Monday, April 30, 2007

What a Trip! Fun From Mt Hood to Portland and Back Again

As we found out the hard way! The radio news said that all roads to the lakes from the Columbia River to Bend area were open, but we found out differently as we tried to take a short day trip. The weather was great, so we thought it would be fun to take a trip from Mt. Hood area (home) to Portland. Our first stop was the Portland Saturday Market, where we ate, shopped, then sat back and enjoyed a blues band. then to the Columbia Gorge and Hood River, through the orchards and forest to Lost Lake, back down to Lolo Pass, then through the pass to Zig Zag, Oregon. When you live in the area, the mountain's flanks and foothills naturally becomes part of your backyard. This trip should have been easy and quick, but we ran into a few snags.
From the time we left the Portland Saturday Market, (take 84/30 east toward The Dalles from Portland) we followed the Columbia River via Hwy 84 east, (you can also take the smaller, more scenic Hwy 30 which follows the same route in order to visit the beautiful waterfalls, but that was not our mission for the day.)

We took the first exit in Hood River from Hwy 84, and went through the beautiful downtown area of Hood River, then onto Hwy 35, then exit west and pass through Odell and Dee, where we were followed by the Sheriff for about 10 miles through various sudden speed limit changes. We eventually found our way out to Lost Lake Rd. and followed it up towards Lost Lake. However, while we were on the last 6-mile stretch uphill, we found snow. I couldn't tell you how close we actually got to the lake, there was another car parked there and no people in sight. We chose to turn around and go back to Lolo Pass.

We took Lolo Pass, knowing it came out on the west side of Mt Hood, just a few miles from home. Lolo Pass offered some great scenery, there were a few trees down, but the big logs had been cut to open the road. We saw a sign letting us know that Hwy 26 was now just 17 miles away from us - great! We're almost home! Not so much...

About 15 miles from Hwy 26 on Lolo Pass, we came across two huge piles of rubble and trees (seemingly intentional) blocking the road. Yeah, by then we were bummed out. We even got out of the car to stare at the untouchable road on the other side of the monsterous blockage. Once again feeling elated, we followed our own dirt trails and headed back down to Dee and Parkdale. We even saw our friendly Sheriff again as we passed through an intersection. We headed out to Hwy 35 again, travelled south towards Government Camp to Hwy 26 west, and went back home. I did happen to notice that the road to Trillium Lake was closed as well, which was part of our original unrevised plan.
What a day - beautiful and sunny, high gas prices, closed roads, and gorgeous views. Typical of the end of April in the Mt. Hood area. Our digital camera wasn't cooperating much after the Saturday Market, so we were only able to snap a few awkward shots of the mountain and orchards with the camera-phone. So much for beautiful pictures of the lakes. Next time I'll remember to bring snow-worthy shoes, just in case.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blogging the local Mt Hood area of Oregon. With skiing, snowboarding, hiking, shopping, wind surfing, live bands, resorts, movies, and much more to do, you'll never be bored in the Mount Hood area.