Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Finding our sea legs again

At the trailhead
It is always a challenge to try and stay camino ready. Life tends to get in the way of the best laid plans for  good nutrition and exercise. But, as always, the lure of another camino helps to recapture our resolve to get our minds and bodies ready for another walk. This coming January we will be returning to the Basque Country, Euskadi, to walk the Camino Vasco from Irun to Santo Domingo. This is a short camino of about 8 days. We then are hoping to move on to Porto and walk the Portuguese Camino as well. There are always many options but these two shorter routes seem right for us at this point. So, God willing, we will be getting underway mid January and should be away for about a month. Weather is always an issue when walking in the winter especially in the Basque mountains, but we will be cautious, and roads can be walked when passes are not open. So, now Robin and I must dust off our fitness goals and get ready to face the new year in fine camino trim. To that end we already have been doing some hiking in the local mountains. Today, was another exceptionally fine early fall day and we decided to challenge ourselves with a difficult hike in the Columbia River Gorge, Dog Mountain. This is a great training hike which we have done before. It is a steep climb all the way up to the summit at 2800 feet. What makes it particularly exhausting is that it is accomplished in 3.5 miles. It took us 2 hours to reach the summit, and then after a quick lunch break, another 1.5 hours to descend. We were pretty tired but the gorgeous weather and cool temperatures made for a perfect day in the Gorge. But, I'll let you be the judge. Have a look.

The steeper trail is to the left. Guess where we went.

Looking back early on

The one reasonably flat spot on the whole mountain

Columbia River

Robin pushing towards the summit


Mt. Hood beyond the ridge

Summit lunch break spot

View from the top

Robin holding onto her hat (25 mph wind)

Call a taxi!

Trail heading down

Mind your step

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