only a few patches of frozen goodness remained as the mercury crept closer to normal for this time of year, and I'm thankful for that--I just don't do cold weather all that gracefully. The partially thawed-out waterfalls looked a bit ragged as a result, but I was in it more for the fresh air, exercise, and absence of walls rather than the photos on this day...though I did enjoy this intimate little scene after a mildly sketchy crossing of Warren Creek.
Tula, one. Portland Snowpocalypse 2014, zero.