Oregon – Day 2

Oregon – Day 2

Today was an EPIC day.  Probably the longest, and toughest hikes that we did all week.  20+ miles of hiking, that were every bit worth it because of the views we saw throughout them.

Today, we’re headed out to Mt. Hood, but first….

That’s right, before we hit the road, we had to get our fill of coffee, and doughnuts!  We hit the local coffee shop, and they had some cool signs, so I had to snap a picture.

Then, headed over to Voodoo Doughnuts, which if you’ve never been, you’ll wait in a line, and you’ll see get the chance to eat some of the strangest combinations of flavors, and toppings you’ll ever see.  I picked the Coco Puffs, which if you know me at all, if there’s chocolate involved, I’m in!

Getting on the road, you start to get the feel of what Oregon is like.  I’m serious, Texas…  everything isn’t bigger there.  Everything is bigger in Oregon.  It’s truly incredible the size of everything in Oregon.  The trees, mountains, ocean, beaches, dunes, waterfalls…  Oregon has it, and they are epic!

The color of green is something different, it’s deeper…  in color, in texture, in every way imaginable.  The contrast of the blue sky, and white clouds. It’s so difficult to capture it in a picture frame, so I hope that I can do it some justice through today blog.

Ok, here we go..  we planned on doing the Pacific Crest Trail, which is a drive up to Timberline Lodge on Mt Hood.  It’s a 9 mile hike along the Timber Ridge of Mt Hood, and supposed to be pretty difficult, and we were super pumped to hike!

We made our way up the mountain, and noticed the temperature drop as we went up.  We weren’t too worried, as we brought layers for it.  It kept dropping, and kept dropping.

Snow…  Huh…  so, there’s some snow…  Ok, well, no problem, right?

Hahaha!  Sooooo….   yeah.  As we’re being passed by cars and SUV’s full of ski, and snowboard bums, we realize something.  That storm that went through last night…  yeah, well it dumped a couple feet of snow on Mt. Hood last night.

So, ok, here we go, let’s go check it out anyway.  We get to the Timberline Lodge.  We’re wearing shorts, hiking boots, and sweatshirts.  Walking around as if we are totally under control, and know what we’re doing.

“Yeah, we’re just up here hanging out, we weren’t planning on hiking…  duh..  totally not.”

*Facepalm*

We walk around a little bit, as if we totally planned to just check it out a bit, and with our tails between our legs, decide that we’re probably going to need to find a new place to hike.

Oregon… you got us!  Our first lesson in how quickly the Oregon weather can change things for you, and as the storms roll through, at this altitude can drop some serious snow down on a mountain.

The upsides were this…  the skiers, and snowboarders were totally pumped!  Also, the fresh white stuff made for an AMAZING contrast in some of the view we were going to experience later on today!

Above the clouds!!!

Brush it off, and let’s keep truckin’.

We headed off to find some more trails.  By the way, the All Trails App is absolutely amazing.  We found so many cool trails, and it would link directly to Apple maps so that we could find the trail head.  If you’re planning on doing any hiking, or looking for a local place to hike, download the All Trails app, and enjoy!

Our first hike of the day…

Mirror Lake

Our first hike of the day was absolutely epic.  You immediately felt the weight of the size of everything.  The air was cool as the giant trees started to block out all the light as we started to get deep into these forest hikes.

We moved pretty quickly at first to keep warm, and again the contrast of the brown/red trail against the green background was spectacular.

One thing we noticed right away, which became very evident as the days passed is that, every time you took a few steps, it was like you were in a different place.  As if all the trees that you just saw, that you’d think that look like all the other trees, were quite different.  New angles, new heights, breathtaking views.  You were compelled to take pictures, and you almost had to force yourself to just leave your camera in your pocket, and enjoy the view with your own eyes.

This hike was a little over 4 miles, and boy…  the lake was absolutely worth the hike.  Check it out!

Absolutely crystal clear water, and the reflection of the trees, and Mt. Hood on it were amazing.

