Upwardtrails a Christian Activities Organization, Portland,Ore.USA.tr-4-25-09
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Klickitat Rail Line

April 25th, 2009
3 easy miles ***4 people including 1 new, 1 dog ***

Sunny & windy

This was a bit of a drive, but very pretty. Seth lead this hike. The trail is an old section of rail line which has been recently purchased for public use. We drove to Lyle, then up a long, steep hill in search of the trailhead. As we approached the trailhead, we found the road closed due to bridge construction.

We quickly came up with a plan B which was to continue another 1 ˝ miles up the road to a crossing of the creek and the old tracks at the “town” of Warwick which consists of a few buildings.

As soon as we got out of our cars, we were hit with a blast of cold wind. The wind remained strong, but warm the rest of the day.

There’s a warning at the trailhead to keep your dogs on leash at all times. Even though it seems like a barren land, the contrast of the brilliant blue against the bright green was very pleasing. We could see rows of white windmills to the east and distant Mt. Adams to the north.

When we reached the new, concrete bridge, we could see that if we had parked just before the road closure, we could have started our hiking there and stuck to the original plan of heading into Swale Canyon, but considering how windy it was, we were glad we walked the upper section.

At this trailhead is the first of many remaining train trestles. We sat with our backs to the concrete retainer for lunch on the bridge in order to escape the wind as we watched the heavy equipment get occasionally shaken by the wind. Sometimes we could even feel the bridge rattle. That was a little unnerving. So we saw a lot more birds from our cars than we did on foot.

Heading back, we passed a herd of cattle which seemed to be heading to the barn for the night. On the drive back, we stopped at an overlook of the ever-deepening Swale Canyon below, then found some balsamroot in bloom. We stopped at the antique store and ice cream shop in Bingen on the way home.



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