The Pacific Northwest. Some of our family can’t wait to get here, some of our family couldn’t care less, and some were completely skeptical. We arrived in Oregon after a long drive along the Columbia River past Mt Hood and some waterfalls seen from the highway. It was beautiful. We had mixed reviews of the campsite we were staying at for just under two weeks, so no one knew what to expect. After our checkin, drive over to the huge lot to unhook our tow and then the drive out to the site, all concerns left. The location was amazing and it kept getting better.
Our site was tucked in the trees. We hadn’t been around this many trees since staying in Lenoir, NC over Halloween. Our Starlink internet worked well because we kept our motorhome nose right at the edge of our site property. This benefited us greatly because we had ample room to put up our Quickset, which was also all tucked in the trees. This is the first campsite we’ve been in where we actually felt as though we were camping. We made fire in the fire pit and cooked dutch oven chili, smores, banana boats, and blackberry cobbler. We became nostalgic and decided that we definitely need to go tent camping again, soon.
Not only did this location have trees, and suitable temperatures for cooking on a firepit, but it also had trails that you could take down to the river. These trails provided tucked away spots where you could go out on the rocks and play in the water. Your feet might get wet, but it was totally worth it. We found about six different locations where we could get to the water. The views were spectacular, the water was refreshing and you could just watch all of your worries and cares flow away through the shallow moving river that was bumping along the rocks. Our eldest even said that the air smelled better here than it has anywhere else. Yes, my son, it certainly does.
If you drive over to Mt Hood Village, you can take a 35-mile self guided tour along their Hood River Fruit Loop Trail. There are 27 fruit stands, U-pick farms, fruit orchards and small town shops along the way that will provide you with the most delicious fruits, ciders, brews, wines, and produce you can imagine. We came home stocked full of cherries, blueberries, raspberries and cider. Luckily Jason was the voice of reason and the dog was home alone, so we couldn’t visit every stand and break the bank. One day, however, I’d love to go back and see more.
Last, but certainly not least, we were able to drive up to the Timberline Lodge on Mt Hood which is such a high mountain that you can ski on the slopes for ten months out of the year. Since we arrive the very end of July, the lodge was getting ready to shut down for it’s two month rest period. That was not stopping the avid skiers and snowboarders who were still riding up the lifts and sailing down the slopes. We were able to ride half way up as pedestrians and play in the snow. Now, I’ve been a skier since I was 7 years old and I’ve never been so terrified being on a ski lift as I was that day. Who knew that having ski gear on and a large blanket of white snow below you gives massive amounts of security. Not me, obviously. But luckily we made it. The air was still fresh and chill, the snow was a bit choppy, but it was also the end of July. We got to walk back down the mountain on foot, bypassing the ski lift declining the mountain, and witness the views of a lifetime.
Once we got back down to the Timberline Lodge, we were able to go in and check out the high-alpine lodge that was built back in 1937 by the stone and timbers in the area. It was constructed by the same man who designed the Zion Mountain Lodge who constructed the stone fireplace with 800,000 lbs of stone. The interior holds artifacts from the beginning showing the history and love that are held within this lodge. And as a special bonus for those Stanley Kubrick lovers out there, the Timberline lodge was also the hotel in the woods for the Shining. Such an amazing adventure and wonderful experience on so many levels!