A DAY REVISTED
Bernie’s a bit peeved that he dipped out on a photo of the American Dipper and would like another dip at it. We venture down to the Salmon River along the golf-cart path that circumnavigates the 9-hole Foxglove golf course in the middle of our complex. Then we see it – not the American Dipper, the sign that says: “No bikes, no pedestrians, no skateboarders, no nothing is allowed along the path but golfers!” Law-abiding citizens that we are we backtrack and go on the same trail as yesterday. Near the river where we cross the golf course legally, we chat to a local man walking his “Labradoodle” – strange names for dog breeds here too – who informs us that we can walk on the golf course because it is closed for the season as we thought.
Finally, at the river there he is still sitting on the same rock and we get the pic and the tick. When he gets going he’s a busy little boy and can dip for a bite or look see every few seconds. We also get a close-up of the Pacific Wren that turns out to be a Song Sparrow!
On our way back to our unit we stroll the golf cart pathway brazenly in the confirmed legality of our actions. The course is still in good condition as far as our untrained eyes can tell and the fallen leaves form a mosaic on the fairways.
We are amazed at a huge rock in the centre of the fairway on hole No 1. Bernie jokes that a lot of golfers probably have their ball bouncing back at them off this huge obstacle. The course agrees and aptly names No 1 “The Monolith”
Next, we need to find Martie’s lost head plumage at Timberline Lodge. It hasn’t been handed in yet but the lady dealing with lost property is still not in, so we leave a message. Martie’s bleak but while we’re here we watch the movie on the construction of Timberline Lodge which is fascinating.
“Constructed in 1937, Timberline Lodge stands on the south slope of Mt. Hood at an elevation of 6,000 feet. This beautiful 55,000 square foot structure rises out of a pristine alpine landscape and is still being used for its original intent – a magnificent ski lodge and mountain retreat for everyone to enjoy. Legendary and awe-inspiring, it’s a tribute to the rugged spirit of the Pacific Northwest. Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977, Timberline Lodge is one of Oregon’s most popular tourist attractions, drawing nearly two million visitors every year.”
“In 1929, the stock market crash sent the United States into the Great Depression until 1939. Workers in the country were desperate for jobs due to a high unemployment rate coupled with a poor economy. President Franklin D. Roosevelt created The New Deal, which consisted of several social and economic programs such as the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). These programs provided relief through public employment.” www.timberlinelodge.com
Anyway, to cut a long story short the WPA were responsible for the construction of the building and it is a monument to the skill of the master builders and the unskilled, unemployed, destitute helpers that they had to help them. They did a damn fine job! And in only 18-months!
Externally the structure is imposing and everything an alpine lodge should be. Its lines echo the shape of the mountain and its steep pitched roof helps cope with the 22-foot snowfall it receives every winter.
The interior décor, created by Rachael Griffin, is rustic simplicity with rough cut wooden carvings on stair-posts and columns,
but with some fine art pieces on display. C S Price, Charles Heaney and Douglas Lynch all have exhibits on the walls
and Virginia D’Arcy’s stained-glass windows in the Ox bar.
An Indian head carving adorns the front door and what looks like a string of neck beads is actually a string of initials of those who worked on the project. Another head also adorns the walls, as Timberline Lodge was used for the exterior shots of the hotel in the horror movie “The Shining”.
For President Franklyn D Roosevelt’s dedication of the Timberline Lodge a special chair was made in his honour which together with the bedroom where he slept is well preserved and on display.
A fellow movie-goer that we chat to gives us some local recommendations. Firstly, we must go for huckleberry pie at the Huckleberry Inn at Government Camp and secondly a hot cider drink at the Rams Head bar – and make sure we ask for a cinnamon stick.
Thus persuaded, we purchase our pie and head for an afternoon drive of the Fruit Loop.
It’s our second attempt as yesterday we decided it was too rushed. After White River, which we hear, usually has a clear sky, we descend into a valley of cloud without any visibility. Now that the season is over most venues are closed on a Monday, so our intention was just for a look of the valley itself. It’s pointless – the valley is completely clouded in, so we take a quick pitstop at the snow bowl parking and a photo of the pebbled stream bed. One gets the impression that at some stage more water flowed in this stream than currently is babbling through.
Mount Hood is the largest night skiing venue in the USA. These stand-alone volcanic mountains cover huge areas and have numerous ski venues on all sides. They are however far apart and because of the terrain require some seriously engineered roads for access. The loop around Mt Hood is about 150-miles.
We return, for a third time to the fabulous Timberline Lodge, now becoming a firm favourite of ours, for the recommended mulled drink in the Ram’s Head Bar – “The Broken Weathervane”. This is a rather heady and warming mix of Broken Top Bourbon, Goldschlager, hot cider, whipped cream and nutmeg. The bronze weather- vane of 750 pounds sits atop the centre of the Main House and is the focal point at Timberline Lodge. Although it changes direction in the wind as it should, it has been broken for years.
The views from every window and entrance are truly magnificent.
It’s so good we relax and enjoy the views of Jefferson Mountain, the surrounding hills and a superlative sunset.