Friday, April 4, 2014

the wondrous mt. hood

i'm just now going through photos of our trip to oregon and it's giving me a little bit of heartache. how is it possible that it's been only a short while since we returned and i have such strong  nostalgia for this in between time in the woods? travel oregon has a fantastic campaign in which they are inviting different travel photographers to experience the seven wonders of oregon and we were lucky enough to visit stunning mt. hood!

we hiked to waterfalls and beautiful rivers, tubed, rode bikes, ate amazingly decadent dinners, drank hot cocoa, hiked some more, and then fell into bed exhausted every night. i left with a more connected family and a deeper love of the pacific northwest.
we stayed in a cozy chalet in government camp and then one luxurious night at the resort at the mountain (complete with massages!) it was hard to leave.

my mt. hood favorites:

the timberline lodge - this was one of the first and last places we stopped on our trip to mt. hood. my husband and i both agree that we need to stay there one day so that we can properly explore the grounds (if you plan to stay, definitely book well in a year in advance!) it's well known for being in the exterior shots of stanley kubrick's the shining. more importantly it has a beautiful wood bar sitting below the looming mt. hood with a lovely menu featuring fondue and hot toddies. all of the art is depression era and the curtains all have insane patterns dating back from when the timberline opened in 1932. we went here twice.

we were lucky enough to meet heidi, timberline's mascot, a frisky st. bernard, and take her for a walk (more like she walked elodie.) everyone stopped us oohing and ahhhing hoping for a photo-op. we got both the girls little st. bernard stuffies as a souvenir of this lovely day.

all the hikes!

during our trip, we did a lot of hiking. there was still quite a bit of snow on the ground and so papa and elodie were hand in hand almost the entire time we were on the trails. it was so sweet to see their camaraderie and to hear their banter. i had my trusty ergobaby and francesca stayed bundled up taking several cat naps as we made our way through the woods. it was fun to look down and see her sweet face and to sing songs together. if you go, do not miss little zigzag falls!

ski bowl cosmic tubing - tubing is fine and good. but tubing in the dark with neon lights and fireworks? next level. michael volunteered to stay home with baby while elodie and i hit the slopes. her little mind was blown! we lasted for about an hour and then headed to glacier haus bistro for some hot cocoa and strudel. she loved it so much that she wanted to go back the next night (sadly we couldn't.)

we stayed in a perfect little a-frame in government camp which is a perfect base for exploring mt. hood. it is spitting distance from the surrounding ski areas and has the cutest little restaurants and ski shops. our chalet had a pretty little pond in the back and a jacuzzi that we went in after our long days hiking and tubing. we spent a lot of cozy family time in front of the wood stove playing games and reading books. it was the first glimpse of us just relaxing as a family. that doesn't happen tons with a toddler but even francesca seemed to sense that we were slowing down and just laid around with us. sigh. take me back. 

we also made a stop at multnomah falls on the columbia river gorge on our way back to portland. stunning! we asked some fellow tourists to take our photo. we always end up with some funny family portraits from our travels. i really like this one.

we couldn't resist making a quick stop in portland for some shopping and food. portland is the best. we picked up some macarons at maurice and a latte made with oregon hazelnut milk at heart coffee roasters. i need to import oregon hazelnut milk immediately.

some observations from this last trip:

1. traveling with little ones is a bit challenging but it made me really appreciate how we can make each other happy in a way that no one else can. don't overplan or worry that you are missing something. being on the road experiencing something new is enough.

2. i grew up in southern california and have never really had cold weather gear. on this trip i acquired a pair of amazing danner hiking boots and a nau vest that saved my hide. i always wondered why people wore vests. didn't make much sense but i am now enlightened.

3. the west is new, much newer than the east coast, but oregon feels old. there is a lot of history here that i never knew about. it's so cool to see the pride oregonians have in their home. i hope i get a chance to explore the other wonders of oregon soon. until then, i'm living vicariously through travel oregon's beautiful instagram.

thank you travel oregon for taking us on this wondrous adventure!


  1. I grew up right across the river from Hood River, OR (in White Salmon, WA) and I love love love the Mt. Hood area. I try and go "home" as often as possible (I live in Seattle now, about 4 hours away). Your trip looks like it was so much fun and it seems like you really got to experience all the awesomeness the area has to offer. I especially love that you got to go Cosmic Tubing!

  2. beautiful. i've always wanted to visit oregon in the fall.