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Published: July 13th 2013
Today’s excursion took us up Mt Hood to the Timberline Lodge. Since we did not get to do it yesterday, we took the Grand Tour today.
Some of you may already be familiar with the Timberline Lodge, the exterior appeared in the opening of the movie “The Shining” where Jack Nicholson and family drive up to The Overlook Lodge.
Timberline Lodge was built in 1936 by Roosevelt’s WPA program. The Lodge is also known as the “People’s Lodge” as it was hewn by public workers into a monumental masterpiece of beautiful paintings, wood sculptures, mosaic glass, carved linoleum, stone and iron. The average age of the workers was 56. They were unemployed, desperate artists who were grateful to have the opportunity to contribute their skills to this monumental project. The huge timbers and gigantic boulders came from the mountain itself.
The Lodge and everything in it was hand built. The timbers were not machine milled. They were hand hewn. The furniture and cabinets were designed and created by the carpenters on site. The iron workers hammered by hand the door hinges, door knobs, the iron gates and railings, the fireplace grate and screen, and all the other metal
ornaments and fixtures in the building. The women appliqued the curtains and quilts and even hand wove the rugs. It gives every room a cozy atmosphere. The mosaics on the walls, stained glass windows and detailed water colors of the local flora add to the ambiance of the Lodge. Add to this all the wonderful scenery surrounding it and you have a place of incomparable beauty.
After our Lodge tour, we decided to take the chairlift to the summit of Mt Hood. The chairlift is called “The Magic Mile.” When it was constructed in 1938, it was the longest chairlift in existence, the second in the world to be built as a passenger chairlift, and the first to use metal towers. As we entered the lift building, we got personal instruction from the handsome lifty who escorted us to the line, and stopped the chair until we were seated and pulled the safety bar down for us. You could see the skiers & boarders roll their eyes. As Nancy held on to the safety bar (white knuckled), she whispered to Mom “Don’t look down.” (Better than “We Are All Gonna Die”… Nancy really doesn’t like heights!)
Beautiful, enormous six-sided room
When we arrived at the top (one mile up the mountain), the lifty stopped the chairlift and escorted us off. Such personal attention! The wind was blowing and we almost froze to death high up on the mountain, but the view was magnificent. We could see snowcapped Mt Jefferson in the distance. There were quite a number of skiers and boarders on the runs. We watched as they went over the jumps doing aerial acrobatics…some successfully and some not so.
On the trip down the chairlift, some Japanese tourist coming up the hill took our picture, smiled and waved. We are still debating whether it was because we looked so ridiculous (holding on for dear life) or whether they thought we were movie stars.
We were so enamored by the wonderful day we had high up on Mt Hood that we decided to take the back road to our hotel…too bad we forgot to check the gas gauge. We were in the middle of nowhere when the car announced that we had 30 miles left to find gas (and our hotel was over 100 miles away). Luckily, we found a small town miles off the highway
Drinking Fountain off Foyer
Natural flora and fauna mosaic
and we carefully coasted to it on fumes. Once we had that problem solved we drove on to Hood River where it joins the Columbia River. This spot has ideal conditions for kite boarding. When we got there we found the River loaded with expert kite boarders getting ready for a big competition on Saturday. Some were from as far away as Hawaii. What a show they put on for us, not only with their speed but also their aerial acrobatics. What a fun way to end our travels. End of vacation and back home tomorrow.
Parting words to live by: Life is short. Live your dream, and share your passion. We hope you enjoyed reading our blog as much as we did in sharing it with you.
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