After Thanksgiving this year, we went hiking! Two days afterward, we hiked out to Mirror Lake, and then did a few quick steps on Mt. Hood, before relaxing in the Timberline Lodge with cocoa and a huge warm pretzel.
It was excellent.
Our first objective was Mirror Lake, on the Tom Dick and Harry trail to the South West of Mt. Hood. We’d hiked here before, a few times if I recall, but hiking in the snow is always a new experience… the Sun coming through, the snow levels, how much ice and how much melt… it all ties together into making a unique winter wonderland for us to enjoy.
More importantly makes for a wonderland for Ollie to enjoy, since I think the sheer exultation that she felt after we got out of the car was more than both Sarah and I combined.
Before we could get started though, we earned a bit of good Karma – When parking, we ended up parking next to a rather large camper-van vehicle. One of those pickup campers, where there’s a camper placed into the bed of a standard pickup truck? Yeah, that.
As we packed up to start hiking, it became readily apparent that the family staying in the camper was having a bit of trouble. The Dad had the hood open, was trying to turn the engine over, the whole nine yards. We offered to help, of course, and ended up trying a few things to get them up and running. After a ton of battling, a simple jump-start was all they needed – We got their engine turned over and making happy noises, all before their kids even realized that anything out of the ordinary was happening.
After that quite auspicious start, we headed into the woods and had a glorious time crunching through the ice and snow. The tree canopy kept the sun pretty dispersed, but every so often we’d get a beautiful beam of light cutting through – it was beautiful, in a very calm and collected sort of way.
There’s not much to be said about the hike aside from that… it was lovely, Ollie spent the whole time sprinting around, and Sarah and I had a great time. We hiked, we rested at Mirror Lake, and then we hiked back. It was excellent!
After Mirror Lake we were tired, but not quite tired enough to head back to the house just yet… so we headed to Mt. Hood to do a bit more exploring. The weather on Hood was a far sight from Mirror Lake – without the tree cover, the wind was doing its best to blast us off the side of the mountain and the clouds were at just the right level to cut off most of the direct light from the sun. The whole scene had this interesting diffused light, painting everything into a beautifully bleak and desolate scene.
We didn’t last too long, thanks to the harsh wing slinging snow and sand at us, combined with the quite chilly temperature. Thankfully, we’d already tired ourselves out pretty well on Mirror Lake, so we didn’t feel too bad turning around after an hour or so. Ollie didn’t even seem to mind too much… but then again, we’ve found that it takes at least a day and a half of solid hiking to really tire her out.
We headed back to the car, stashed our gear, bundled Ollie up in her blankets, and grabbed a quick snack at the Timberline Lodge. A cup of cocoa, a mug of coffee, and a huge pretzel kept us company while sitting and reading by the fire – we didn’t stay for too long, since the sun was getting close to setting, but we had an amazing time nonetheless. A very good ending to a very lovely day.