Sarah’s brother came to visit!
I’d met Henry before, but this was going to be the first time that we got to spend time together her in Oregon – Henry was out for a conference, but had scheduled some extra time to hang out and go on some adventures with us. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to spend the whole time hanging out, as I had to fly back home for an unexpected funeral, but we were able to get a few adventures in before he flew back to Australia…
Mt Hood is an amazingly gorgeous spot, and Portland is perfectly situated to take advantage of this quick escape from the confines of city life. Hence why Sarah and I have been doing so many hikes on its slopes recently. Since Henry was in town, and wanted to do some adventuring, the only real question was which trail to take.
After a bit of research, we stuck with the trail through ZigZag canyon and out to Paradise Park – Unlike McNeil Point, paradise park can be terminated in a ton of various places, all with amazing viewpoints and relaxing rest spots. A great route to take pictures, enjoy Mt. Hood, and for Sarah and I to experiment with carrying slightly heavier packs than normal.
Morning came, and morning found us in the car, heading South and East. We’d packed up most of our gear the night before, though we did do a small bit of packing the morning of. Including, of course, some silly posing with said gear. Because that’s always important.
Once we were underway though, the first bit went quickly. We drove, arrived, and started down the trail toward little ZigZag canyon. We did run into one bit of excitement as a Search and Rescue patrol passed us coming out, but since they mentioned that they were just on a training drill, we didn’t think much of it. Aside from that one excitement, the start of the hike went easily. We walked, took pictures, and Ollie ran and frolicked as much as her puppy heart could hope for.
We hiked. We worked our way through little zigzag, and then had some lunch on the precipice of ZigZag canyon itself. It was starting to get late, or at least too late for us to make it all the way to Paradise Park, so we changed our destination slightly: instead of going down into Zigzag and then back out to Paradise, we aimed for turning around at the base of Zigzag.
Which we did!
The hike down into the canyon was gorgeous – lots of really cool vegetation and moss and little waterfalls streaming down the sides of the canyon. Which only got muddier as we got closer to the main river… added a bit of an adventure to it, but we all had some form of hiking poles: Sarah and I had traditional poles, and Henry had his camera tripod. Turns out, tripods work really well as walking sticks. Who knew?
Once we were at the canyon floor, we took a short break and got hit with a little rain. But nothing too bad, since we’d all packed in rain gear… and it added a nice little refreshment to the midpoint of the hike. And gave us a great chance to take a ton of really good pictures!
After wandering around for a while and enjoying the light rain and the spray from a rather beautiful waterfall we started back up the trail the way we’d come. I won’t lie – it was a long walk. I’m still regaining strength and endurance, and the amount of walking wasn’t super within my normal day-to-day activity. It wasn’t too far outside either though, so we pushed through quite strongly, without too many issues.
Ohh, we did have some. When Ollie saw a deer, for example, and went tearing off into the brush after it. Thankfully for us though, she’s not too good at predictive pathing… and so ran to where she’d last seen the deer, instead of where the deer was actively running toward. And since deer are much faster than her anyways… well, she didn’t come anywhere close to it, and honestly never could have in the first place.
It was enough to give us pause though, and enough for us to put her back on the leash for the rest of the hike.
Once the hike was done, puplette got sequestered away into the car for some mandatory rest while the three of us headed into the Timberline Lodge. Our goal was either a light snack, or possibly even dinner, at one of the restaurants inside. The Timberline Lodge is honestly one of my favorite places as far as architecture goes – it’s built in this massively excessive form, very akin to an ancient dwarven fortress, or huge viking hall. The geometric patterns, huge fireplaces, and sturdy wooden beams are exactly what I’d love in a house of my own.
That architecture doesn’t come cheap though… as we found out the hard way. We headed back to the car, tails between our legs, after reading the prices on the menus. To say nothing of the dress codes that we almost certainly would have failed to meet.
Instead, Dairy Queen called out to us. Which was completely okay with Ollie, who got to join us and help us finish our french fries.