“Their travels to these wild places reflected their longing to achieve correspondence between belief and place, between inner and outer landscapes.” Robert MacFarlane
The Bridal Veil trail head is the closest trail access to the Columbia River Gorge from Portland. The mainly out and back run up to Larch Mountain is approximately 26 miles (depending on which variations you pick) offering a nice mix of rolling, hilly terrain, cush pine-needle singletrack with a couple technical sections, waterfalls and creek crossings. On a clear day, the top of Larch offers a rare opportunity for a 360 degree view of the surrounding volcanoes - Mt. St.Helens, Mt. Adams, Mt. Rainier and Mt. Hood. I’ve spent countless hours running back and forth on those trails during the three years I lived in Portland and the route remains in my mind a classic that I felt had to be fit in to my brief trip back.
I woke up feeling groggy and stiff from the race the previous day, the long drive back from Bellingham and a late night. Nick and I stopped by Kettleman’s for a bagel and a cup of stump before heading out. No agenda for the day, other than to summit of Larch regardless of how much snow we’d encountered. We ran for about four and half hours with a good 3 miles or so of postholing to the top and added another couple hours to the outing mainly sitting around, taking pics and soaking it all in. Of course we only brought a couple of gels so by the last descent off of Angels Rest we were already plotting a desperate call to Escape from New York pizza for some post-run gluttony. Another good day in the woods.
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