SEPTEMBER 3-4-5, 2005

The All Weather Walkers (Jan Breneman, co-chair) and the Vancouver USA Volkssporters (Dick Baker, co-chair) hosted four beautiful walks in the Columbia Gorge on Labor Day Weekend. Thanks to the Bonneville Hot Springs Resort for hosting the sign-in process.  The resort, located in a beautiful gorge setting, offers lodging, dining, and full spa services.

Thanks to Jan Breneman (jb), Jan Johnston (jj), and Carol Reed (cr) for contributing one movie and several hundred pictures for this report.

Lower Falls Creek Falls


Bonneville Hot Springs Resort

Falls Creek Falls

North Bonneville


Beacon Rock

Statistics and Impressions - compiled by Jan Breneman

Washington Gorge Walks
Boy, was this walking weekend ever a hit! First the numbers:
• Stevenson, 166
• Falls Creek Falls, 176
• Beacon Rock, 155
• North Bonneville, 201

Falls Creek Falls and Beacon Rock had quite impressive numbers, considering their difficulty, and Falls Creek Falls was a special favorite. The other routes had been done before in some form or another, but Falls Creek was a complete surprise to most. We received many, many compliments on all the walks, and also on the smooth organization.  The question of “Will you do these walks again?” was asked repeatedly by participants.

We received generous cooperation from many local entities in helping us prepare for the weekend events. Thank you letters were mailed to Bonneville Hot Springs Resort, the Corps of Engineers, the Mt. Adams District of Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Beacon Rock State Park, the City of North Bonneville, Skamania County Chamber of Commerce, and the Skamania Lodge.

AWW and Vancouver USA Volkssporters offered free membership in both clubs to everyone purchasing a New Walker packet during the Washington Gorge Walk weekend, and we gained five new members.

Although not without some hitches, the small number of problems were invisible to all but a few and quickly resolved.  A huge amount of work was required to put on the walks and we couldn’t have done it without the many volunteers – some working multiple shifts – who gave up many hours of their time. WE THANK YOU ONE AND ALL!

We appreciated hearing all the great compliments and other feedback as much as those who enjoyed the walks. Even as we bask in the success of the weekend, future plans are taking root.

The following “fan” letter about the Gorge Walk weekend was sent to Dick Baker and me, and was typical of comments voiced to us from many other walkers all weekend long:

“Yesterday afternoon a friend and I decided to drive up from Corvallis and Salem today to participate in the Washington Gorge Walks. We did Beacon Rock and Stevenson. It's been sometime since I've done two in one day but your well planned routes, well
prepared instructions, great marking, and very friendly and helpful workers made it easy. Well, - maybe not "easy", but we did thoroughly enjoy the day. The great walking weather helped too.

We all know that enjoyable, well planned events don't "just happen". It was obvious that a lot of people did a LOT of work to prepare nice routes for us. Thanks so much for a job well done."   --  Donna Silver