In & Around Mt. Hood

After our day in Portland, we had one full day to explore Mt. Hood, Oregon and the area around it. For some reason, we were all up at 6:30 AM our first morning there, which was great because we were able to watch the sun come up. We arrived in the pitch dark the night before so we had no idea that this was what our patio pretty!

Shannon's lovely friends, Maureen and Brooke, not only offered to be our Oregon wilderness tour guides for the day BUT they also brought us Voodoo Donuts, they are the best! I've been friends with Becca for a long time and I've never seen her more excited. I think her exact words were "I've been waiting my whole life to eat these donuts".

After we ate our fill of donuts, we hopped in our crazy, tiny minivan (that wasn't quite a minivan) and head out into the great outdoors (can you tell from the tone of this post already that I don't do the outdoors very well?)!

We took a scenic drive up, up, up a mountain and then all the way down...getting out along the way to appreciate the views and take some pictures.

Maureen and Brooke are legit nature lovers and knew all the best routes and things to see. I think the should open a tour guide business, but they seem to already have full time jobs. I really think they could make a killing though...look at this view!

In the New Student Seminar I'm teaching this semester, we read Wild and wouldn't you know it, we accidentally found a part of the Pacific Crest Trail! I exclaimed "STOP THE CAR! I need to get out to take a picture for my students!" John stared at me in disbelief that I was actually going to send them pictures from our vacation but you guys, I take my teaching very seriously.

And then I pretended to warm myself near this fire pit and yes, this is one of two pictures that I sent to them (all 50 of them) when I got back to New York. The message included, "Please note that much like Cheryl, I wore inappropriate footwear" (leopard sneakers). I like to think that they thought I was super cool, but really they probably just rolled their eyes. 

We drove to Multnomah Falls, which I loved so much. 

Here's a picture of me and John getting drenched. I could have stood there for an hour, but John didn't have a rain jacket on and it was pretty cold. No one else came up with us and when we came down soaked and grinning they looked at us like we were kind of nuts. 

AND THEN Brooke and Maureen took us to the fish hatchery, which was the coolest. I think they thought I was kidding with how excited I was because they just met me and really, how excited could a person be at a fish hatchery? If you're me, very excited.

There are people who work in the fish hatchery whose job it is to count the salmon as they swim upstream. During prime mating season, they could count up to 20,000 fish per hour. Isn't that incredible? If possible they also take not of physical characteristics and size of this fish...look how big that one is!

We also got to go see Herman the Sturgeon! Herman weights almost 500 pounds and is more than 70 years old! I didn't get a good picture of him, so you can Google it, but you should definitely go see him if you can. I loved him!

Please take a moment to enjoy this photo of me and Becca...

In typical Kate fashion, after the excitement of the day, I promptly got in the way back of our mini-minivan and fell asleep on our drive to the Timberline Lodge for dinner. I woke up and it was winter, full fledged with snow and everything! The temperature had dropped and I was not dressed appropriately at all.

If you made it to the end of this super long post, you are dedicated readers. Mt. Hood is beautiful and you should visit! Get the clam chowder at the Lodge! If you need advice on what to see, I would really call Brooke and Maureen...they can make you like the outdoors even if you don't ordinarily! Doesn't it look like I do the outdoors all the time from this post? I know, its a miracle!

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