A Scrubby Hot Hike Past Gillette Lake
Sunday I looked for a new hike at a reasonable distance. I found the Bonneville trailhead on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge, just two miles west of the Bridge of the Gods. A half mile spur trail connects people to the Pacific Crest Trail. Then you can pretend you are hiking with the serious thru hikers. I only went a few miles, through an atypical landscape, partly denuded from logging, and partly from power lines. The trail gains little elevation, but the heat made me sweat. After crossing beneath the power lines, the trail drops near Gillette Lake, and then climbs a bit more, heading into the forest, hopping a beautiful creek and skirting a small pond after going through an open area infested with poison oak (I caught a little on my calf, but I’ll survive). In the end, I stopped at a great viewpoint where someone had made a little bench of stone. The trail continued toward Table Mountain and other viewpoints, but I did not feel like adding many more miles to my day. This was a good casual hike, although the power lines and dirt road crossings made it less than pristine. Still, that lake water definitely looked inviting, so it was no surprise that it seemed to be the main destination in the area, for both camping and swimming. This is not on the ever changing top ten list of favorite hikes, but it made for a worthy afternoon.