Monday, May 5, 2014

Cheryl Strayed, Beacon Rock, and the Bridge of the Gods

So I was chatting with my bestie Cheryl Strayed on Facebook the other day...

Okay, not really. But sort of! For anyone who doesn't know, Cheryl is the author of the best selling book,"Wild". I had several people who knew that I was into hiking tell me to read the book, so I finally did and fell in love. Cheryl is the kind of writer that makes you feel like you know the deepest part of her, so it's hard not to feel like she's your friend; even though clearly she is not.

Nonetheless, I friended her on Facebook.Yes, I understand that it's her public page, and she's "friends" with anyone who clicks the button...but a girl can pretend a little, can't she? It's not like I'm sketching her portrait or sewing her a quilt; (honestly, some fans do that kind of stuff!) I just post things on her wall occasionally with a little hope that maybe she will read it and think, "Oh...that Kelly! She sure would be fun to hike with sometime."

Me and not pretend friend
So imagine my delight when she actually responded! I'm a little afraid to admit to this part, because I really am going to look like an obsessed fan, but I asked her a question about where she ate some ice cream. I know that sounds weird, but let me explain. In the book, Cheryl ends her trek on the Pacific Crest Trail at the "Bridge of the Gods" (every time I read that, I hear it in a James Earl Jones' voice) where she treats herself to some ice cream at a little drive in.Then she sweetly ends the book with her taking her kids there (years later, as she was only 26 during her hike) and reminiscing with them about her adventure.

Driving on the Pacific Crest Trail
I knew I would be crossing the "Bridge of the Gods" (you heard it in his voice this time, didn't you?) to get to my first overnight hike of the year...why not have some ice cream in Cheryl's honor? Only problem, no where could I find the name of the place she got the ice cream at. Don't these people understand marketing?! I mean, the town of Forks gets it; and even though it's annoying to see "Twilight" signs in every shop window, you know they are damn thankful for every tourist dollar. (Yes, I've been to Forks; and no, it wasn't because I needed to see Bella's hometown. It was because I was lost, as usual)

And so I asked Cheryl where she got the ice cream and she told me. Whew, that was a lot of writing that has nothing to do with hiking. Sorry, but I had to brag about being Cheryl's new BFF.
Ta da!!!
Anyway, I've had my eye on Beacon Rock for some time. My dilemma was the almost 5 hour drive for a piddly 2 mile traipse. I knew I needed a bigger plan if I was going to go there.

At the top. What a view!
Plus I have such a nice, sweaty glow!
I think I'll save the story of the "big plan" for next post; for now, the trip report for Beacon Rock is pretty simple. You go up, then you go down. If the rock is still in the sun and it's almost 90 degree weather (Happy May Day to us! It had to be record) you will drip a lot. Oh, and don't forget your Discover Pass! Both Debbie and I bought one this year, and neither one of us remembered to bring it. It hurts to spend $60 and still end up paying $10 to park.
A little shade on the way down
And now it's time for me to post a link to my blog on Cheryl's page and ask her if she wants to get pedi's next weekend. Oh, and start on the painting of her cat. She's going to love it!
The caution signs were unnerving, but the closed sign had us really confused
until we realized it was for climbers, not hikers!


  1. Hey this! Especially because I'm *starting* my section hike at (cue the deep voice) Bridge of the Gods, in late August. I was seriously looking for a burger and ice cream place to kick things off, and you just solved my problem :-)

    Oh yeah, and I'm beginning my Big Hike on my 50th birthday. Sound familiar?

    Liz (aka DestinationUp)

  2. Thanks Liz! Is DestinationUp your blog? I'll have to check it out. I forgot to say that East Wind Drive in is the name of the place, but it seemed to be the only place in town, so it's not exactly a mystery. ;) The ice cream was a full meal, for real.

  3. WOW! What an amazing trip, and thanks for all the recommendations!!!
    I'm planning trips for this Summer/Fall, too bad we missed you two!! :)
    Your trail reports and photos and recommendations are greatly appreciated!!