I've done my best to not get in a rut and keep doing the same routes over and over. There are just so many places to go run and train that is almost overwhelming, but I have not seen everything yet so I just want to keep exploring. I am almost in a constant state of research trying to determine how far I need to drive then run to get up to point XYZ and how many miles I'll get along the way. I've been making new friends and following their social media posts and creating a bucket list along the way so when Jason Leman reached out to me asking if I wanted to do a "Trans Gorge" adventure run I only took a short amount of time to answer "YES!"
My initial thoughts were that we were going to "just" follow the Mark O Hatfield Trail which runs 60 miles East to West (or West to East) though the Columbia River Gorge. However, after a planning session over a few drinks I found out Jason's plan was to also hit the high points along the way. Perfect! This would let me start checking off the bucket list I had mentally created. This would make the route considerably harder but I don't have any races planned until Waldo 100k in August so I have plenty of time to recover plus... I should get some good views so why not?
Jason, Jordan, and myself decided an early start was in order so we planned our meeting points and where we would drop cars. Jordan had been fighting some injuries and had never gone this far before so we had a bail out point right around the 30 mile mark. I parked at the end point at Multnomah Lodge, Jordan at Eagle Creek, and Jason took us to the starting point at Starvation Creek.
I'll let the 2 videos below tell the story of what we saw on the trail and how awesome an adventure it was, but was it great! These guys are super solid and just great guys to hang with. In the end, we cut the trip short of the 60 mile mark as getting off of the main route to summit these high points took a little more time than expected. With Jordan being going well over his longest run as well as time on feet, Jason having a big trip to Europe coming up, and me not wanting to be too banged up to keep my training volume up we decided as a group to cut it short after we summited our Tanner Butte. All in all it was a 48 miles push with 12,500 feet of climb in just under 15 hours. We saw some of the best the Gorge had to offer and had a great time doing it. Six of the high points of the Gorge can now get the check mark by them. I can't wait to go out and hit them again, they are just too good to not see again.
62.1 miles 13,665 feet/gain