I had planned on hiking about 50 miles to end up in Cascade Locks in time for a hiker gathering called “Trail Days” — but one of the my friends got really sick about 9 miles in. We spent a couple of days at the Sandy River (which was so silty it looked like chocolate milk). We hoped that he’d feel well enough to continue, but he was too sick to hike 40 miles in 2 days (and I didn’t want to do that either!). One great benefit of staying put was that even more friends caught up with us, and I can’t even explain how wonderful it was to see them! So we all bailed at the Ramona Falls trailhead (popular day hiker spot) and hitched the rest of the way.
The handful of miles I did in this section were really powerful, and I’m so grateful that I got to experience them. Mt Hood comes in and out of view for miles, and there are spectacular waterfalls! The camping spot by the Sandy river had a killer view of Mt Hood, complete with alpenglow in the evenings and stunning sunsets! I definitely want to return to Oregon in the future to hike more of this incredible landscape.