Wednesday, April 16, 2008

An Adventure at Timberline Lodge

This past weekend I was fortunate to have the opportunity to spend the weekend at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood. Timberline Lodge is a beautiful and interesting place that was built during the Great Depression entirely by the efforts of the Works Progress Administration. Thus the entire lodge and every piece of furniture, light fixtures, curtains, rugs, and paintings in it were made by Oregon artisans in 1936-38. It may look familiar because the exterior of the Lodge was used in the movie The Shining.

The reason for heading up to Timberline was to go snowshoeing with my friend Robin and her roommate Marcellino. Even though its mid April the mountain is well covered in snow. It has been a very heavy snow year and it will be awhile before the mountain trails are clear of snow.

I had never been snowshoeing before and I really enjoyed it. It is something I have been wanting to try for quite some time. We spent about 3 hours Sunday afternoon snowshoeing around the mountain. It was a beautifully sunny 60 degree day, so we had some great views.

And of course we had fun playing in the snow... a few snowball fights, impromptu snow slushies made from Lemon Lime emergency packets and giant snowballs.

Sunday night we stayed in a room on the second floor and the snow reached all the way up to our window. It provided a nice cooler for our wine, yogurt and other food!

The rooms were really quite beautiful. Everything was handmade and knowing that everything was made in the 1930's made it all the more impressive.

The second day Robin and I went snowshoeing a bit in the morning but the weather was far less attractive for outdoor activities (lots of snow!). So we spent the afternoon inside exploring the artwork and handcrafted objects in the Lodge. The downstairs had some beautiful murals, light fixtures and great curved metal fireplace fixtures.

The front door to the lodge had a great Indian face woodcarving, and all of the stairposts on the 3 floors of the lodge had carvings of animals in them.

The coolest part of the lodge is the central room which has an enormous 5 sided fireplace and is held up with old growth douglas fir beams. It was a great place to just sit by the fire and look out at the snow.

All in all it was a very fun weekend and it was fascinating to get to explore the lodge and Mt. Hood during winter. I've been up many times during the summer, but its just a whole different experience when the mountain is covered in snow.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Frenetic Oregon Spring

So Oregon is currently having a very frenetic spring. On any given day it might snow, rain, be foggy, be sunny and hail all on the same day. I've begun to take my raincoat everywhere, wear layers and never depend on the forecast.

When I first got back to Oregon it seemed like spring was popping up all over. There were signs of it everywhere. The daffodils were out, the magnolia was blooming beautiful pink petals and tulips were emerging all over the yard.

Indoors my roommate Reeds gerber daisies and geraniums were going crazy with blooms. Reed was already seeding for her garden when I got back to Oregon and she let me use some of her trays and sunlight from the front window to seed tomatoes, arugula, lemon cucumbers and bell peppers. Over the last few years I've been wanting to learn more about gardening and Reed has helped me learn. This is the first year I've attempted to seed indoors before growing season instead of just planting starts that I've gotten at the nursery. About half of my first try came up and it looks like my heirloom tomatoes and cucumbers are starting to emerge.

So it appeared that spring was well on its way, and suddenly the weather got a little crazy and it ended up snowing! That doesn't happen very often at the end of March. It didn't stick for very long, but it was a little bizarre seeing the poor daffodils and magnolia blossoms covered in snow.

Two days after it first snowed I went on a morning hike at a park a mile from my house and snow was in the air again! It was wonderfully foggy and misty but it definitely didn't feel like spring.

I was hiking at Powell Butte, the place I normally go blackberry picking in the summer and saw many leftover berries from last year, frozen in place.

I sincerely hope our weather starts to get a bit more springlike. I'm ready to get out and do more hiking and see some wildflowers. However, as of tomorrow my vacation from work is officially over. I found a great job at a bakery called Baker and Spice Bakery and am very excited to be going back to work. So my hiking and free time will now be limited to Sundays and Mondays.