Ruckel Creek Trail will Test You!
Last week was rainy so we postponed this hike until today. When I woke up, it was clear and very cold (below freezing). So we thought this would be a good day to tackle it.
We drove up the gorge on Hwy 14, crossed the river at Bridge of the Gods, then headed west on I-84. We took the exit for Bonneville Dam, then crossed under the freeway and went East on I-84 one exit to Eagle Creek. Once there, we parked, got our stuff together, and headed up the roadway on the east side of the parking lot.
Ruckel Creek Trail
Very soon, we found a sign that pointed the way to Ruckel Creek Trail. We found the Ruckel Creek Trailhead at a spot where a the creek crossed under the paved trail. Stopping for a few minutes, we admired the ice formations around the various rapids, then headed up the hill.
In a very short time, the test of strength and endurance began in earnest. I thought this time for certain, I would be able to hike without holding back my son. But soon, I was stopping for short rests and he was patiently waiting for me.
Columbia River From Ruckle Creek Trail
There were some great views of the Columbia River Gorge below, including Bonneville Dam to the left and Cascade Locks with the Bridge of the Gods on the right. Across the river was a great view of Table Mountain. It looked awesome with all the snow and ice on it
As we continued to climb, we got into more and more snow and ice. The temperature throughout the day continued to be below freezing. When the trail finally leveled off, we stopped to eat our lunch. I heated some water and Aaron and I enjoyed the traditional Starbuck’s Via ™. From this viewpoint, we could see the top of Mt Hood. All around were snow-covered hills. Oak trees were bare of leaves, but had moss and snow on them.
Growing from the Ground
On the way back down, I quickly found out that my shoes were not for snow! Maybe they worked ok at one time, but the bottoms were pretty much worn smooth and I lost my footing several times. It took awhile to get back to where the trail was mostly dirt. Now we are home and I am thinking about warmer weather and new shoes for Ruckel Creek Trail