Having never been to the Pacific Northwest (or even the West Coast), just about every day is a new adventure for me. I’ve gone on my first hike, slept in my first cabin (and bunk bed!), sawed my first tree… The list goes on and on. This weekend was particularly exciting for me. I got to “climb” my first mountain and visit my first waterfall!
We started off the morning driving to Timberline Lodge. Don’t ask me how, but our group is now addicted to Sporcle and we were fiendishly playing in the car. We arrived at the lodge, located at 6,000 feet above sea level. Timberline Lodge is famous for being used as the exterior of the Overlook Hotel in The Shining. But here’s a quick history lesson (Sorry, I’m a history major…). The lodge was built by the WPA during the Great Depression in 15 months because FDR had agreed to fly out and dedicate the lodge. The lodge struggled financially for a long time, due to mismanagement, but Richard Kohnstamm turned things around in the 50′s, just in time for skiing to become a popular sport in America. Today, Timberline has the longest ski season in America.
We had a quick tour of the lodge and learned a lot about the interior and preservation. My lens in Portland is sustainable living, and it’s really fascinating to see how little things can be done to reuse materials. For example, chains hanging in front of the fire grate came from old snow tire chains from the trucks that carried materials to the lodge. Old railroad tracks were also hammered into railings by the fireplace. Even considering the fact that that was done during the Great Depression, it was a smart way to use what resources were available.
Afterward, we went up to Mt. Hood by taking the Magic Mile ski lift up. I’m a Floridian at heart, so it was baffling to see snow around me and to be crunching (and slipping) through it in my sneakers in July. The ride up in the lift was breathtaking. (Did I mention that this was my first ski lift ride ever?) Seeing the blinding white snow, feeling the cold wind, and watching my feet dangle was a whole new experience. At the top, we clambered out and messed around in the snow. Boulders were scaled (and pictures duly taken), a snowball was thrown (Thanks, Charlie), and snow was laid in. When the fun was over, we headed back to the lodge and started off for Multnomah Falls.
At the falls, we agreed to hike to the top and see the view. It was a little bit crowded in the park, but it was also a beautiful summer day, so who can blame them? The path uphill was a winding one and it was a brisk climb up. When we got to the top, the view was breathtaking (in more ways than one). The mist was refreshing after our hike and we paused to take lots of pictures and to enjoy the view.
The walk back downhill was much easier. At the bottom of the waterfall, we got delicious fudge samples! I’ve definitely noticed that many of the highlights of our trips around Portland revolve around food…
It was an awesome weekend and I’m definitely excited for more outdoor adventures to come!