"…By what stretch of arrogance do you think a life form that looks like you is more important than a life form that doesn’t?”Joel Salatin

Nothing is more beneficial to your wellbeing than to look for and acknowledge those parts of everyday life that you enjoy.

"If you are happy where you are now, why does it matter how painful it was to get there?" -- Abraham

"It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life." -- Bilbo Baggins a.k.a. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

"And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet, and the winds long to play in your hair." -- Kahill Gibran

“And forget not

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Day 5 -- Mt. Hood etc.

Mount Hood

Wednesday, we drove to Mt. Hood.  At 11,249 feet, it is quite an eye catcher.

On the way, we stopped at the Huckleberry Inn in Government Camp, Oregon, for breakfast.  I asked the waitress, Toni, how the town got it's name and she handed me the menu and flipped it over so I could read all about it. 

For those interested, Government Camp began in 1849.  This was when the first U.S. Regiment of Mounted Riflemen crossed the plains into Oregon country arriving at the site called The Dalles.  Most of the troops and their equipment were transported downriver by boat to Vancouver WA.  The remaining troops expected to follow as soon as more boats became available. Plans changed however and the troops were ordered to proceed to Oregon City by way of the Oregon trail. Bogged down by mud and snow, with half their livestock missing or dead, and soldiers nearing total exhaustion, Lt. David Frost abandoned 45 Calvary wagons in October of 1849, before starting down Laurel Hill.  Located two miles west of Government Camp, the challenging Laurel Hill descent earned a reputation among pioneers as a troublesome part of the Oregon Trail.

Emigrants had to lower wagons down a series of steep rocky chutes from ropes snubbed to trees, or
drag big logs behind them in hopes they wouldn't careen down the ravines.

"Come to Laurel Hill.  This is the worst hill on the road from the states to Oregon..." from the diary of Absalom Harden, 1847.

The presence of the soldiers beside the Barlow Road (now the Mt. Hood Road) became the namesake of  this Alpine Village -- Government Camp.

As I drive around through this high mountainous, impenetrable forested area, I can't help but wonder how any of those pioneers survived. It is truly amazing country.

 The Huckleberry Inn in Government Camp, Oregon

At the Huckleberry Inn, they know how to fix breakfast.  We ate as if we were some of those starving pioneers!  We also purchased Huckleberry jam and vinaigrette.

Then on we went.

Mt. Hood is the highest mountain in Oregon, with an elevation of 11,249 feet. Driving up Mt. Hood, was nothing like the trip up Pikes Peak, thank goodness. For one thing, the highway doesn't go above the timberline or even close to the summit.  It stops much lower down, where the Timberline Lodge and Ski Resort was in full swing. Skiers in summer? Yes! Dotti learned that Mt. Hood has plenty of snow all summer for different kinds of sking, plus snowboarding.  There was a bus full of skiers from Canada come to play on Mt. Hood.

dead tree on Mt. Hood
Same tree, but I turned the camera just a few inches to the right.

I thought this was interesting .
On our way down, I pulled into a camping area, stopped and got out.  In Oregon there is very little bare ground.  Mosses grow on everything that stands still long enough for it to get a toe hold. Ferns and numerous kinds of groundcovers, including wild blackberries in sunny areas, are abundant too.

campsite cooker

Moss is also a problem for roof tops here.  I saw signs advertising "roof shampooing".  I've also seen old out buildings with a full growth of green moss.  It looks awesome! but like anything that grows and spreads, it's destructive.

Click here to see a waterfall on the road to Mt. Hood.

The wild blackberries have to be the scourge of this area.  The thorns protect the fruit so well that nothing goes after them except the occasional well protected human. From the highway, I've seen whole pastures of these vines -- growing so thick and tall, nothing but ground dwelling rodents could possibly get through them.

The blackberries are delicious, though.  Dotti's cousin, Cathie, picked some for us off her own vines, but that's a story for tomorrow.  Blackberries are sold everywhere here but I'm sure they come from thorn less varieties grown on farms.
After Mt. Hood, which so far is my favorite of the mountains, we went to see Multnomah Falls. I was having problems with my phone camera at that point and I ended up using my other camera, so I can't upload those pictures from here.

The Multnomah waterfalls were well visited. I lost Dotti in the crowd and figured I'd find her on the high bridge, so I went up.

When I came back down I still couldn't find her so I stopped to visit with a little girl and her pet pig, Sparkles. I must have taken those pictures with the digital camera, but Sparkles was a CUTE little double mini, the girl told me.  Sparkles had walked up to the bridge with her people and done very well, her girl told me. I'd never gotten to pet a pig before so that was an awesome experience!

I found Dotti.  We'd passed a series of tall rock outcroppings along I-84.  The tallest was named Rooster Rock.  We headed back toward Portland to see it.  Access to it was a small park beside the Colombia River.  I noticed a young couple watching something through binoculars, so I asked.  They said they had noticed an female Osprey flying up there and had actually gotten to watch her catch a fish out of the river and carry it to her young on Rooster Rock.  They were considering coming back early the next morning to  climb the rooster and get better pictures of the Osprey's nest and youngsters.

Rooster Rock
Crown Point
Rooster Rock and the two  huge pieces on the other side of I-84 were part of a landslide  probably millions of years ago.  They apparently fell off Crown Point.

At Rooster Rock State Park, we got out our "snacks" and had a picnic.  A "squirrel beggar" came to see if we had anything to share.  She was so fat already, she wobbled, but she ate more than her share of cheese and crackers.  Three more came before we left.  They were considerably smaller than her and it soon became apparent to me and to Dotti, that she ruled the roost.  The others came up to me for food but grabbed it and ran off so she wouldn't take it away from them.

After our picnic, we, neither of us, can remember what we did the rest of the day, so I will end this here. What can I say? We're seniors.

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