Small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.


Oregon Road Trip-Mt Hood Fun Day

There's been a lag in my Oregon trip posting and I want to share all about the trip before it becomes a distant memory. Picking up where I left off, if there was one day that was the most fun for everyone, it was definitely the day in this post!

We woke up early and headed to the Skibowl Adventure Park on the other side of Mt. Hood. We thought this would be the standout part of the trip for the boys and the one thing that we planned out especially for them.  From the second they saw the race car at the entrance, they were in heaven. They must have sat in that car 3 or 4 times.

We spent the morning letting them run wild and trying out all the activities at the park. One of the main attractions was a half mile alpine slide that we rode a few times. 

Getting to the top was half the fun too since we had to take a ski lift which gave us a perfect view of Mt Hood in the distance.

We had never been down a slide like this before and it sure was a ton of fun!

 And much as we enjoyed that, there were plenty of other things to try out like the aqua rollers. The adults and the kids had to give it a go. If it had rolled downhill, it would have been even more fun.

 The tube slides were another hit with the boys, who took several trips down before we had to convince them to try something else.

Landon also had his first try of driving a go kart (of sorts) all by himself and we were all shocked when he drove around perfectly in a circle. The best part though was when he tried to stop and didn't know how. His future as a race car driver might be still be possible.

We also took some swings in the batting cages.

And probably the most fun for the boys was the bungee trampoline. They waited very patiently in line for their turn.

Taylor even mastered the flip.

They had this great sign at the park that pretty much sums up our morning and this entire trip in general.

I'm glad we were able to treat the boys to some fun playtime for them. I took a lot of video and am making a video of the entire trip which I will share at the end of the blog posts on Oregon. Much to our surprise though it wasn't our morning that was their favorite part of the day, but what we did later that afternoon.

Before heading to our next place, we stopped at a nearby restaurant called The Ratskeller to fuel up. It was a fun little place with couches you eat on, a huge projection screen playing the women's world cup final, and had the walls lined with old school arcade games. If the boys had it their way, they would have hung out there all day.

But, there was something else we had planned for the day (something that Adam and I were most looking forward to) and that was hiking the Oneonta Gorge. The boys napped in the car as we made our way to the Columbia River Gorge Scenic area. We had passed it the day before and the area was over run with people and cars so we moved our planned visit to Sunday afternoon in hopes that the crowds would be gone. As we pulled back into the parking area, we knew plenty of people were still around and we quickly realized it wouldn't be the quite hideaway waterfall hike we were hoping for.
Now awake, the boys were now excited to "take a hike through a creek" and despite the number of cars, I still really wanted to go. It's a short 1/4 mile hike from the road to the waterfall but immediately upon entering the creek you hit what is known as the "log jam". This was the only part of it that I was worried about as people on forums had advised me not to take a kid so young. We quickly realized the logs were not the problem. The people jam though?... that's another story.

We had to tell ourselves that if all these people didn't know about the place then we wouldn't either and they had just as much of a right to be there as us. There is no denying the fact that crowds in an outdoor nature setting hamper the ambiance but we made our way through the people and worked together getting the boys across the log jam. It was a maze and the logs were wet and slippery, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Landon thought it was fun being a big boy and climbing over everything.

Of course we had to be extra careful and the boys did a great job listening to our directions and taking it easy. Adam picked up Landon over one particular spot, but overall everyone made it on their own.

It was fun and hectic at the same time. As I said, it was the people, not the log jam that made it a little troublesome getting through. Once you did though, it was a short hike through the FREEZING cold water, sometimes waist deep, in a stunning gorge to a beautiful waterfall which marked the end.

Knowing we'd be getting wet, we only took the GoPro'ss and forgot to wipe off the water spots at times. The pictures aren't the best, but it was a fun adventure and I'm glad we have some snap shots and video to document it. Of course, nothing can properly display how stunning the gorge was.

Once past the log jam the crowds were much less. At least until we got to the waterfall...

It was so pretty to see this gushing water amidst the lush green setting in a hideaway between rocks. Had we been the only people, we probably would have stayed all day, but with all the people around we just saw it, enjoyed it for a few minutes and then headed back.

By this time, the boys were having a blast. If Landon wasn't in waist deep water, then he was finding the biggest puddle he could and laying down in it. I think he takes after me being a water person. I have no doubt that in 10 years he will be addicted to scuba diving. But for now, we helped him in the deepest parts, holding him up as he bicycled his way through the water. He thought it was a blast. Yes, his head is wet because he went under multiple times. Crazy child! The water was frigid!

We made our way back through the logjam, this time sticking to the sides where a lot less people were trying to cross and making the process a whole lot easier.

I'm so happy we were able to do this hike. It was absolutely beautiful! Adam and I have already booked a trip to Seattle/Portland in April and I really want to do it again, first thing in the morning, hopefully beating all the crowds and allowing Adam to get some pictures that will do it justice. It might not have been exactly what we were expecting, but it was still awesome.

The funny thing is, of the two things we did that day this was everyone's favorite part of the day and one of the boy's favorite parts of the entire trip. They rode back to the campsite in their underwear talking about it the entire drive back. With some snack in their hands, they relived how cool the hike was the whole time in the car. These were some of the happiest moments of the entire trip.

We headed back to our campsite, made some pizza bagels and called it an early night. We made plans to leave Mt. Hood and the campgrounds at Lost Lake in the best way possible, waking up at 4:30am to see the sunrise. It was an early wake up call, but we mustered the strength and pulled ourselves out of our tents. Of course it was completely worth it. Lost Lake and Mt. Hood never did us wrong anytime of day. Sunrise and sunset were by far the most spectacular. I'm happy we saw it at both.

We went back to Adam's spot and watched the sun light the left side of the mountain. We hung out on  a log while Adam snapped pictures and tried our best to get the boys to appreciate the beauty before them.

Eventually though, they got a little stir crazy so I took them to another section where they could play in and around the water more without distributing the master at work. Taylor found a rock and some string and made a depth finder which we he had learned all about at Crater Lake.

Landon just played on the logs, watched the fish and salamanders swim by, and was engrossed by a large number of crawfish eating a morning meal of fish (the circle of life).

We even had a Mama duck and her babies swim nearby out for a morning stroll as well.

About 6am, when the sunrise was complete, we headed back to camp. We had a wonderful breakfast and then packed up all our things and said goodbye to this wonderful lake. It was so enjoyable on so many different levels. I hope one day we can camp here again. It was the most relaxing and refreshing part of the entire trip. We all just loved it!

Once we were packed up, we got in the car and made our way for the coast. On our way toward Portland we stopped at the Columbia River Gorge Scenic area again to see Horsetail Falls.

And Multnomah Falls.

Both were literally steps away from the road and yet stunning. They had been crawling with crowds all weekend so we waited until we leaving to see them. With all kinds of hikes in and around this area and another trip due to Onetona, I know we will be spending much more time here on a future trip. This short little taste only wet our palates for the Columbia River and all it has to offer. As sad it was to leave this area, we were also really excited to see the coast of Oregon and we knew the beauty there would rival this. Boy did it ever!

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