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Published: September 17th 2017
Lake in Stevenson, WA
We stopped the car to take in this view as we were driving through Stevenson.
Geo: 45.5593, -122.642
After enjoying the free breakfast at the Best Western, during which we scanned our guides for activity options, we set out for the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and Museum at The Dalles (pronounced with a long A and silent E). The drive to the east took us to a section of the mountains that are considerably drier and browner than the lush, green landscape we had gotten used to seeing. The museum was filled with frontier and exploration memorabilia. The architecture of the place did a nice job of uniting the inside of the museum with the outside gardens and displays. There are a few live raptors in site as well. We had a good chuckle at the repeated mentions of how far over budget Lewis & Clark and the Corps of Discovery ran. I guess someone wanted us to know that spending overruns on government projects are nothing new.
We drive back west to Hood River to do a little shopping and pick up lunch. We each bought a couple gifts from local artists. For lunch we tried the burgers at the Trillium Cafe at (207 Oak St). The tater tots were especially tasty. Hood River is an entertaining
Lost Lake Butte Trail #616
This is the marker near the trailhead with a description that might be useful. The trail goes up pretty steadily. The summit has a gorgeous view of Mt Hood and, if you are lucky, Mt Adams and Mt Jefferson. There was some snow on the trail at the end of May.
place to walk around if you enjoy small, independent shops and people/pooch watching. It's a great place to browse away a few hours. We might have stayed longer, but wanted to see Mt Hood before we had to head back to Portland.
Originally, we thought we might visit the Timberline Lodge because we heard good things. Ultimately, we decided to take a hike that would give us a view of Mt Hood rather than take us up the mountain. We mapped a path to Lost Lake Butte Trail #616. Getting there took about 45 minutes from Hood River. Almost as soon as we left town, the mountain started playing hide-n-seek with us. It would pop into view and we would be wowed and then it would disappear again. It added a little excitement and mystery to the trip through farmland and orchards. You never knew when that imposing mountain would reappear or disappear or reappear...
There was a small fee to enter the Lake area ($6). On site there were several trails, campsites, the lake, a general store and restrooms. We enjoyed the hike which was a steady incline for about 2 miles. The path is heavily shaded and, even this
Bigfoot at Lost Lake
Mugging with my new buddy before we started our hike. Bring a bottle of water and maybe a light jacket with you. We found that temperatures fluctuated a lot.
late into the spring, included some snow mounds. We only met one other small group of hikers on the way up. Because we lucked out on the weather, we had a spectacular view of Mt. Hood at the top and could see Mts. Adams and Jefferson as well. Humorously, we had no cell service within about 20 minutes of the park in or out, but had 4 bars at the summit. I don't know where they hide the towers because the view was unsullied. We were able to use Google Earth while up on the summit to help figure out which peak was which.
Since we drove the highway along the gorge back and forth a few times on the way in, we left heading along a more southern route to see Mt. Hood from the other side. And so we recommenced the game with the mountain. At first it was ahead of us and then would periodically pop up in the rear view mirror. It's just immense and yet seems to be almost mobile.
On the way back to town we treated ourselves to a stop at Dairy Queen for blizzard refreshment. When we got into Portland proper we met a
Top of Lost Lake Butte 616 trail
There are a couple different views available at the top. We were able to see Mts Hood, Adams and Jefferson.
friend for a late-ish dinner at a place called Petite Provence at 2734 NE Alberta. The food was excellent and very reasonable. Save room for a pastry at the end. The restaurant has glass garage doors that they open for a cafe-like feel when the weather is good. Since they are open for 3 meals a day, the kitchen closed at 9pm when we were there. They were kind enough not to kick us out or even act impatient when we lingered a bit.
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