There are so many exciting and new (to us) places in the Pacific Northwest, that when we found ourselves with 5 days open for vacation it was pretty hard to decide. Do we cruise up to Washington and hit up the Olympics, go south and brave the summer crush in Crater Lake, embody the Goonies and head to Astoria in northwest Oregon?
Sometimes life means tough decisions.
Deciding to take our dogs along helped rule out a bunch of options. How could we leave these two adorable nuts behind??
Too blurry? You try taking selfie with a puppy and a fluff where no one’s getting licked in the ear.
We headed out to Mount Hood to kick off the trip. We see Mount Hood a lot, from a distance. You can’t miss it — it’s huge. If you fly into Portland during a clear/ish day, be sure to watch for it and other snowy volcanic peaks out the window.
There are tons of campsites in the area of every shape and size, and if you’ve tried to tackle one of those campsite search systems I’m sure you can frown along with me when I say: ughh. It can be pretty tough to get a decent idea of what you’re getting into. On top of that, campsites in popular areas like this generally book up months in advance – not great for spontaneous decision-makers like us. But we got lucky this time, and even had a few options, when booking a week or two ahead.
I’m saying all of this so you can begin to understand why we felt like we struck gold with our almost-random campsite pick.
But that comes a little later.
First, we had to get closer to Hood. Like I said earlier, it’d be tough to miss. Unlike Colorado where we had a huge mountain range jutting up like a north-south topographic wall, here you mostly find individual, cone-shaped volcanic peaks.
Driving along, it was impossible not to watch for any possible glimpse of that big snowy peak as it loomed closer.
We stopped briefly in the touristy town of Government Camp to grab some snacks and bug spray. Then it was on to Trillium Lake.
Trillium Lake first got on my radar when we road tripped from Colorado to Oregon a few years ago. We weren’t able to make it to Trillium Lake then and, in retrospect, I might even be glad about that.
It was… maybe overhyped. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t like we regretted the stop – but I’d say, if you aren’t into crowds maybe don’t go here on a perfect summer afternoon.
Next, it was onto our campsite. We didn’t really know what to expect, but the site we’d booked ended up being huge. There was only one other campsite nearby and, as luck would have it, the couple over there was staying in a campervan. So we barely saw them, and couldn’t hear them at all other than when they briefly cooked some food.
We set up our huge car camping tent, hung up the hammock, and took a deep, forest air breath. Vacation time.
This spot may have been Feya’s dream come true. She was just 9 months old for this trip, so this was her first time camping. And if we didn’t already think so before, her reaction to this trip as a whole really synched our suspicion that she may just be our soul dog.
Timmy mostly needed sleep and cuddles. Camping’s hard for an old man dog.
The little guy is such a champ, though.
A short walk through camp led us to the shore of Timothy Lake (what a serendipitous name, right??). With both dogs, we didn’t bring our kayak for this trip – but we hung out on a picnic table at the edge and watched the sunset colors shifting behind Mount Hood.
See what I mean? Gold.
Our visit was brief, but we’ll be back to visit you again Mount Hood! So many trails to hike, slopes to ski, and lakes to kayak. For now, though, our trip was just starting. In our next post, we’ll be headed south to Bend — an area we can basically call “the Colorado of Oregon”.
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