Even thought the weather report did not look encouraging, I ventured into the Columbia River Gorge for a hike up Rudolph Spur. This is an unmaintained trail that starts out at Cascade Locks on the Oregon side of the gorge and ascends to the Benson Plateau.
This is a trail that climbs up a forested ridge, which I find very enjoyable. Even though not one among us had set foot here before, most of the time we did not have any route finding problems. We were quite fortunate with the weather since it was dry as we hiked up the steep portions of the trail. It was not until we started to reach the Benson Plateau that it started to snow.
Our descend was via the Ruckle Creek Trail. At we lost altitude the snow turned into pouring rain. The trail was steep and slippery, so I took care to place my feet well. At one point I heard a thunderous snap to the left of me. As I looked in that direction I saw the upper trunk of a dead tree tumble down to the ground. Glad to be a at safe distance, I continued my way to the trailhead and the dry cars.
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