July 1st, 2018- When someone says the words “Camping” and “July,” the word “Cold” doesn’t usually fit with the theme. Thank goodness I had packed the Focus full of blankets. I completely forgot that we were going to a place where it would be so cold at night! After accepting the fact that we had indeed reached our destination, we took our time getting moving and enjoyed the brisk morning air and the sunshine we had been blessed with. Because of the weather and the darkness from our late evening arrival, we never got the chance to really see Mt. Hood, so we hopped in the Focus again and did some adventuring. As we came around the corner to the main view from Lake Trillium, we finally saw the top of the mountain for the first time. Once again, I almost burst into tears. It was so much bigger than I had pictured, and I was completely overwhelmed. I never thought I would be here, a view that I had only dreamed of from the countless ski and snowboarding edits I watched online. It was breathtaking. Anyways; once we finally made it to town we aimlessly walked around “Govy” for awhile, and then decided to spend our day searching for a shower. It had been a couple of days since both of us had showered, so it was a 100% priority. I scrolled through my phone and miraculously found a place called “Mazama Lodge” which offered showers to the public for just $5! However, at that time, a private group had rented out the entire facility, and we were told that we wouldn’t be able to shower until after 3 p.m. when the group left. The man in charge said that there was a place just down the road that might also offer showers, so we jumped back into the Focus and tried to give the place a call. After lots of frustration of talking to a computer on the other end of the line, I just headed towards the place. Our GPS said it was 25 minutes from Mazama Lodge; but for a shower, I’d drive an hour at this point. As we headed towards this new town, we passed a homeless man hiking up the mountain with a shopping cart. Although it seems to be a minor detail on this day, this man was a legend during our trip; more details to come in later blogs, I swear. Once we drove the 25 minutes to the recommended location, and walked around aimlessly yet again, we asked the kind woman behind the counter about their shower policy. Turns out, they didn’t offer showers. Heck. Without much luck searching for additional shower sources, we settled on heading back to Mazama Lodge after we did some typical tourist sight-seeing. I had never been to Oregon, but I knew a lot of the homies had been, so I hit up Tony Wagner for some ideas for hikes out in the homeland. The selected hike was “Tom Dick and Harry Mountain Trail.” This was where we would spend the rest of our afternoon on a moderate 7 mile hike to a 360 degree view of Mt. Hood. As we were walking to the trailhead from the car which was on the busy highway, some fellow ski homies had come flying around the corner. You could tell it was a group of homies because the windows were down and loud bass caught our attention. What caught our attention even more was that as the homies sped around the corner, their ski’s flew off the top of their car and into the middle of the highway. Other cars were stopping abruptly and swerving into the other lane to try to avoid them, and it was a bit terrifying, yet hilarious to watch. This wasn’t necessarily the kind of sight-seeing I had envisioned!
The hike to the top was so gorgeous. The big pines and rocky hillsides were something of a new breed; It is better in Oregon. A couple of hours went by, and we finally reached the top of the mountain. We joined a few other people at the top, and took in the breathtaking beauty from afar. After milling about and soaking up the sun, we discovered that there were some friendly chipmunks that called this place home. Let me tell you, these guys knew exactly what they were doing. Fortunately, I had some extra candy in my fanny pack, so we tried to get the little guys to come up to us. With one crinkling wrapper, the family of chipmunks multiplied, and soon the rocky mountain top was filled with chirping chippies. Fun Fact: Chipmunks love Andes Mint Candy. This encounter was easily one of the highlights of the trip in my opinion. We got done taking care of the chipmunks, and got cold at the top of the mountain, so we hiked back down the mountain and headed back towards Mazama Lodge to take showers. At Mazama Lodge, you have to take your shoes off before you enter the building, and leave them on the front porch. At first I was confused, but after taking a shower and conversing with the kind gentleman at the front desk, it just gives it that feeling of home. I felt like I was home.
However, during this trip, our home was a little two person tent that was pitched in the middle of the Oregon wilderness. We said goodbye and made our way “home” to our tent. A great starting point to an unforgettable trip, and the perfect place to drift away into a peaceful sleep.