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canoeing, kayaking and other adventures

canoeing and kayaking adventures born in the Southeastern U.S. and now centered in Scotland...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Mount Hood Scenic Loop - 17/10/2008

After my Canadian adventure, I headed farther west to meet up with some friends near Portland, Oregon, for a long weekend. I woke up in London, ON, at 4.15am to catch my wickedly early flight from the local airport, which led to my arrival to Portland early enough for a drive to Mount Hood. On the way in to the airport, the pilot had played tour guide and we swooped wide at Mount Hood so everybody could see it. Apparently the people on the right side of the airplane could see Mount St. Helens, too. I could not. I remember feeling disappointed that I would be too late arriving, but luck had it that I did not miss out after all.

I met Jeanne in the hotel lobby when the van dropped me off. Lynette and Debby were back at the airport renting a car. I did not feel like I would hold out long enough to drive safely in the evening, so I didn't mind the inefficiency one bit. We left the hotel right around noon and followed the directions that Lynette's friend for a few hours on the airplane sketched for her. We enjoyed a lovely drive through Oregon's countryside just as the trees were thinking it was autumn. A few pitstops allowed for photos of Mount Hood and vicinity. One vicinity stop let us explore a tiny bit of the Oregon Trail, a very steep trail where the pioneers of the day dragged big fir trees behind their wagons to act as brakes going down. Imagine how the oxen felt with all of that stuff dragging behind them! Someone suggested they used sleds as well because the wooden wheels would not be up for it, but the cartoon by the hill said otherwise.

We arrived to Mount Hood and the famous Timberline Lodge just as the cloud shifted at Mount Hood's summit. Perfect for photos. Inside, the food was wonderful and apparently the hot chocolate was worthy of its legendary status. Nothing on their menu was substantial enough to feed me properly, but the waitress was really cool about helping to combine pieces of other meals to make something good.

The drive home took us along the Hood River (looks like awesome whitewater!) and then the Columbia River before we jumped onto a scenic road along the gorge walls. The waterfalls were spectacular and some are marked on the Interstate nearby as well. Sunset made them even more beautiful, which unfortunately did not translate as well to photography. As sunset descended upon us, so did my jet lag. I was very glad to not be driving. I managed to stay awake to 9pm local time, but then slept very, very well.

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At 21 October, 2008 10:09, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oxen probably didn't mind at all. They were disconnected fron the wagon and walked down the hill. The wagon was braked by the logs and ropes around trees so that the oxen could be hooked up at the bottom to continue the journey.


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