This year (Dec. 7th) marks 4 years that Josh and I have been married. The first two years we celebrated by dropping the dogs off at his parents house and staying the night away getting the dinner (Cheesecake factory!!!) and a movie experience. Last year we were here in Oregon and we honestly can't remember what we did. In fact, I just went to go see what I blogged about and I didn't! boo.
This year our anniversary was on a friday. Josh had his last final that morning so we mostly just spent the day relaxing and getting some errands done. We went out for lunch and made dinner at home, got food packed for the next day, and had peppermint (schnapps) hot chocolate and quickly fell asleep from our busy week.
Saturday we got up, although not as early as I would have liked, and got our gear together and headed out to Mt. Hood. We left the pups home (we are lucky to have great neighbor friends who love dogs) so we can tour Timberline Lodge. Timberline is a pretty famous place, it's ON Mt. Hood and was built in 1935 - you may know it if you have ever seen The Shining with Jack Nickolson, they filmed parts of the movie there. Before we left we checked the conditions; 6 new inches of snow from the past 24 hours!
I planned on making breakfast... but it burnt while I was doing my hair. Who would have thought that you had to actually be IN the kitchen while cooking?! So we stopped for some bagels at a local cafe and drove the 2.5 hours to Government Camp, Oregon.
|Crossing from rain into the snow, the trees ahead are covered in white|
|Not a far drive if you are ever visiting Portland|
I also took a short video (63 seconds) of driving the road up the mountains, the video was taken just a couple minutes after the snow line started - but I wanted to share it with all the people who don't get to see trees like this. (sidenote: I am new to the youtube video thing, did you know about all the editing features on there?! I could spend hours playing with colors and enhancements!)
video has music, check your sound before playing
Government Camp is a cute little town at the base of Mt Hood. The road up to the lodge was already closed because the parking lot was full, it was only 11:30 in the morning! So we stopped in the travel center to see what our options were and we were told that since the ski lifts close at 3:30 the lot starts to empty around 2pm. We decided to go snowshoeing to take up the middle part of the day and we were hoping to make it up to the lodge around 2 for the last tour of the day.
|the town of Government Camp|
|Josh at Trillium last year|
So we rented some snowshoes and parked the car and headed out. It was obviously cloudy and currently snowing, so I knew that the view wouldn't be as picturesque as when the guys went - but I was still hopeful. And if nothing else we'd at least get in a good snowshoeing exercise!
The hike was MUCH longer than we thought (which was 3 miles) and all the online info Josh read and signs posted along the trail... none of them included the 1/2 mile walk to the loop. Where you park your car you can go just to the left and go sledding down some little hills (we forgot our sled) or you can go to the Trillium Loop trial to the right. The trail starts off down hill, which means at the end when you're tired and hungry you have to finish by going up hill. This was obviously the first thought in my head, but I was so excited to get to the lake that I thought I wouldn't care at the end.... So we forked off to the right at the beginning of the loop and shortly after we saw a sign that said 2 3/4 miles to the lake. I had never been there before, but Josh had and he said it doesn't seem that far from what he could remember, so we stuck to that path. Not long after the split you come across this neat old grave to the left of the path (from the 1800's) that is fenced off and directly across it on the right was a sign that listed a phone number so you can call and listen to the story of the grave site. I think you can do this from anywhere as it is just a regular Portland area number. Also the clearing to the right was supposed to have an great view of Hood that the graves faced. It was so cloudy that all we saw were white snow clouds.
The trail didn't have much snow on it and we could have probably walked it without the snow shoes. I swear these were the heaviest snowshoes I have ever rented! They weren't so heavy that I was sore the next day, or even really during the hike, but I could feel the work it was taking in my gluts and upper thigh muscles as I was taking the steps. The trail started to feel like it was going for.ev.er.
|Trillium Lake Trail|
Josh would tell me, 'the trail is going to cut this way, then down this hill, then around that way' and he was right, his memories were correct, but he didn't remember it feeling as long last time as it was this time. And remember, to this point was under 3 miles! We made it to the lake and I was getting hopeful again. It was a nice hike, but when we got to the lake and saw that several people had drove there (which we didn't know you could do!) and there was still no view of Hood; we felt a little defeated.
|behind all the clouds is a great view of Hood|
|Josh's view last year. What I was hoping to see.|
We sat down at the picnic bench and had some water and watched some people and their dogs play in the snow before leaving. Josh remembered that the way out had a couple of hills. And it did, 2 of them. They weren't hard hills to walk so we just kept moving. It was pretty tiring at that point and we talked about actually taking the snowshoes off and just walking in our boots but kept deciding against it. We finally came to a sign that pointed the way we came from and stated we just walked/hiked 1.5 miles from the lake and we only have the 1/2 mile to go back up that last hill to the car. We were excited to finally be done. Since we weren't expecting such a long hike we made the silly choice of leaving the food in the car! We were so hungry by this point and still had to walk up that giant hill. We took off our snowshoes and pushed up the last part. As soon as we got to the car we pulled off our gear and grabbed our lunched and scarfed them down in the car. We were a little surprised to see that was now passed 3:30 and that it took us 3 HOURS for that hike, nearly double the amount of time we were planning on taking.
|our delicious lunches!|
We brought our gear back to the rental place and on the way passed the road up to the lodge. People were pouring out of there so we were excited that parking spots were now open. We turned on to the road and saw someone standing on the side of the entrance where they were turning people back earlier in the day, we assumed it was a lodge employee giving out info so we pulled over. Turns out it was a kid (our age) with a snowboard looking for a ride back up to the lodge. We cleared the gear out of the seats and he was able to fit in and his board fit too. We were justing hiking so we know what it's like to be tired and just need a quick ride to the end. He said he set out too late not realizing it and was a little worried that he wouldn't be able to get a ride up to the top at that time of day. We chatted since it was a couple minutes up to the top; he is actually a student here at OSU for electrical engineering! He also used to work at the lodge and told us a few things about it's history and that the movie (The Shining) was not filmed inside - only the outside shots are from Timberline. And that the inside is all hand carved. All the wood and iron work was done by artist and that you can still see the hammer marks in the floors from when they originally put them in.
We dropped him off in the parking lot and headed in to the lodge for some relaxation time... and a beer. That place is amazingly beautiful. While we were there we decided that next year we are going to spend the weekend there for our anniversary because once we had our drinks and we were sitting on the couches we did not want to get up. The atmosphere is so relaxing and the christmas light gave this great orange glow to all the wood. The best was to describe it is with pictures, which I took as many as I could with my phone.
|from the main door looking out, covered stairway outside|
|they don't make them like this anymore|
|this looks fake! but that is *real* snow and frost|
|one of the many fire places|
Next year we are for sure spending the weekend here!