Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Smokey Camp to Ruckel Creek Trailhead

Heather on the Benson Plateau

Descending into a creek bottom on the Benson Plateau

Starting the big descent on the Ruckel Creek Trail

Stopping to enjoy the view into the Gorge
On Monday we crossed the Benson Plateau and descended back down into the Columbia River Gorge via the Ruckel Creek Trail. It was cold in the morning, but clear and as we lost elevation, the temperature rose. Thank goodness there was a breeze or it would have been too hot for us!

The descent on this trail is crazy. It looses 3500' of elevation in about 4 miles. It was the most unrelenting downhill I believe I have ever hiked. And it was all the more challenging with a 35 lb pack. I can only imagine what it would be like to hike up!

While we survived the trail just fine (for me I am sure all the triathlon training I did this spring paid off!), I am sure none of us will ever hike that part again. I would instead just go in and out on the Eagle Creek Trail. My legs are still recovering from those last four miles. This might possibly be the sorest my legs have ever been!

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