Curiosity: forget “Cherchez la femme” (Look for the woman.) “Cherchez l’histoire.” (Look for the story.)
For the first time in over a year–the first time since the accident–we’re out on the boat. Taking it easy, we decided to come to Beacon Rock, only 25 miles up-river from Portland. When we arrived on Friday evening, there was a spot just the right size at the small dock in the state park.
Late the next morning, we headed for the Rock. Walking alongside the road from the campground, we came upon a group of Washington Trails Association volunteers all geared up to, as they said, put the “finishing touches” on a new trail from there to the Beacon Rock trail head. We were their first “customers”. The trail meandered a bit further than if we’d walked next to the highway but, of course, it was much more pleasant.
The story behind Beacon Rock was helpfully posted at the trail head. A little farther up we learned that someone named Charles Johnson helped with the construction. However, we had the feeling that more than just the two of them did all the work.
Ingeniously, most of the trail is on the west side of the Rock, so it’s not visible from the river below.
Only if you know that you’re looking for the zig-zag tracery of almost overlapping trails and short bridges can you perceive a section of the trail near the top.
When you get there, a sign announces what you’ve accomplished:
Having walked all the way up from the river, we did, indeed, traverse the 850-ft. elevation gain entirely on our own two feet. And from there we could see for miles and miles and miles.
The footing was a little trickier on the way down, but no problem. And we could keep an eye on the boat from up there.
It was an excellent workout–one that gave us a completely new perspective on the scenery that we enjoyed the rest of the day.