Mirror Lake (Without Much Mirror)

As I mentioned previously, we headed up to Mt Hood on the weekend for a short birthday/anniversary/just-needed-a-break vacation. It felt good to get out of the city, even if we only had to drive an hour to get there. We stayed at The Resort at the Mountain which was nice. Nothing extra fancy but a pretty good deal at about $125 a night for the fours of us. If the weather had let up a little then I’m sure we would have made better use of the amenities like the basketball hoop and croquet field. But, bad weather means fewer people and we had the mini golf and swimming pool/hot tub all to ourselves so there was a definite upside to the rain and cold.

The bad weather also meant very few people braved the hiking trails, which was a definite win for us. On Saturday morning we set out for Mirror Lake, a 3.2 mile return hike. It wasn’t too difficult but the distance to the lake was all uphill and the kids were pretty tired by the time we finally saw some water and even a little snow. It was good thing I pulled together an impromptu scavenger hunt before we left the hotel. At times, I think that might have been the only thing that motivated Thomas to keep going.

We found almost everything. I think the ants and worms decided to hide from the rain and expecting to see a feather and nest might have been a little ambitious. Still it kept the boys occupied for the first part of the trek, especially after I reassured Thomas that Samuel would still be able to open an early birthday present (the reward) even if we didn’t find everything. The important thing was that we tried.

The walk up to the lake itself wasn’t particularly interesting. And I realize that, by saying that, I have just shown how much I have become accustomed to the beautiful nature that surrounds me every day in Oregon. So, when I say that it wasn’t very interesting, I mean by gorgeous Oregon standards. I’m sure people who live in Arizona feel the same way about the desert.

The hiking trail was muddy, and at times slippery with steep drop offs. We also expected it to head downhill at some point because aren’t all lakes at lower altitudes? Apparently not, because just when Kei and I were growing concerned that we’d missed a turnoff, we stumbled upon this…

It was beautiful. The hike was worth it and I’d even consider doing it again on a better day just to see this place in the sunshine.

I could see where the naming inspiration came from. There was still a little bit of mirror even on a grey, dreary day.

Snow!

If you’re looking for a relatively easy family hike on Mt Hood, then I’d definitely recommend Mirror Lake. I read that the trail gets crowded during the busy late Spring/Summer season but it was almost deserted while we were there. I’d also recommend that you buy a parking pass from the Ranger station before you head up so you don’t have to leave a note on your car promising that you’ll get one later. We thankfully didn’t get a ticket and followed through on our promise the next day.

Coming soon: More hiking adventures.

Chaos and Color

This week is shaping up to be a doozy. I need to work around some childcare issues which means interrupted workdays, I’m heading to Seattle for a day trip on Wednesday and that’s on top of the usual Karate/Soccer/Swimming insanity. My brother is coming to visit for the weekend so I’d better squeeze in time to tidy up and clean the bathroom and, to top it all off, I’m taking photos all day Saturday at TEDx Portland. I’m already exhausted and the week has barely begun. I’m just thankful I had the foresight to schedule a couple of May vacation days as a little birthday present to myself. I’m going to need them.

On the upside, the sun is shining and I have a billion photos of tulips to share. I know you’ve been eagerly awaiting them so I’ll just get right to it. I’d apologize for the number of photos in this post but what would be the point? 🙂

P.S. I’m thinking about submitting a photograph to the TulipFest photo competition but I can’t decide which. Please let me know in the comments if you have a favorite.

Photo by Thomas.

Photograph by Thomas

Photograph by Kei.