We hung out here for a bit, and noticed there was a continuation of trails from Mirror Lake to “Tom, Dick, and Harry Trail”.

This was another 7 mile hike, and it was supposed to be much more challenging, but still moderate.  We got moving right away, as we still had more hiking, and canoeing on our agenda for the day.

Off we go!

We made it!  And holy crap, was it amazing!  From the view, you were able to see Mt. Hood, Mt. Ranier, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Bachelor!  I wasn’t able to get great pics, but in the wide view of Mt. Hood, you can see Mt. Ranier in the distance to the left.

Just spectacular views!  We just sat up on the rocks, and were a bit in awe of again the grandness of it all.

The recent snowfall on Mt. Hood made it such a stark contrast against the blue sky, and the green trees.  Just unbelievable.

We also took a picture of Mirror Lake down below so you could get a little bit of an idea of the elevation we climbed.

Not too much else to say except to check out the pictures.

Enjoy!

Getting hungry now, and we really didn’t want to spend a lot of time eating out, so we had packed some trail food.  Mostly bars, jerky, and trail mix.  You know, the good stuff with all the peanut butter, and chocolate things.

Next stop, Trillium Lake.

So…  many of you reading this may not know, but I’m not a huge fan of water.  I was professionally rescued out of the water 2 times in my life.  Can I swim?  Sort of…  I can swim for short distances, then I tire, and panic apparently.

Jake Schneider once asked me before a ski trip…  “Are you gullible?”  I said no.  He responds, “Are you competitive?”…   got me.

Yep, my competitiveness keeps me trying, regardless of the consequences.  So, every time I’m in California, I try surfing, and have been successful.  

Anyway, water is a mixed bag for me, so, here we go…  let’s grab the canoe!

Yep, Trillium Lake was basically breathtaking, just like everything else we had seen so far in Oregon.

It was a beautiful afternoon, a little windy, so we were blown around a bit on the lake, but what was great about it was that we just canoed to a spot, and let the wind push us across the lake.  We really didn’t spend much time paddling at all.

There were quite a few fisherman out on the water, so there must be some good fishing here as well.

As you can see, it’s almost a perfect silhouette of Mt Hood’s stark white fresh snow against the clear blue sky, with a base of perfectly green trees.

At times the wind would calm, and you’d see the exact opposite reflection on the water of the trees, and the mountain.  It was something to see for sure.

In the midst of relaxing in the canoe, a Bald Eagle swooped down.  He kept dive bombing a fisherman over, and over.  Turns out he had a fish on his line, and the eagle wanted it.  If you’ve ever seen the size of a Bald Eagle, I think he did the right thing by just letting the fish go. 

What we found here, and many other places is that we took about 50 pictures, and at the end of the day, they all look just like this one, haha!  At the time, it’s just so overwhelming, you feel like you don’t want to miss a moment of the wind dying down, or a new angle, or as you inch closer, and closer to the mountain, or a tree. 

We spent a few hours here, and decided that we REALLY needed a beer, and something to eat.  So, it was time to hit the road to the next adventure.

Mt. Hood Brewery!  Excellent beer, really cool place, with a cool little patio.  I didn’t take many pictures here, but if you know me, I LOVE desserts. I love apple crisp, cobbler, pie..  So, on the menu there was an Apple Cobbler “for two”. 

Now people…  I’ve seen this game played before.  “For two” might be accurate for normal people, but I can eat 2 Chipotle Burritos at a sitting.  I can eat a 14″ pizza without blinking.  When I go to Fogo De Chao, they put a time limit on me.  (Just kidding, but seriously…)

So I scoff at the idea that this cobbler “For Two” was even going to be a thing.

Well, they did it…  not only was it a cobbler for Paul Bunyan, AND Babe…  but it was absolutely tasty!

Next was Zig Zag falls.  We found it on the way to another trail we wanted to go to, and it was a quick 1.2 mile hike, so we figured we’d try to work off a little bit of our beer, and that damn cobbler before we hit our next big hike for the day.

