Straying out to Beacon Rock State Park

Two ladies at Beacon Rock State Park
April 10, 2015
Many thanks to blogger Kelly of Mount Vernon for sharing her adventure to Beacon Rock State Park with a real buddy as she contemplated her new virtual “friendship” with best-selling novelist Cheryl Strayed. Read more of Kelly’s adventures on her blog, “50 Days, 500 Miles and 5 States When I Turn 50.” Have a state parks adventure to share? Tell us about it here!

So I was chatting with my bestie Cheryl Strayed on Facebook the other day…

Cheryl at Beacon Rock gate
Okay, not really. But sort of! For anyone who doesn’t know, Cheryl is the author of the best selling book, Wild.” I had several people who knew that I was into hiking tell me to read the book, so I finally did and fell in love. Cheryl is the kind of writer that makes you feel like you know the deepest part of her, so it’s hard not to feel like she’s your friend; even though clearly she is not.
Bridge and scenery
Nonetheless, I friended her on Facebook. Yes, I understand that it’s her public page, and she’s “friends” with anyone who clicks the button…but a girl can pretend a little, can’t she? It’s not like I’m sketching her portrait or sewing her a quilt; (honestly, some fans do that kind of stuff!) I just post things on her wall occasionally with a little hope that maybe she will read it and think, “Oh…that Kelly! She sure would be fun to hike with sometime.”
Two ladies on bridge trail
So imagine my delight when she actually responded! I’m a little afraid to admit to this part, because I really am going to look like an obsessed fan, but I asked her a question about where she ate some ice cream. I know that sounds weird, but let me explain. In the book, Cheryl ends her trek on the Pacific Crest Trail at the “Bridge of the Gods” (every time I read that, I hear it in a James Earl Jones’ voice) where she treats herself to some ice cream at a little drive-in. Then she sweetly ends the book with her taking her kids there (years later, as she was only 26 during her hike) and reminiscing with them about her adventure.
Pacific Crest Trail road
I knew I would be crossing the “Bridge of the Gods” (you heard it in his voice this time, didn’t you?) to get to my first overnight hike of the year…why not have some ice cream in Cheryl’s honor? Only problem, nowhere could I find the name of the place she got the ice cream at. Don’t these people understand marketing?! I mean, the town of Forks gets it; and even though it’s annoying to see “Twilight” signs in every shop window, you know they are darn thankful for every tourist dollar. (Yes, I’ve been to Forks; and no, it wasn’t because I needed to see Bella’s hometown. It was because I was lost, as usual). And so I asked Cheryl where she got the ice cream and she told me. Whew, that was a lot of writing that has nothing to do with hiking. Sorry, but I had to brag about being Cheryl’s new BFF.
Beacon Rock lookout over railing
Anyway, I’ve had my eye on Beacon Rock for some time. My dilemma was the almost 5-hour drive for a piddly 2-mile traipse. I knew I needed a bigger plan if I was going to go there.

I think I’ll save the big plan for next time; for now, the trip report for Beacon Rock is pretty simple. You go up, then you go down. If the rock is still in the sun and it’s almost 90 degree weather (Happy May Day to us! It had to be record) you will drip a lot. Oh, and don’t forget your Discover Pass! Both Debbie and I bought one this year, and neither one of us remembered to bring it. It hurts to spend $60 and still end up paying $10 to park.
View looking down of bridge trail
And now it’s time for me to post a link to my blog on Cheryl’s page and ask her if she wants to get pedis next weekend. Oh, and start on the painting of her cat. She’s going to love it!

-Mount Vernon, Washington

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