Christmas day, 2009…it was an absolutely sparkling, sunny day in Portland. Not really having any plans for Christmas, I decided to go for a hike to Coyote Wall on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge, mostly because it was an exposed trail and I was looking forward to basking in the sunshine all day. It was a cold day, but at least it would be sunny…wrong! There seems to be this weather phenomenon that happens here. When it’s sunny in Portland, there’s a good chance that it’s cloudy in the gorge just as one starts getting close to Hood River. I’ve fallen victim to it a couple of times but I thought there’s no way today, it was so crystal clear…wrong again! It was gray, overcast, and generally miserable when I got to the trail head. I kept hoping that the sun would at some point make an appearance but it never happened. It was still a great hike nonetheless. I would recommend hiking the longer 8+ mile loop, walking below the cliffs and then going up a dirt road for a while. That’s followed by a pleasant flat walk through the woods with great views for part of the way until you come out to the top of the wall, which is amazingly spectacular. From there it’s a 2 mile ramble down the wall back to the parking area. I made this shot not quite half way down.