Day 2

Woke up around 8 or 9, headed out for some breakfast at Stepping Stone Café. We split a full (3) stack of 13″ man-cakes with strawberries. Kate ate 1/2 of one, I had about 1/2 of my two. Truly lost to the man-cakes. Huge.

Planned to go to Mr. St. Helens or Mt. Hood or anywhere in that direction. We basically drove way too far, past the Columbia River Gorge. So, we turned around, Pete gave us some directions, we found an oasis-Starbucks, and continued our adventure. We got sidetracked at a damn, and saw a fish ladder. Fascinating. We then made it our “actual” destination: hiking up Eagle Creek to Punchbowl Falls. A 2-mile hike way way (4 total miles). Checked out Multanoma falls, then finally made it to the hotel around 8pm. It was too late for a fancy Chinese meal, so Panda Express hit the spot. Time to rest up for shopping!

Today is the day we become one with the crunchy granola! The day started at the Stepping Stone Café—an unassuming little café that hides a big surprise…MANCAKES! We ordered a full stack between the two of us, but probably only finished one full cake. The staff was wonderful and offered suggestions on local sights. Leaving Stepping Stone (10 pounds heavier) I spied a puppy across the street. While saying hello, her mommy came out and chatted with us, suggesting further hiking sites. And then…we were off!

The weather seemed a bit gloomy but soon cleared up as we drove 3,000 miles out of our way in search of the mysterious “gorge.” Happily, our becoming lost lead us to “Panoramic Point,” a beautiful outlook with Mt. Hood in the distance. We also checked out the fish ladder at the Bonneville Dam. It was actually very interesting…but still not the elusive gorge! Thankfully, Pete—from HP homebase—was able to provide us with directions to our destination: Eagle Creak and, finally, the gorge!

Clearly, neither of us are hiking machines, but, when in Rome… We set off with the intention of finding Punch Bowl Falls and met several doggies and people along the way, including one man who informed us of the tiny wild strawberries—YUM! They did not taste like warm boogers at all. After approximately 1 million years, we finally saw a sign: “Punch Bowl Falls 1/2”. Now, we had learned from Mt. Hood that sins in Oregon are not very specific when it comes to numbers…half a mile, half way there, who knows?! When we did finally arrive, I was so excited I took my sneakers off and waded into the pool…FREEZING! But, once I lost feeling in my feet, I enjoyed the view while Pum stood ready to snap a photo should I have fallen on my butt.

On our hike back we depleted our water supply. Luckily, watching a lot of Discovery Channel paid off and we did not have to drink Pumice’s pee. A little spring of fast moving water—just like Bear says—filled us back up. I am Weezle Grylls.