Category Archives: Adventures

Stories of some of my adventures, either indoors or outside

Post Thanksgiving adventures – Mirror Lake and Mt Hood… And a huge pretzel!

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Saturday, 30-Nov-2019

 

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.

 

 

Post Thanksgiving adventures – Saddle Mountain

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Friday, 29-Nov-2019

 

This year, we went hiking after Thanksgiving.

Our first target was Saddle Mountain, and it didn’t go quite as planned.

The plan that it didn’t go quite as was that we’d park at the trailhead, cook up some hotdogs, ascend, maybe make some more hot dogs, and then descend and head home.

Instead, we parked about two miles away from the trailhead, where the road was closed, and hiked in.  Once we got to the real trailhead we cooked up some hotdogs, found an elk jaw, and then hiked in about a mile and a half before turning around before we lost daylight.

Ollie loved the elk jaw, even though we didn’t let her eat it.  We’re so mean.  She didn’t mind too much though, since she was busy running around the woods… which is almost as good as food and/or elk bones.

 

The hike itself was beautiful, and the sunlight was amazing!  It was an amazingly clear day, and we could easily see the ocean from our turnaround point, even though it was a solid few hundred feet below the summit.  The trail was pretty good, though it did have some snow and ice on it at times, and we made pretty good time.

Not much else to say.  We hiked, had a pretty good time, and got down safely.  Good job us.

 

Visiting Massachusetts – Fancy apple tasting and a cool small town

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Sunday, 17-Nov-2019

 

Our last day in Mass was a short day, unfortunately, but a really fun day none the less!  We hadn’t stayed out too late the previous night, so we were able to get a fairly good start to the morning – which was pretty critical, since our plan for the day involved quite a bit of driving…

We were meeting my Aunt Tov in Sturbridge!

 

For those not from New England, Sturbridge is a super-cute little town in South-Western Mass that’s mostly known for Sturbridge Village, a colonial reenactment town where people explain exactly how people lived in Colonial times.  We didn’t go to Sturbridge Villiage, but even without that aspect the town itself has sort or embraced that vibe… leading to everything looking like it just hopped right out of a history book.

We all met up in a super cute little cafe with big windows and rustic vibes, where we had some excellent lunch and chatted and heard all about what everyone was up to – and got to even have a cool apple-tasting with a dozen different unique apple varieties that my aunt brought along!

 

Honestly, there’s not that much to say here… we visited, caught up, and had a good time!