Tag Archives: Snow hiking

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.

 

 

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.

Leaving for Arizona – a bit of relaxing and a bit of brunch.

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Saturday & Sunday, 21-Dec and 22-Dec, 2013

 

Saturday, 21-Dec

  • It’s a relaxing day, nothing really goes on, to be honest. I get up late, I laze around in my bathrobe, and I do a bit of reading and a bit of gaming. I do head out into Davis to buy steaks from McKinnons, but that doesn’t happen until the last minute, of course.

  • Now that I’ve left the house, it’s time to get everything moving. I do a quick prep of the steaks (salting and oiling them) & then jump on my bike toward Brooklyn Boulders, where I get a quick hour of bouldering in. Even though it’s short, I do enjoy it… just good to move my arms, especially when I’ll be away for the whole next week.

  • After I get back from the gym, a quick shower gets me ready to meet up with Terese, cook steaks, and have a very relaxed night in Boston before flying out to Tucson. FYI – I cook a mean steak.

  • Watch Game of Thrones, crash. Simple and easy.

Sunday

  • We cook up a quick breakfast out of steak leftovers, since it’s getting a bit late and Terese and I want to get moving, so that we can go…

  • Hike in the Fells! It’s a bit snowy and a bit icey and more than a bit wet and gross. But it’s also quite definitely FUN! The slippery footing isn’t too much, so we do a quick “there and back again” loop, maybe three or five miles around the car. It’s a good time, especially since the weather is, for once, cooperating and giving me a fine sendoff.

  • Back at my place, I confirm that my packing list is complete, and then do a preliminary packing… basically just tossing everything in one of my old backpacking bags. One of those ones that’s big enough to hold clothes and ancillaries for a week… but small enough to easily fit into the planes overhead compartment.

  • After the quick packing, We head to brunch at a place called Foundry; an awesome and amazing restaurant in Davis. They have an excellent Brunch with biscuits and gravey, and we tear into it. Side note, there’s TONS of runners in funny outfits, thanks to the “5k jingle run” that happened in Davis a bit earlier. Aaaahhhhhh so many runner girls!

  • Head back, finish packing & head to airport toward Arizona!