Monday, September 28, 2009

Quick Ride To Timberline

Figuring that yesterday was going to be one of the last summer-like days, and considering that our son's hours at work will be changing soon, we decided to take a nice ride together. When he got to our house about lunchtime he suggested that we ride to Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood.  It's a ride that we've been talking about doing for quite a while. The forecast was calling for cooler weather today with rain moving in by evening.  Tomorrow the snow level is expected to drop to 4500 feet which will cover Timberline Lodge.

Built between 1936 and 1938 Timberline Lodge was a Works Progress Administration project during the Great Depression. The Lodge is about 6000 feet above sea level where the tree line stops and the mountain becomes all rock above.

As we rode east on Hwy 205 the temperature rose from a comfortable 73 degrees to the lower 80's.  Crossing over the Oregon City Bridge we were surprised with stiff wind gusts coming from the north along the Willamette River.  From this point all the way to the town of Sandy we fought cross winds and saw many groups of riders coming from Mt. Hood.  It was one of those days where most people who have a bike were probably on it.

Located on Hwy 26, Sandy is about 30 miles from Government Camp, the gateway to Mt. Hood's ski areas.  When we rode through Sandy the temperature was a breezy 87 degrees; we knew it wouldn't be this way on the mountain.

About three miles before entering Government Camp there are a series of long sweeping curves on the uphill grade with a wide open view on the right that displays a large side of a timber filled mountain and a deep ravine below.  It's hard to describe the view and the expanse of what is visible.  Viewing it on a motorcycle is very different than in a car.  I think it's too big to capture in it's entirety with a camera but the next time I go through there I'll try.  Our mission was to get to Timberline.

This is looking south from the lodge.  That's Mr. Jefferson, about 50 miles away.  The temperature at the Lodge was 63 degrees and beautiful!

Click on the picture above to enlarge it and you'll see three peaks to the left of Mt. Jefferson, that's Three Sisters Mountain.  The one with the top faintly visible on the left is Broken Top Mountain.  These are all near Bend which is in Central Oregon.

The top of Mt. Hood as seen from Timberline Lodge.  Notice how blue the sky looks at this elevation.  Tomorrow night this should be covered with snow.

The buffet looked and smelled good; maybe we'll try that next time.  The ride was 140 miles round trip from the house and it took us a little more than 3-1/2 hours.

I highly recommend a ride over Mt. Hood if you plan to come to the Portland area.



  1. Mike:

    Last year I rode to the SoundRiders rally in the Gorge at Stevenson. We went on a group ride to Timberline Lodge and had lunch there. I posted some photos last year (the archives)
    Sunday was also a great day here too. It was sunny, but cool in the shade. A sign of things to come

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  2. Kastz,
    Things are going well - thanks for visiting and commenting.

    That would be a nice ride from Stevenson to Timberline.

    I like your post yesterday about you and Lance meeting. It would have been nice to be there but it was good that the two of you met without the interference of a new blogger.

    I'll make a comment on your blog about the crocs.


  3. Mike:

    No such thing as a newbie. It would have been the "topping on the cake" to have you there for lunch too. Perhaps somewhere next year as this season is winding down.
    We are planning a BIG (read: Humongous) get together next year down in Redmond, OR next July, 2010. All the heavyweights will be there, well . . . at least ONE heavyweight --> Jack "r" etc. More to follow as we get closer.
    We should all get PINK crocs, would make it easier to recognize each other (LoL)

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  4. Bob,

    That sounds like a cool gathering in July and to have it in Redmond would be nice. Please keep me in the loop if there is one.

    Crocs would be okay, but I don't know about pink. You look good in them and my favorite shot is pondering over the water on the bench.

    Best regards - Mike

  5. I like the mountain shots, you've a good eye....