December 9, 2006.
Going hiking with (non-hiking) friends is always a fun experience. The few hours we spent on the trails was not about going for long distances or top speeds, or to some remote off-trail location. Instead, it was about goofing off, silly conversation, and, well, snowball fights.
The snow levels on Mt. Hood weren’t great and so we ditched the plan to go to Mirror Lake. Instead, we drove a little bit higher in elevation and started along the well-packed route to Trillium lake. At the start of the loop there was a cute little snowman which we posed with before starting out around the lake. There were a ton of cross-country skiiers, swishing along in their little tracks, as well as some snowshoers. And lots of dogs. This is not a place you’d ever find me if I had planned my own outing. Nevertheless, we were able to lose the crowds a little bit as we tromped through the forest and crossed wide open snowfields that others had missed as they circled around the lake.
Kevin was able to estimate the snow depth (with a very unique, but accurate probe) to be at least 3 feet. Several road signs were nearly covered up, giving us some great photo ops. We did some people-watching, which is always fun, and the guys ran into some folks they knew from other hikes. Soon after, we left the main trail for a campground where we had some food near buried picnic tables. I had carried beer and brownies for everyone, in addition to a full winter daypack in order to make the hike actually feel like a workout 🙂 So we enjoyed some Obsidian Stout, caramel-fudge brownies, and many more laughs before heading out for the last leg of the hike.
We followed some snowshoe prints through the campground (past a gorgeous covered picnic area where we COULD have eaten) and out to the snow covered road. We shortly came back to the start of the loop and came across the snowman again. This time, we accessorized the snowman with bits of forest vegetation before leaving it behind.
Alas, back at the parking lot so soon! At least I got some quality time in the woods this weekend. The weather could have been better, the company couldn’t. Thanks, guys 🙂