Tag Archives: mt hood

A day on Mt. Hood – Zig Zag Canyon, 04-Aug-2019

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Sunday, 04-Aug-2019

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!

Sunday, 27-Jan-2019 – Cross Country Skiing at Pocket Creek, on Mt. Hood!

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Sunday, 27-Jan-2019

Pocket Creek trail.

Mount Hood.

Oregon.

United States of America.

This day and location shall live on in legend, as the first day that Ben and Sarah put on skiis after breaking their respective knees. The first time that they, either individually or together, faced the fear of re-injury and got back into something similar to a saddle. The first time, since each suffered through healing and recovery, that Sarah and Ben skiied up a mountain.

I mean, it’s sort of a mountain, right?

Okay, fine, we weren’t ON Mt. Hood. We were across the road, in the Mt. Hood national park. In a small, lightly graded snowpark.

Know what? Being safe is important, and discretion is the better part of valor, and live to fight another day, and fifteen different other idioms that mean we made a good decision and were safe, and had a great time with excellent views. And, just as important, the trail was dog friendly (but not snowmobile friendly), so Ollie could come along too, and help pull us up the steep bits.

We drove out, geared up, and headed in. Sarah had her alpine touring kit, complete with skins, and I had my cross country kit – complete with gifted skiis, consignment boots, and hiking poles. I’m still scared of skiing, okay? I don’t want to buy a nice kit before being confident that I’d be willing to ski again.  Both options worked, too!  Sarah’s was a bit more efficient, especially on the downhill parts (I took off my skiis and walked, after my first attempt as downhill cross country ended in white-knuckled terror), but both our setups were pleasant and carried us through.

There really isn’t that much more to say, to be honest.  It was fun, and we had a good time.  Look at the pretty pictures!

Hiking to little Zig Zag canyon, on mount Hood, in the snow!

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Sunday, 11-Nov-2018

Sarah and I have been fighting off colds for the past week, so what we really wanted to do was to just stay home by the fire and play video games. It was a perfectly beautiful day though, and a few inches of snow had fallen on Mt. Hood earlier in the week… way too perfect for us to pass up on.

We drove out fairly early in the morning, aiming to get on the trail before the day got too late – our goal wasn’t to get an alpine start, but we were hoping to be able to get some hiking in before the sun got too low down. We didn’t get out quite as early as we’d been hoping, in all honesty, but it was okay because not only did we get to stop at Starbucks for cookies and sandwiches, but we even got two gift cards for our next time, thanks to there being a slight mixup in what we actually ordered. Woo!

Once we arrived, we were able to gear up and get on the trail pretty quickly, though admittedly far slower than poor Ollie was hoping for. The whole time we were getting ready she was anxiously pacing around the car, hating her snow boots and wishing that she was out and running.

Yep, that’s right. Snow boots. For Ollie. It was cold! We didn’t want her little toes to freeze!

Yeah, it was a good idea. It lasted a whole half hour I think, before we finally took them off and let her run crazy. Seriously – Ollie had been running before, but once the boots were off she literally sprinted back and forth along the trail… turns out, dogs are well adapted to running on snow and ice, and we’d been worrying pretty needlessly.

Anyways, it was gorgeous! A perfectly blue sky, crisp snow, and barely any other folks hiking.

We made it to our goal of having a quick lunch on a rock a bit past the far edge of little ZigZag canyon with time to spare before we had to turn around, so after having some snacks we took the chance to play in the snow! Ollie, of course, loved every second of it – we played fetch, Sarah and I had a snowball fight, and I even climbed around on one of the boulders for a little bit.

It was lovely – a good hike to get out of the city for a few hours. We had a lovely relaxing drive home, which of course included a quick stop at a coffee shop, a snack at Dairy Queen, and a spectacular sunset as we rode back into Portland.