Saturday, July 6, 2013

Timberline Lodge

Timberline Lodge

This is a special post about a very passive adventure. Want to come to a unique and beautiful setting; A setting both elegant and rustic? Then give Timberline Lodge, on Mount Hood, a try. This stone and timber structure was built in 1936 as part of the WPA anti-recession activities and it has all of the power and youth and charm of pre-war America. The kind of place our grandparents would have built when they were young.

I am sitting on a couch in the central grand room at the lodge beside my kayaking partner. She is taking pictures. I am enjoying the sheer massiveness of the timbers and stone. Even the tables and chairs are large solid pieces of wood. Presumably local wood. The story of the lodge, at least the one that I remember, is that things were originally all made of local stone and local wood by local workers and artisans. The lodge is stuffed full with the kind of craft art that an amateur but gifted craftsman might make if you gave him some really big logs and some good hand-forged chisels. For instance, the stairway railings are carved with beavers and elk and all sorts of little animals. The fireplace is filled with giant size cast iron log rails. Oh, they may be actual railroad rails that have been re-forged.


And here we sit at the timber line; at 6000 feet. It is June 20th and it is snowing outside. Hmm. We are actually on our way to Bend to do some kayaking with the club, but we stopped here for a little side adventure. If you are going to come here, spend the night. Get a nice room. There are sort of 3 tiers of rooms. One is bunk beds and campings style. Like for a (rich) ski family or some college kids off on an adventure. Shared bath, that kind of thing. Our room is a single queen with a private bath. A small but elegant room. With nice Pendleton blankets and very good heating. I am sure we have a view of Hood but with the snow and clouds, we can't see it.


The Cascade Dining room, which is only the other side of the central lounge from our room, is a world class type restaurant. I had the elk, my partner had the salmon, both were heavenly. I stole a bite of the salmon. Oh my. We also had the Goose Egg appetizer. They bring this really hot cast iron skillet (a small one), put in some truffle butter, add the very large goose. Let cook. Add mushroom compote. Eat with bread. Very nice.

Medallions of Elk on lightly grilled asparagus with Bearnaise sauce. Balls or Dungunes Crab, toasted, off to the side. A very reasonable IPA.

A very thick salmon steak, grilled but still red in the middle, with scallops and fingerling potatoes. A delicious savory huckleberry compote.

Chocolate Cake and Coffee for desert.

A while later, hot tub and pool surrounded by snow and cold wind. A lovely evening. Did you know that little german boys grow their hair long and look like adorable little girls? Refer to all german children in a gender neutral way until you know for sure. German fathers are a bit touchy.

Feather Pillows. Lots of towels. Wonderful Breakfast buffet (Bagels and Locks to die for).

And outside in the parking long, waiting for the next leg of our adventure, Journey all covered with snow.

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