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Table Mountain, Unexpectedly

I wanted to go hiking this weekend but I was seeking a less strenuous hike, as I still have a lingering achilles strain. After flipping through our hiking books, we settled on Aldriche Butte, on the Washington side of the Columbia. The hike starts right above the Bonneville Dam and offers a pleasing mix of wild grasses, large power transformers, and views into the distance of Beacon Rock. Because of the fog hovering over Beacon Rock and the valley before the monolith, I felt like an extra on Lost as I stood beside these surreally large transformers and looked into a valley reminiscent of Maui's Iao Valley.

Abbreviated story: instead of turning left for our relatively easy Butte hike, we followed "helpful" stick arrows to Table Mountain. While we both separately commented that it seemed more strenuous than the book had indicated, we pressed on, passing Pacific Crest hikers, a shelter in place, and a trail runner (all signs that we had taken a wrong turn). We didn't make it to the top of Table Mountain, stopping before the final steep ascent up, but the hike was an invigorating mix of textures, colors, and steep scrambles.