We arrived at Zig Zag Mountain Farm just over two weeks ago but it wasn’t until yesterday that Oregon proved it’s namesake of being a rain soddened state. A little rain wasn’t about to prohibit us from experiencing the wonders of Mount Hood, so we put on our rain gear and headed out for a hike to Lower Twin Lake. The first two miles of the trail traversed along the Pacific Crest Trail.
The Pacific Crest Trail runs 2,663 miles from the boarder of Mexico all the way to the boarder of Canada. Approximately 180 individuals successfully complete the hike each year and it takes roughly four to six months of hiking 20 miles per day. I hope one day I can persuade Chase to complete such a massive hike, but we will have to take it day by day and yesterday I was able to persuade him into hiking in the rain to a misty lake in the wilderness of Oregon – mission accomplished.
After we were thoroughly chilled to the bone, we drove up the mountain to the famous Timberline Lodge to sit next to roaring fires and indulge in some desperately needed hot buttered rum. The lodge was built in 1936 as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project during the Great Depression. Franklin D. Roosevelt was especially proud of the project and visited the lodge upon it’s completion in 1937 to note that this Lodge was a way to test the “workability of recreational facilities installed by the Government itself and operated under its complete control.”
The lodge was crafted with native timber by hundreds of local craftsmen that had been out of work until this project. In 1939, the original Magic Mile chairlift opened on Mt. Hood. It was the first chairlift in Oregon and the second chairlift in North America, with it came the golden era of skiing on Mt. Hood. Good times lasted until February, 1955 when the United States Forest Service was forced to shut down Timberline Lodge due to mis-management and bankruptcy. The formerly family friendly lodge was now overrun with gambling and prostitution. By July, 1955 the lodge was back open, complete with new ownership and new attitudes. Luckily, by the late 50’s financial uncertainty was a distant concern as America flocked to the slopes and skiing became a new favorite American past time.
We spent the rest of our afternoon cozy and content, sitting beneath fir trees with a six foot diameter and wondering how such a creation could have been completed in a mere 15 months. We watched as the land around us became white with six inches of freshly fallen snow. The food and drink only reaffirmed our love for Timberline Lodge. We shared a plate of northwest artisan cheese along with Portland made charcuterie. It was the perfect meal to follow such an idyllic afternoon with good friends.