May 21, 2014

Mt. Hood Scenic Byway

I had been getting glimpses of Mt Hood from afar for a few days now, and I was somewhat anxious to get to Portland, but the thought occurred “I’m right here, why not go closer – I may never be near here again”.  Only a few miles south of Hood River, I got my first clear view of the mountain, breathtaking!ALASKA 2014 Mt. Hood Scenic Byway-001

Walking back to the truck I get somewhat of a surprise.  Wait a minute, there’s Mt Hood again, behind the truck, how can it be?  Getting the Delorme map book out for Washington confirms my suspicion, it IS indeed Mt. Adams back there!ALASKA 2014 Mt. Hood Scenic Byway

Hey, I’m in wine country, why not stop and have a taste or two?  after all, this is a vacation!  So, next stop appropriately named “Mt Hood Vineyard”.  Not wanting to have too much alcohol, I opted for the “signature wine” from “the regions signature grape” – a Pinot Noir.  Very disappointing, our own St Clair Vineyards in Deming produces a much better one.

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But they sure do have one hell of a view from their front yard!

ALASKA 2014 Mt. Hood Scenic Byway-005At the top of the pass on the south side of the Mountain, I stop to do a bit of hiking on the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail).  Crossing at the same spot is the Barlow Road, one of the first roads built in America!  Nit easy traveling today judging from the pile of snow.ALASKA 2014 Mt. Hood Scenic Byway-006

And just around the corner is the battered sign for the PCT.  Had to go back to the truck for my hiking pole, as I didn’t expect slippery snow and ice on the trail.  OH well, at least I can say I’ve done a short segment on the PCT – very short.

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From this side (south) the mountain appears more majestic, with some of it’s “rough” character showing.  With my binoculars, I could see one of the ski lifts running, but not many folks up there today. What a nice drive!

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