Mt. Hood, Oregon.
It’d been a long time since Sarah and I had gotten out of the city… It’s been an impressively busy and rough summer, in terms of work and stress and low energy, so instead of trying to get ourselves together for a big, huge, epic adventure objective we stuck with a simpler goal – go hiking on Mt. Hood, and then have a nice dinner at the Timberline Lodge afterward.
Sometimes, big goals are fun and exactly what you need. Other times, it’s just a simple walk in the woods with your partner and your dog.
Today was absolutely one of those second times.
We didn’t pack up the night before, we didn’t wake up at dawn and get going early, we didn’t rush out the door, and we didn’t speed toward the mountain with the wind in our hair. It was nice, slow, and relaxing – we had a nice breakfast, we packed up our gear, and we drove out to the mountain after the morning traffic had fully died down. We even packed a nice thermos of coffee for ourselves to sip as we drove… even though we’d already had a cup with breakfast. Like I mentioned – we took it easy.
Once we got to the mountain and onto the trail, we kept that theme pretty well. We didn’t go slowly, but we didn’t go quickly either… I don’t think we went quite slow enough to mosey, but we were definitely enjoying the scenery. Ollie wasn’t going slowly of course, but that’s part of the fun of the hike, right? Watching the crazy-dog run like she’s got infinite energy, sniffing and chasing sticks and exploring every nook and cranny she can find?
The hike itself was beautiful – it’s not a new area for us, and there’s a pretty good case that this is actually our most-visited hike anywhere in the world… but that makes it relaxing and homey, and we enjoyed every mile of it. Seeing the sights that we’ve seen before, but with the slight variances that seasons and even days can bring. The flowers were in pretty good bloom, and the day itself was beautiful and sunny. Enough that we put on some sunscreen, but not so much that we were sweating as we hiked.
Our objective, if you could even say we had one, was a beautiful waterfall at the base of Zig Zag canyon – one that we’d taken Sarah’s brother Henry to see a year or two ago. It wasn’t too far, but we figured that it would be a perfect place to have a quick lunch before heading back to civilization. The day’d been getting pretty warm too, so the chance to sit in the mist was way too good to pass up! It ended up being exactly as perfect of a lunch spot as we remembered, and we had a glorious time relaxing and soaking in the mist while Ollie swam and explored all the little pools.
The way back was a bit rougher than the way in, since it was mostly uphill, but we still made it back to the car and the Timberline lodge in good time – just in time to watch the sunset while having dinner at the Rams Head in the lodge! We didn’t get a window seat, unfortunately, but we still got a good view of the sunset… and most importantly we got a good sturdy table for them to pile our post-hiking meal on! We’d hiked pretty far, but for some reason we weren’t super hungry – a soft pretzel and a big bowl of stew (with hot cocoa on the side, of course!) filled us up nicely, and gave us just enough energy to make it back into Portland in time for showers and a warm bed!