The great thing about staying at a B&B is the real breakfast. Jerry, our breakfast chef extraordinaire, whipped up an enormous meal of chicken apple sausage, croissant french toast, scrambled eggs, fresh fruit, orange juice, and coffee. And since we were the only guests, Jerry served as our breakfast entertainment as well.
A few fun things we learned about Husum Highlands Bed and Breakfast:
1. Jerry and Carol built the house themselves, aiming to make a new home look like an old Victorian house. All of the furnishings are antiques, and all of the wood details in the home are handmade.
2. The highest point of the property sits at 2,000 feet, providing sweeping views of the valley below, and Mt. Hood, of course.
3. They have 3,000 DVDs and VHS movies for guests to watch. What?
After filling up on the biggest breakfast of my life, we began the day’s adventure with a trip to Knead, a cute little bakery in Hood River, to pick up some snacks for our hike (a cinnamon roll for Eric, a salted caramel brownie for me), even though I couldn’t imagine ever being hungry again at that point.
We were really hoping to see some snow on this trip. We both love snow, and now that we live in a rather mild climate, it’s pretty likely that we won’t get any snow this winter. And man, oh man, did we get some snow. Mt. Hood has snow year-round (and is the only mountain the lower 48 states that has year-round skiing). The mountain is 11,249 feet, and since the snow line is around 2,000 ft right now, we got to see a whole lot of snow!
We took a long drive up to Timberline Lodge, which was built by the WPA during the Great Depression. It was built with local timber and stone, and is really quite impressive. It’s definitely worth a look around. They have a whole little history area inside where you can read all about the lodge. And you can hop on a ski lift and ski Mount Hood! We didn’t do that, as we weren’t really prepared for ski conditions, but I’m hoping we get to do some mountain skiing here sometime! And for those of you who had the poo scared out of you while watching The Shining, the Timberline Lodge served as the facade of the Overlook Hotel. I preferred not to think about that during our visit.
From the lodge, we headed back down the mountain a bit to do some hiking IN THE SNOW! I found this hike before we made the trip, and although I was really hoping we would get to play in the snow, I didn’t really think it would be snowing that far down the mountain. But apparently snow starts pretty early around here, so our hike to Trillium Lake was like walking through Narnia. And it snowed steadily the entire time! Keep in mind that when we left Hood River, the temperature was in the low 40’s. By the time we made it to our hiking trailhead, it was about 28 degrees. Altitude means everything around here.
The Trillium Lake hike is supposed to be a 4.4 mile loop in the winter (you have to park in a different place in the winter than you do in the summer because they don’t plow some of the roads). But it seems that any hike that I plan ends up going wrong, leaving us hiking way more than we anticipated. That was certainly the case with this particular hike. I didn’t think that it would be very confusing, considering the whole thing is a loop, but apparently it’s not a real well-marked loop, and there are several paths and roads connecting to everything. But more on that in a minute.
We hiked for quite a while along a road running through a campsite, which is apparently used for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing during the winter. Eventually Eric spotted a path that cut through the woods to get down to the lake. How he spotted a path covered in snow, I have no idea, but it led us down to the lake and past some folks smoking pot in the woods (welcome to Oregon). On a clear day (which we obviously weren’t experiencing), you can see Mt. Hood behind the lake, and it is reflected in the water. You can see a gorgeous photo of that here. In our case, the scene was a bit cloudier, but still incredibly beautiful (and a perfect place to eat our snacks!).
I think it’s beautiful how everything looks black and white in the snow.
From the lake, we hopped back on the road that we assumed continued to circle around the lake to get back to our car. Apparently that assumption was incorrect. After about an hour of walking and not finding anything, we decided that we might be lost. So we turned around to get back to the lake and find the path again. Once we finally found the lake, we continued on the little hiking path around the lake. Knowing that we started out on a path that went through the campground, we followed a few little paths going up to the campground in hopes of finding our original trail. No luck.
At this point, I started to get a little nervous. As I mentioned before, it gets dark around 4 o’clock around here. So we didn’t have a ton of time before the sun went down. There was a short period of time when I thought we were going to have to spend the night in the snow in the woods. Luckily, Eric spotted the pot-smokers we had seen earlier through the trees, leading us back up to our original path! We had walked around the lake 1 1/2 times! We can thank the friendly potheads for leading us out of the woods!
By the time we made it back to our car, we estimated we had hiked somewhere around 8 miles. In the snow. It was awesome (well, it was awesome once I knew we weren’t going to die there).
By the time we made it back to car, we were very thankful for Jerry’s enormous breakfast, as it had been about 8 hours since we had eaten a meal. This called for a stop at Full Sail Brewing Company in Hood River for some delicious steak sandwiches before crashing into bed with some very tired legs.