We Went Hiking and Earned a Beer

Saturday morning, Lena and I drove to Mt. Hood. It was a super-beautiful day, but Portland’s weather forecast had a three-digit temperature so we thought a hike on the mountain would be more fun than a hike in town. When we got to Government Camp, though, it was already getting hot.

Moon over Summit Meadow

We parked near Trillium Lake and decided to hike some of the snowshoe and XC-skiing trails we’ve visited in recent winters. What we found is that many of these ski trails actually have roads underneath the snow! Because of this, more than half our hike was on dusty gravel and dirt roads. Furthermore, zillions of cars were zooming up and down these narrow roads all day.

trail/road between Summit Meadow and Still Creek

When we were able to get away from the roads, and enjoy quiet trails, the hike was beautiful. The top of Mt. Hood was visible through much of the hike reminding us that we were less than halfway up (4,000 feet elevation versus 11,000 total).

Mt. Hood peak

At the far end of our hike, we came out in the Ski Bowl rec area. In the summer is converted into a family carnival, which you can see part of in this picture. There were lots of kids go-karting and people bungee jumping and all kinds of summer mountain merriment.

We crossed the highway into Government Camp, which is a little town, not really a camp. It also has nothing to do with any government any more. We had lunch at the Ratskeller, which was the first time I’ve ever eaten in a restaurant named after a rat!

Mt. Hood peak over Ski Bowl summer recreation area

When we were almost done… feet starting to ache, dehydration setting in despite the extra water we carried with us, we found the Trillium Lake public access area, which is normally deserted. Hundreds of people stretching all around this side of the lake, and cars overflowing the tiny parking lot. No wonder so many cars spit up dust at us all day!

Trillium Lake access area

Though we pride ourselves on our bad-ass fitness, after five hours hiking we were ready to be done. I had worked up a powerful thirst, and we stopped so I could pick up a nice, frosty beer. Mmmmm, Widmer Hefeweizen mini-keg!


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