Tag Archives: Timberline lodge

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.

 

 

A trip to Mt. Hood, and the legendary Timberline Lodge

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A trip to Mt. Hood, and the legendary Timberline Lodge

Friday, June 29th through Saturday, June 30th

 

Friday Night

Earlier this week was Sarah’s birthday!  She’s a whole year older – and since it’s a pretty major birthday, we figured that it was worth going all out to celebrate.

Where better than the slopes of Mt. Hood, at the Timberline lodge?

I mean, not that Sarah knew that’s where we were going, of course.  I had told her that we were going North, to Seattle, where I’d bought VIP overnight tickets to see a previously unreleased musical remake of the famous Ben Stiller movie Tropic Thunder.  I mean, part of a birthday surprise is the misdirection, right?  And how else would I have convinced her to pack an overnight bag?

So we drove.  When we turned East, instead of North, Sarah called me out and guessed where we were going.  I mean, I’ll admit that the misdirection wasn’t the strongest, since she hates musicals and knows that neither of us really like Tropic Thunder… but I was still hoping that she wouldn’t have guessed our destination on her first try.

But hey.  It’s her birthday, so Sarah deserved a quick win to start out the trip.

Once we had arrived and gotten checked in, we were able to fully appreciate just exactly where we were staying – This is the famous Timberline Lodge.  Huge vaulted ceilings, thick wooden beams surrounding a massive wrought iron fireplace, all topped by the soaring mountain peak above us, still capped with glacial snow.  Our room was a king, with an in-room fireplace stocked with seasoned wood, with views of Mt. Jefferson and the slopes below.  Sarah was ecstatic, and I was slightly ridiculously proud that I’d been able to book us such an awesome room.

Ollie was pretty excited too, I must add.  Yes, Ollie.  The dog.  Didn’t I mention?  Timberline Lodge just opened its doors to canine guests – and our room was one of the special dog friendly rooms set aside.  The best way I can describe Ollie is “a small child, in a candy shop, in Disney World, with a credit card”.  She was seriously tweaking out, running and sniffing and just being the most excited dog to ever exist.

So we left her to relax and decompress for a bit, and had a glorious dinner at the Ram’s Head grill.  Spare ribs and Venison, with paired beers and cheesecake for dessert.  Words cannot describe.

The rest of the evening was spent relaxing and enjoying the room and the views.  The fireplace was used, though I’ll admit that the amount of kindling they provided was pretty weak.  Sarah and I had a nice bonding moment where we used my pocket knife and a log to split one of the other logs into kindling… yeah, we’re pretty inventive and handy.  It was fun though, and honestly a really pleasant evening as we enjoyed the fire and we drifted off to sleep at 6,000 ft with the moonlight illuminating the Southern Cascades.

 

Saturday

Ollie was excited to be at Mt. Hood.  She loves going for hikes on the slopes, and was acting like a toddler on crack.

We woke up at 5:00.

We woke up not because we wanted to, but because Ollie wanted to go for walks.  She’s a monster, sometimes.  But hey – it meant that we could see the sunrise, so… that’s a good thing, right?

It also meant that we were first up for the buffet downstairs, and first up to start into our adventures of the day; which ended up including meeting an old friend from Northeastern!  Gene and his family were here in Oregon to summit Mt. Hood, as part of his 50 highpoints circuit.  Unexpected, but really awesome to be able to see them and catch up for a while.  The breakfast was pretty good too – though I’ll freely admit that Sarah made the better choice: she got the simple buffet, instead of the full buffet that I ordered… while Bacon is always good, the fresh fruits and yogurt that Sarah had was easily as good.

From there, Ollie and I went out on a hike, in order to give Sarah a bit of time to herself to relax, enjoy the mountain, and paint.  We made sure she was impressively nested up outside the lodge, of course, ensuring she had deep supplies of both water, sunscreen, and coffee to keep her energetic.  Our target was ZigZag Canyon, and we made it without too much trouble or fuss – all while keeping in touch with Sarah, thanks to the walkie talkies that we’d thought to bring along.  It was fun!  Nothing too intense, and nothing that would keep us away from the birthday girl for too long, but I think everyone enjoyed the relaxing morning before our drive back into the city.

 

 

Henry’s visit – Hiking on Mt Hood!

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Henry’s visit – Hiking on Mt Hood!

Sunday, 13-Aug-2017

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.