Monday, July 6, 2015

Mt. Hood

It did get cool last night and I slept like a log! Nice after several nights in store parking lots and rest stops!

We spent a little while this morning mapping out the rest of the trip, we had no real plan for what we were doing next! We looked at the coast and made a plan of attack and I figured out how many days I'd need to get home and when I'd have to leave so we knew how to break it up.

It was after 9 before we started out to drive the Mt. Hood Scenic loop. We headed back east on I84 to get to Hood River then went south on Oregon 35.

The first part of the loop was part of the Oregon "Fruit Loop" which featured many farm stands, u-pick farms, and wineries. We picked one fruit stand to stop at, Packer's. In addition to fruit they had smoothies, jams, and baked goods. We got to sample most everything they had and we got a little haul for the road!

Almost as soon as we got away from the interstate we were able to see Mt. Hood! It had a cool cloud over the top of it - kind of looked like a halo! At the fruit stand we were looking north and realized we can see Mt. Adams! And we realized Mt. Rainier is very close as well! This should not have surprised us, we saw Mt. Hood from Mt. Rainier, but it feels like it is very far away, even though it's not! Seeing the big snow covered volcanoes was like seeing old friends!

We continued south on 35! There's a lot of winter activity in Mt. Hood National Forest and not as much summer. Most of the trails are open for cross country skiing and I would assume, snowshoeing (I almost brought my snowshoes but when I saw the weather report that it was going to be 90 I figured any snow that might still be around would be gone. 5 years ago I could gave snowshoed on Mt. Rainier in July!)

Our first stop was at Trillium Lake! They had a campground, a picnics area and a nice 2 mile path around the lake. This one was totally flat, no big rock pile at the end and all three of us walked all the way around. It was a nice walk, big trees, lots of shade (it seemed much cooler!), some marshy areas, and great views of Mt. Hood!

After Trillum Lake we grabbed a yummy lunch at the Taco Shoppe in Government Camp! Government Camp is a small town right near Mt. Hood, I imagine most of their business comes in winter, but they are open year round. We didn't check out the other stores, many of them appeared to be ski related.

We headed back to Hood River via Forest Service Road #18. The road was mostly paved, but it was first in spots. We had some fabulous views of Mt. Hood! Going back on the forest service road meant we could stop at Lost Lake! This is another campground, picnic area, lake. The trail around Lost Lake was 3 miles. Dad and I set out but we didn't think we'd go the whole way - we'd just walk 20 mins in and turn around, however when we got 20 minutes in we thought we were halfway around, so we kept going. We weren't quite halfway around. So we walked faster hoping to make it around without it taking too long. Dad must have taken off running because he got back about 10 minutes before me. I did the walk in under an hour (just barely) but that means I was walking 3 miles an hour, which is no problem at home on the sidewalk, but on a trail it's hard to do!

By now it was 6pm and we needed to get back! We headed back out the Forest Service road and somehow got confused near Hood River and ended up on the the wrong road, but it was going to take us back to I84 so it was all good. This other road had views of Mt. Adams, and as we realized, Mt. Rainier! They are right in front of each other and Adams is blocking most of Rainier but you can see them both!


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