A Short Visit to a Tall Mountain

light puple lilac sprig

Spring Has Arrived!

Finally, spring was showing its glory all around us. My favorite flower in the whole world was blooming right out the front window – lilacs! They didn’t have a strong aroma, but they were lovely nonetheless.

seedling emerging from soil

We were looking forward to a long house sit starting in May with an empty garden bed set aside just for us. You guessed it; I planted a few seeds in the hopes of having some hardy starters to transplant when we arrived. That way we’d get to have a garden, something we hadn’t been able to do in this nomadic life of ours. 

seedlings emerging from soil

I could only plant seeds that could take transplanting like zucchini and beans, but I couldn’t wait, so I also tried swiss chard and some herbs. I put them by the sunny window and tried to keep the cats away. These little growing plants were a pleasant reminder of warmer days ahead. 

seedling emerging from soil

A Day Trip

Around this time, we arranged to meet a homeowner to see about doing some house and pet sitting for them. Their home was two hours to the northeast in Sandy, just outside Portland.

Once we arrived, we met a lovely couple, their happy dog and enjoyed a tour of their farm. They had a serious garden going there, an acre if an inch. As we find true with most avid gardeners, they enjoyed sharing their harvest with friends and local food banks.

Scotch Broom flowers

Mount Hood, You Say?

As they walked us to our car, they asked, “Where are you headed?”

“Back to Lincoln City, we guess.”

“Ever been to Mt. Hood?” We could see it looming in the distance just over their shoulders.

“Years ago.”

“Like back roads?” We grin at each other.

“Love them. We’ve had enough of interstates.”

“There’s a back road right up there you’d probably love. You passed it on the way in.”

“Tell us more” They did. 

Oregon back road near Sandy

Okay, Let’s Go!

Since we didn’t need to get back home until dinner time, we decided to take the detour. We found the road and started winding our way over towards the mountain. Along the way we found lush green trees along every small road when there wasn’t a farm, that is. It was magnificent!

Take a look at this sign – the town is named – Boring! I just had to snap a photo. The city founders must have had a sense of humor to settle on that name.

town sign - Boring Oregon

Eventually, we turned back onto the main road and followed the Mount Hood Scenic Byway to – you guessed it – Mount Hood. Up we went, higher and higher all the while looking at the mountain from different angles.

It’s a volcanic peak, so there it is all by itself. Most of the mountains we’ve seen are part of ranges where you can’t see just how tall the peaks are.

Sign - Mount Hood Oregon Scenic Byway

It was a gradual approach, and if you look closely, you can see it off in the distance covered with snow! We had the road to ourselves for quite a while.

A snow-covered mountain off in the distance

As we got closer, we found road construction and quite the delay, but we persevered! We also got stuck behind a semi going uphill – now that was fun!A snow-covered mountain up a bit

Soon enough, there it was. Right there! 

A snow-covered mountain just beyond some trees

The snow on the side of the road got deeper and deeper as we ascended to what we thought was the top. What we found out was that you get to Timberline Lodge which is the end of the road, unless you are going to ski.

Mount Hood

Timberline Lodge – What a Sight!

Let’s explore. It was classic WPA construction: heavy, well-designed, for the ages, beautiful artistic details everywhere. 

Timberline Lodge external view

A massive structure, well placed to serve the skiing crowd and tucked away in a flat spot to avoid ruining the view from below. Looks inviting, right? So in we went.

Timberline Lodge external view

We weren’t the only ones by far; there were many cars, skiers everywhere, slogging around in their boots. They still had enough snow to brings the skiers up for some downhill adventure. 

Timberline Lodge external view

Up and Down the Halls

We wandered all over the place – down hallways, through corridors, upstairs and outside. It was a splendid place: who wouldn’t want a nice lunch at a table looking out over the mountains nearby? We certainly did. But the prices were out of our range.

Timberline Lodge Lights

I started noticing many interesting details like those lights. I don’t know why exactly, maybe it’s just that I’ve never seen a light fixture like that. The place was built in another time, and it felt like it. 

Hallway at Timberline Lodge

There were a few long, dark corridors like this one. We think those were guest rooms as it is a ski lodge after all. 

huge central fireplace at Timberline Lodge

We entered a huge room with a massive central fireplace, with soft, cozy sitting areas all around. Then we looked up – wow! This place was impressive.

internal architecture at Timberline Lodge

Look at those chairs with their massive wooden armrests and some wild fabric patterns! Someone who knows more than we do might know what style that is (besides comfortable).

old fashioned chairs at Timberline Lodge

It was quite a bustling place. People were heading to and returning from the slopes, dining, drinking, taking pictures. A few sitting and reading in the quiet areas. 

more architecture at Timberline Lodge

We didn’t walk around too much outside as we weren’t properly dressed. I mean, we were dressed, just not for the snowy weather. There was snow everywhere. It wasn’t freezing, but at that elevation, there was a lot of snow in late spring.

View from Mt Hood of mountains in the distance

These photos are taken looking straight south – towards yet another volcanic mountain in the distance. I know – they aren’t the best photos, but they are the only ones we have.

View from Mt Hood of mountains in the distance

Look who we found when we went over into the ski shop, Smokey, the Bear! Jim had a great conversation before we began our descent down the mountain. 

man talking to Smokey the Bear Statue

Timberline Lodge and Mount Hood are certainly worthy of a return visit! This was a good day in Northern Oregon. A few hours later and we were back with all our furry friends. 

What’s Next – A totally unexpected and extremely short trip to California

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    • Cindy on January 14, 2017 at 10:23 am
    • Reply

    Did you get to see the resident St. Bernard? They always have one or two at Timberline.

    1. Hi Cindy, no we didn’t know about the special dog! What a pitty – it would have been a great treat!

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