Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Camping at Lost Lake

For the last three years, it's been kind of a tradition to take my Dad camping every summer (since camping is not reeeeally my Mom's thing). Moving across the country is no reason to break tradition! So, my Dad flew out this weekend for his fourth annual (and might I say, best annual) camping trip.

In the last year, my parents have visited Portland three times. By some stroke of misfortune, every time they are here the weather seems to turn cloudy and cool. Unfortunately, in those conditions you usually cannot see Mt. Hood from Portland, which led my dad to the theory that Mt. Hood is some conspiracy thought up by the Portland tourism agencies. :) Since he didn't believe in Mt. Hood, we decided to take him camping on the mountain to prove its existence!

We spent two nights at Lost Lake, a secluded lake about 3,000 feet up on Mt. Hood. Oh my gah... this place is beautiful. The sites are all pretty secluded, with plenty of forest between you and your neighbors. Even some gigantic fallen trees for good measure.

Our site

This tree had to have been old

And... what's this??... a clear view of Mt. Hood!!!! I think we had Dad convinced at this point. This is the veiw from Lost Lake. There's Mt. Hood, just hangin' out in the background. Our campsite was set just a little ways back from the water.

This is not a backdrop

You can rent row and paddle boats on the lake (although we didn't have time)

Looking straight up while sitting at the campfire

The upturned roots of that big fallen tree

Our trusty Zipcar that carried us safely to and fro

On Monday we drove to Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood to head out on the Pacific Crest Trail to Zigzag Canyon. Our hike was almost eight miles, with a total 1,500 foot elevation gain. Now, for a born and raised Metro-Detroiter with not much hiking experience, much less hiking at an altitude of 6,000 feet, Dad did awesome. I'm not sure I would have even made it through this one at the beginning of this summer!

Full map and data here

Mt. Jefferson from Timberline Lodge

Timberline Lodge (recognize it from The Shining?)

Heading out on the Pacific Crest Trail

The Little Zigzag Canyon with Mt. Hood summit in the background

Traversing into the Little Zigzag Canyon, only to climb back out

Officially entering Mt. Hood Wilderness

Traversing down into the Zigzag Canyon, a train of horses and mules passed us to deliver equipment to a work crew on the mountain

We made it down to Zigzag Canyon, a 700-foot deep gouge into Mt. Hood carved by the Zigzag River. Traversing down into the canyon was easy enough, but that also meant we had to climb the whole way back up on our return. We hung out at the river for a while to re-energize. :)

Is that a look of accomplishment or what? I guess he wasn't thinking about the climb back up yet...

A little friend on the river

Here's a short video of the rushing river:

Our album cover

On the hike back, the summit started to cloud over. Would be scary to be up there when that happens!

Crossing back over the (currently dry) Little Zigzag River

When we returned to camp, we took in the sunset at the lake. Not a bad way to cap off an evening.

Buckley even got a chance to go swimming! This was pretty much his first time really swimming in open water. He has splashed around in some streams a couple times, but this was really truly swimming. Not a big surprise, he picked it right up!

After a chilly night sleeping on hard ground, it doesn't get much better than Paul's traditional camp breakfast. Fried eggs, bacon, potato hash and french press coffee... something about eating these simple breakfast components at the camp table as the sun comes up makes it taste so good. Paul has made breakfast for us every morning of every camping trip for four years... can't tell you how much we appreciate that. Thank you Paul!

Doing his thing

Mmm... eggs cooked in bacon grease

As if we hadn't put Dad through enough, on Tuesday we went on one more relatively short hike through Eagle Creek, in the Columbia River Gorge. This one was a 4.2 mile hike with 400 feet of elevation gain (also at a much lower altitude). After all the tough hikes we've been doing this summer, it was kind of nice to do a short, relatively flat one that allowed us to just take in the beauty!

These narrow ledges were blasted out of the cliff face, and have cable handrails alongside... just in case

Metlako Falls visible after just 1.5 miles in

The destination for this hike was Punchbowl Falls, a 30-foot falls that plunges into a gorgeous swimming hole with a huge bedrock bank to hang out on. This was our first time here, and I'm already dying to go back.

The rocky bank leading up to the falls

Punchbowl Falls

The rocky surface under the water... the water is really this clear

This was the perfect place for Buckley to go swimming, but Paul ended up going in with him! A little chilly, but I guess he got used to it!

Frolicking at the falls

A true water dog

Buckley trying to jump up onto this free-floating log, which rolled every time he tried to climb onto it (hilarious)

We saw someone else taking this picture and thought it would be cute... now I'm not so sure

One more little video, this time of Buckley playing fetch at the falls:

And with that, another successful camping trip down! I have to say, Oregon camping blows Michigan camping out of the water (no offense, Michigan!). I do believe there will be a lot more of this in the future. Thanks for coming out Dad, we had a great time!


1 comment:

Dad said...

What a fun-packed, exhilarating couple of days! It was like WOW!, AWESOME! and AMAZING! rolled into one. Kind of like, Wowsomazing! The scenery, air, hikes (with some pretty narrow trails - yikes!), rivers, eats and campfires were great, but the best part was experiencing it with Buckley and you both. Thank you so much for it all. I'm so looking forward to next time. Love Dad