October 18, 2013.
It was a beautiful fall day for a hike. I pulled up to the out-of-the-way trailhead around 12:30. A small sign indicated a “hazardous sinkhole” in the parking area so I pulled my car off the road and started my hike.
The trail ascended through a forest of big trees. Much of the foliage on the ground was yellow and dying. It was fall, although the warm sun made it feel like summer.
After the Gold Hill Trail junction I found views of Mt. Jefferson through the thick trees. I’d forgotten how dark the forest was; it stood out in contrast to the bright light coming in through the gap in the trees.
Next I came to a talus slope. Above me there were crumbly, vertical rock walls. Presumably this was the source of the talus. The summit of Tidbits became visible in the distance. I was happy to emerge into the daylight and feel the sun on my skin. I scrambled up to the summit, where remains of the old lookout were scattered on the rock.
I lounged around up here for at least an hour, enjoying the 360-degree view of the old Cascades peaks around me. The forested landscape was dotted with hills, ridges and glaciated peaks. I felt like I was in the middle of nothing and everything all at once. The Three Sisters looked majestic off in the distance.
On the way back down I took some time to admire the forest. The trees were SO BIG. I could’t tell what they were. Anyways, the needles were so high in the sky I had no way to know what they looked like. I suppose if I had better tree ID skills I’d know by looking at the bark.
There were yellowing vanilla leaf plants, rhododendrons and maples. Other shrubs and groundcover seemed as green as ever. This trail must be beautiful in the spring, after the snows have melted and the flowers are peaking.
Tidbits Mountain is a great little hike if you’ve got lots of time to drive to the trailhead but not a ton of energy for a big adventure. It’s scenic and quiet, offering a glimpse into the wilderness that few people get to see.