If you find your happy place somewhere near a beautiful mountain, then we speak the same language. Late in May, we drove from our campground near Madras, Oregon (Pelton Park Campground), up to Mount Hood and back. We were traveling with our friend Liz. I keep trying to talk her into posting some of her beautiful photos, but you will have to make due with mine.
We were looking for a little hiking, but the trails we had in mind were still snowed in. What I wouldn’t have paid for a pair of snowshoes!
Our First Stop: Government Camp Near Mount Hood
So we kept driving until we came to a village called Government Camp. This is the only town within five miles of Mount Hood. There is a very large public rest area on the road which also serves as the parking lot for the Summit Ski area. The town was named by settlers on the Barlow Road, a rough and difficult road that immigrants used to cross into the farmlands of the Oregon Territory. US Calvary troops were forced to abandon wagons and supplies there during a winter storm.
At the Summit Ski area we found a cafe for lunch. Then, realizing we had forgotten the leashes for the pups, proceeded to buy two leashes. Arg, the prices!
We Visit the Historic Timberline Lodge
So we kept going to Timberline Lodge. The workers of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was built in the lodge. President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated it in 1937. It is currently a National Historic Landmark.
For movie buffs, this building was used as the exterior of the Overlook Hotel in The Shining.
Once at Timberline Lodge, you have a choice. You can go inside to a very nice restaurant and pay for a buffet. (Ok, I’ll admit it. We opted for the buffet). However, if you prefer the budget version, you can just make your soup in the parking lot. I learned a lot about ski bums on this trip. Several people, mostly young were parked in their vans in the parking lot. Their goal: save money while being able to ski at the lodge. We spoke to one who said he had a job for several months to save money so he could come to Mount Hood and ski. When the money runs out, he’ll get another job. Apparently van camping is where it’s at!
Since we bought leashes, Tucker and Bella got to go for a walk. Good thing!
The road trip to Mount Hood reminded us why we travel. The beauty of God’s creation sometimes takes our breath away. Enjoy the photos here!