Zig Zag Falls

Off to the next one, and this one was a pretty big one.  Especially with all that we had done already today, I don’t think we quite expected what 7 more miles of hiking would feel like.

We were still running high on adrenaline, and cobbler, and from what we heard, Ramona Falls was again, worth the hike.

Ramona Falls 

All of a sudden everything was different.The scenery on this hike was very different than what we had seen so far.It was very sandy, and much less green than it had been other places.

It wasn’t less beautiful, just different.  As we moved along the trail, we realized we were in a bit of a “Wash Zone” for spring glacial river activity.  

One of the first things we see is a sign that was basically a warning, and telling us how to cross a glacial river.  What??  Ok, but we’re up for it, right?  Yikes…  remember how much I love water?

Also, you get a few glimpses of Mt. Hood against that bright blue sky again.  Love it!

Check it out!

So, we’re hiking along side of this river, and I’m starting to think, “How in the hell are we going to get across this thing?  Are we really going to have to hold each other like a middle school dance partner, and inch across?

The water is moving really fast, and there was absolutely nobody on the trail.  I wasn’t really sure if it was going to be safe, but I figured…

“We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it!”

See what I did there??  Bridge, there isn’t one…  um…

🙂 

The Bridge.

We made it, turns out there was a “Bridge”.  Mostly a bunch of washed down trees laying across the river.  We did finally see someone coming across the other way, so that made it pretty easy to see what we needed to do.

Fun little piece of our journey for sure!

I’m not gonna lie, even though we felt plenty safe, it did get your heart pumping a bit.  The water was REALLY moving, and you did have to concentrate a bit on where you were putting your feet, and hands.

Cool to have a little challenge, a little adrenaline pump, and excitement after a couple miles of hiking to keep us moving.

Continuing on, we started to REALLY want to get there.  Our feet are starting to get a bit tired, and sort.  My ankles were getting fatigued a bit, so we found ourselves constantly tripping over nothing.  We started to need to be a little more conscious of what we were doing.

In a matter of minutes, the landscape changed again.  Going from a sandy, rocky type of trail, the weight of the green started to fall on us again.  The air changes, the temperature changes, the views start changing.  It’s a bit of a relief at this point, as we were getting hot, and a bit tired, so the cool, wet feeling was really nice.

We made it…  just a cascade of water down the side of 200 ft of rocks, and moss.  At this point, it was one of the best things we’d seen so far.  Which is always an interesting statement, considering it felt like that every time we saw something.

Enjoy the pics!

I wish I could post ALL the pictures on here.  None of them do any of this justice though.  Every angle was so much different, and awe inspiring.  Just an amazing place.

This was a loop, so the second half of the hike was completely different than the first.  It continued to be very green, and lush.

It was so quiet, not another person on the trail that we could see.  We rarely saw any wildlife, it was just us.

Lindsey said that she felt like trolls were going to come out of the moss at one point, and that’s exactly how it felt.  Like you were in some other place, in a far away land, where nothing was reality. 

The way back was so cool, so green, we zig zagged across a little bubbling stream, so you always heard the rush of the water over the rocks.

On one part of the hike, you started to see the huge, white, carved stone wall on one side of us.  You could never get a perfect view of it, but it was there, and from what you could see, it was enormous.  The sun just lit it up on our right side for about a half mile.  Again, pictures just don’t do it justice, the size was just incredible.

We made it!  A little over 20 miles of hiking today, and a couple hours in the canoe at Trillium Lake!

Not much we would change about today, though you could absolutely spend a couple days in the Mt. Hood area hiking.  We didn’t even get the opportunity to hike Mt. Hood, which I think would be really spectacular.

This seems like a really abrupt end to the day, but we made it off this hike just as the sun was going down, and still had about a 1.5 hour drive back to Portland.

We grabbed some food very quickly, and cashed in.  

It was a really EPIC day, and hope you enjoyed the journey! 

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