Chapter 14: Death Bridge

Physics. Always physics. But more on that ridiculousness later…

Currently I’m on the Oregon-Washington border. I was here last year doing a test hike. The weather is way different now. Smoky. Of course.

(Bridge of The Gods. Sounds so epic.)

Over the last 200ish miles there has not been too many sights. This was not surprising. I assumed I’d be under the trees for the most part. However, I wanted to check out Tunnel Falls on Eagle Creek Trail. I tried to do this last last year, but the trail was closed due to a fire. I thought it was recently reopened, so Tumbleweed and I went for it…

The first few miles was a steep descent into a canyon. The ground was super soft, sinky, and dusty from fires. We lost the trail (classic) and GPS’d our way around for while. Eventually, we crawled hundreds of feet down a dried up waterfall and found the trail. The worst was over, right? Ha! Of course not…

The next morning, we began 10 miles of tree hell. We quickly put together that Eagle Creek Trail was in fact closed. About every 50-100 yards, we hit downed trees.


Trying to go through these trees reminded me of Frodo getting tangled in the spider web in The Lord of The Rings.

Another obstacle was rock slides. Yes. Rock slides. The trail at times was a tunnel through rock.


Crawling over these rocks wasn’t too bad except for the fact that there was a sheer drop off to the side. But hey, the worst was over? Right?! Of course not. Always of course not.

After we spent hours tree hopping and rock crawling we hit the most insane obstacle yet. A bridge. Over 200 ft above water, in a canyon. Oh yeah, and it was scorched from the fire and closed. Of course.

(Look closely and you can see Death Bridge.)

My and Tumbleweeds hearts both sank. We both knew we had no good options. We wrestled with going across this:

…or doubling back through a hundred tree webs, uphill loose dirt, then hike an additional day all with little to no food (I was out completely.)

There was no walk around. Everything was too steep according to the maps. So ultimately we went for it.

(My butthole was puckered. For sure.)

After some tense foot scooting, we made it across Death Bridge.

We were both pretty ecstatic we made it across without dying (always reason to celebrate) and felt like the tree webs weren’t so bad after-all. Things seemed pretty awesome. Right? Of course not…

(Death Bridge – Part II)

Yeah, another freaking torched bridge over about a 100 ft drop.

Although it was closed and not recommended, it was beautiful too.

Eventually we make it out of this gnarly trail and come to this:

Blah blah blah, we are alive. In town now, etc.

Speaking of death, murder, etc. Some scenes from The Shining were filmed near Timberline Lodge (base of Mt. Hood), they had a replica axe. So. Um. Yeah.

Oh, and there was a dead horse in a creek from last Fall. So there is that.

As we are entering the last state, the light at the end of the tunnel is starting to peek through. Barely. Just barely.

No dumping this time.


  1. Some stunning photos as usual. I really love the one with the tree web and charred tree pieces, now being covered over by lush vegetation with some colorful wildflowers thrown in. Awesome.


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