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PCT Days 141 & 142 – Witnessing the Notorious Eagle Creek Fire

Last updated Apr 13, 2021 | Published on Sep 10, 2017

PCT Days 141 & 142
Friday September 1 & Saturday September 2

Double Zero in Cascade Locks

I’ve been looking forward to this weekend for a long time. When I realized that I would be arriving in Cascade Locks on Labor Day Weekend, I called Daniel and he made arrangements to come visit me. Because, not only is Cascade Locks located a mere 3 hours from our house, but our anniversary is next weekend! We’ve been a couple for 7 years now. I love how the stars aligned to make it easy for us to celebrate the weekend together.

Happy Anniversary!

On Friday we stayed in the hotel room for a Game of Thrones marathon. Daniel brought an adaptor so I could project my iPhone to the television. So now I’m all caught up with Season 7. BEST DAY EVAR!!!!

Drying my Tent with the Bridge of the Gods in the Background

On Sunday I decided to do some hike-related chores. I washed my tent and got caught up on my blog. I thought about sorting through my resupply box but decided to put it off until tomorrow morning. We ate lunch at the Cascade Locks Ale House and I was so sleepy after stuffing myself with pizza that I took a long nap. Rough day, I know.

Fat Unicorn Pale Ale? What the what?!?

Does Drinking Unicorn Beer make me a Cannibal?

In the evening, something happened that changed the tenor of the whole weekend. We were across the Columbia River eating dinner at a restaurant in Stevenson when Daniel noticed a column of smoke rising from a hill beyond Cascade Locks.

Romantic Dinner by Wildfire

The smoke formed an enormous puffy white plume in stark contrast against the blue sky. We took a few pictures and went back to our meal, but when we looked again a few minutes later we could actually see flames where there hadn’t been any previously. The fire was spreading rapidly and heading towards Cascade Locks. Our stuff – including my backpack with all my gear – was still in our hotel room on the other side of the river. Ruh roh.

Eagle Creek Fire. And so it Begins.

Yikes! Now we can see the flames!

Closeup of the Flames from the Eagle Creek Fire

Daniel and I finished dinner and rushed back to the hotel. We stood in the hotel’s parking lot with the other guests watching the fire loom closer and closer. The sky grew darker and the flames became more visible as they shot into the sky. An orange glow emanated from nearby hills, illuminating the outline of the mountains.

The glow of the fire from our hotel’s parking lot

The hotel staff instructed us to pack our bags in case we were ordered to evacuate. I quickly began sorting through my resupply box and preparing my bag for the next leg of my hike. This process usually takes a couple of hours as I typically wash my cookware, backwash my filter and restock my toilet paper, as well as numerous other small tasks. This evening I put the process into hyperdrive and packed like the wind.
It was hard to fall asleep. We halfheartedly watched tv and kept peeking outside at the fire as it drew closer. I finally fell into a fitful sleep around 1:00 am.

Yep. The fire is definitely getting closer.

Who’s sleepy with this around the corner? NOT ME!

For more on my experience hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, visit my Pacific Crest Trail 2017 Blog page:


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Hi, I'm Unicorn!

I am an avid hiker, traveler, and adventurer who is on the mission to explore hiking trails around the world.  I’m also obsessed with National Parks, long-distance trails and other outdoorsy things.

I hope to share this knowledge with you and inspire you to explore new hiking trails too!


  1. borgix

    Happy Anniversary!

    • Unicorn

      Thanks !! 🙂

  2. susieant

    Glad you got to spend your anniversary with Daniel. I was visiting WA that weekend. Actually hiked 3 miles of Eagle Creek on August 31. Just missed seeing you again in person. 😊 That fire is just devastating. Glad you missed it on the trail.

  3. Mr Dalrymple

    Every time I think about the Eagle Creek fire I get mad, and then sad.

    • Unicorn

      I know! Me too 🙁


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