Friday, April 26, 2013

Inversion Amazement at Trillium Lake

It was a foggy January day in Portland.  When we left Portland the temperature was in the 30s.  An inversion was happening and the warm air trapped at higher elevations made Mt. Hood a sunny high 60s.

We went to the popular Trillium Lake road and started stripping off our layers.

Both kids were so happy to be less bundled and warm in the snow.  All of a sudden in felt like spring.

We took plenty of breaks as usual.  Amy skied down the steep hill to the lake.

Sarah got some baby therapy.

Mt. Hood was out in all her glory.  I was so sleep deprived that I wondered if we would see a reflection on the lake!

Unfortunately, there were people feeding the "camp robber" birds and they were dive bombing us, so we did not stay to eat very long.  Amy protected our food.

Baby Analise decided this snow stuff wasn't all that bad.

Amy was a great sport about climbing up the big hill.

We reluctantly left the sunny, snowy, warm oasis in the mountains to go back to the cloudy cold city below.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sunny Mt. Hood Wonder

It was early January.  Amy had been boycotting snow adventures but it was a bright sunny day and there was no way we weren't going.  After our first snowshoe of the season, the only way to convince Amy to return to the snow was to promise her some sledding.

We headed to White River which has amazing Mt. Hood views on a clear day.  We started at the sledding hill and took turns heading down it.

 We enjoyed the mountain view and just being in the snow. 

Mount Hood was out in all its glory and we convinced Amy to walk toward it.  She wanted nothing to do with skis today.

We just kept wandering toward the mountain and soaking in the sunshine.

Mom was happy.  Preschooler was happy.  Hiking partner was happy, and baby wasn't sure she wanted to be bundled up or in the snow but was only slightly grumpier than usual.

We did a bit more sledding and eventually wandered in to the trees for a short stretch.

I loved how the sun shined through the trees and the sky was amazing.

What a beautiful day at our favorite Mt. Hood snow destination.  It is not the most remote but there is space to spread out and the beauty is unmatched!

This is a spot we will return to again and again.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Dog Mountain Challenge

 I took a much needed mid week day off.  Spring is finally here and it is time for wildflower hikes.  I've always been intimidated by the steep hike up Dog Mountain.  I don't think it is a hike I can do with a four year old.  Today I was needing a challenge and just had my 20lb baby to contend with.  I decided to give it a try.

It is a bit early for wildflowers, but I did see glimpses of them on the way up the steep trail.

We made it to the lower viewpoint- halfway up and our first goal.  I felt winded but ready for more climbing.

I enjoyed the view and fed my baby.  Later I heard the sight of a nursing mom halfway up Dog Mountain had made another hiker's day!

The next section was not as tough but there is a half mile of torment.  I started to question my sanity as well as ability and whether the view from the top would be worth it, but with sheer grit continued the climb.

I took another break before climbing the final half mile to the top.  At this point, I was at the bottom of the amazing meadow and could imagine how incredible it will be a month from now with all the flowers.  Being on top of the world always gives me the boost I need to keep climbing and I got lots of encouragement from other hikers seeing me with my 20 lb beauty in the front pack.

We made it slowly up the final half mile and found a great spot to soak in the sunny spring day.

The views of the gorge, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Hood were wonderful.  We took a much earned rest at the top and just enjoyed it.

Baby Analise was able to spend some quality time climbing trees and playing in dirt.  She wanted to role down the hill but I convinced her that this was a very bad idea!

We took the more gradual way down which had less views and flowers giving me more time to focus on the pain in my legs and knees.  I remembered the beautiful view and decided the pain really was worthwhile in this case.

I was so proud of myself for facing this steep 8 mile challenge with my baby and feel ready to start climbing mountains again, if only my four year old was motivated.  We will have to start with a smaller challenge.