I knew it was a straight up climb, but it would be worth it. Having Fridays off instead of Sundays gives me the advantage of being able to do walkabouts when everyone else is at work. With some narrow sections of trail and a sheer drop off the cliff, I like lightly trafficked trails. It’s not that Tucker doesn’t like other dogs; generally he does. But dogs don’t naturally walk head on into one another unless it’s to start something. To avoid conflict, it’s best to walk in an arch toward another dog. But with a cliff on one side and a steep hill on the other, it’s tough to do that. Urban dogs who regularly walk narrow, busy sidewalks with dogs coming and going right next to them and headed toward them have lived their entire lives used to this. Tucker is not one of those dogs.
So we were pleased to have to trail to ourselves. At one point a man in his 30’s with wild grey curls came up behind me with such stealth that Tucker and I missed him until he was only five steps behind us. Having like-minded trail-treaders who enjoy the silence is lovely, but it did give me a start.
Around every bend and along every edge was a beautiful vista to behold.
“Human-shaped hole” made me wonder if at some point someone had crashed through like the Kool-Aid Man.
I ended up not needing to find the hole, as two people were crossing the boulder field in my direction, so I merely headed toward them (because heading directly toward people isn’t the same thing as dogs heading toward one another). Then up we went again, to even more stunning views.
There’s something about being greeted at a summit with someone saying “Welcome” that adds to the magic of the moment.
We walked on to the edge of the boulders. I could see on the app that this wasn’t the end of the trail. So we took some photos and headed into the shrubbery (no human-shaped hole to lead us). We finally came to the bench: the end point that is Angel’s Rest.
“Is there a way back down through there?” he asked.
“I don’t see how it’s possible. Although someone mentioned there was another way by climbing up the hill from the boulder filed, so I imagine it gets you here.”
“That’s what I was told too, but I’m not seeing it. But it’s supposed to be a shortcut.”
“I don’t hike for the shortcuts,” I responded with a smile. “I hike to see and walk every inch of the journey!”
As he headed into the violent shrubs, Tuck and I walked back to the edge to imbue the vista into our souls before heading back down—the long way around.
To which he responded, “That’s my usual goal. So far, so good!”
Tucker and I continued downhill, leaving the man to his own adventures.
And in this case they even greet you with a “Welcome”.
Angel’s Rest is one of my favorite hikes, and while I probably won’t do it again while I’m here this time, I will revisit it. Like a well-stocked library of books, Oregon has a plethora of trails to explore, and I want to visit every one before I start to reread the classics.