The Mt. Hood Round 1960 (Robert and Neilie)
Photos from 1958
After a fitful sleep near our car (so many cars etc.) we got up before light and walked to the lodge. Just above it we discovered the trail and since we decided to go East first, we walked into the a.m. We wandered down into shallow canyons and up again but generally down until we got into Salmon River Canyon. there we cooked breakfast on a rocky spit.
After breakfast we crossed the river bed and started a steep climb up, then heavy forest with patches of big juicy huckleberries. After reaching the top of the ridge we came out into a wonderful meadow where we wound along crossing wonderful little clear brooks passing through patches of trees. For some time we kept pretty much at the same altitude with only small canyons to descend and climb out of. Around noon we had to drop into a deep canyon and there we ate lunch. Then we crossed a scene reminiscent of Himalayan expeditions. A roiled glacial river with great moraines on either side. From there on we climbed about three hours up the moraine - on a long trane through the woods and finally up on he ridge. Still we were not through though. From the ridge we still had to climb another thousand feet along timber line. All this time the mountains which was only observed for short times kept changing appearance as we moved along. It was fascinating. It was getting late in the afternoon and when we found we were about a thousand feet above Cloud Cap Inn I left n and jogged down to the camp right (sic?) we knew from our previous trip where with Towner and his daughter Sally. I had first gotten a cup of hot chocolate ready for her when n shone in sight. We were both tired. We had carried too much weight too far and too much up and down for a first day.
After eating steaks a fellow came over from the Inn and invited us up for coffee. (It is now privately leased by a club. It's really only a large shelter or camp). We accepted and had a beer and later coffee with this man and his wife. They were up from Hood River for the weekend with their two boys. About 9:30 we excused ourselves and climbed in our sleeping bags we'd layed out under some fir trees.
The wind began to come up and although it was rear and not too cold it was nice to be snug in our sleeping bags - We were on our air mattresses so no hard ground to worry about and I was soon asleep. I'd left our cooking gear out as it was clear, and something blew over ( a board it turned out to be later). n was startled. She always get nervous when the wind blows. She roused me and i stumbled sleepily to the cooking table. On the way i kicked a rock or piece of sharp wood and took the bottom off my left big toe. I swore and dug out the band-aids. At that point I wasn't sure of the rest of the trip. However we were up early and cross with the Clarkes Nutcrackers that dropped fir cones on us, and after hobbling around a bit in sneakers ( I'd abandon shoes because of nails) I decided to try it. We got going by a descent into a cold glacial canyon. Then it was climbing into and out of canyons all day with very pretty traverses through forest paths and meadows and always the mountain on our left so powerful we were ever conscious of it. The glaciers and ridges ever changing. At 11:00 we were caught up by a man from Hood River traveling light (only a camera). We were taking "10" and he chatted with us. He was 68 years old! A rancher. Always been a lover of the Mt. Photo fan. He left us with a springy gait. He took some of our Dextrose tablets and supplement his sandwiches for he was returning and Cloud Cap tha after noon. He was the only person to pass us the whole trip. At noon we came to a beautiful meadow where we ate lunch. A tremendous avalanche had come down a couple of Winters ago and cut off trees 30 ft from the ground (at snow level!). Some of the trees 20" thick where broken and 1/2 mile from the beginning of the flat. We were joined there by some 4 or 5 boys and a Father (father of some of the boys. The were calling that the end of their trip and would return to Cloud Cap next day. We felt a little imposed upon after our day and a half of virtual isolation from people. The 1st day we didn't speak to a soul until invited in for coffee and beer at Cloud Cap at about 7:45 p.m. We didn't even see anyone all that first day!
We gathered our stuff together and stiffly and a litle wearily prepared for a 1000 foot climb out of the meadow. It turned out to be a 2,500 climb with short descents. Here we began to meet the people who had started in the opposite direction around the Mt. We were ahead of them we figured and we still think we made best time around of the parties that weekend. n was the only lady to make the jaunt! The entire afternoon we climbed a long, long, long ridge. Then descended down down down to the lowest point in our route. The last mile above Cloud Cap was our highest with steep snow patches to skid and slither across. Now we were down in a glacial river bed and the crossing was precarious. (This shows an illustration of crossing the river on a pair of fallen trees ) †
Now we were down in a flat delta of sorts with the main river behind us but a couple of clear, clear creeks or brooks feeding down past us. It was fairly gentle and progressively more beautiful as rock cliffs rose to our left and obscured the Mt. But gave us a very intimate feeling with the forest. It was almost "park-like" with mossy path and clear as glass stream tumbling over rocky and fallen trees. Here as we were resting we met a couple of men. One a friend or acquaintance of n's. Mr. Watzek and a younger man. they were traveling light and were going to be picked up in a couple of hours by a third person at a forest service road. Mr Watzek 69 years old! Looked 50. & like barbed wire.
Pouring rain out. More to come R.
P.S. neely says if possible she would like this trip story back so she can write up her own version.
† This would be the ridge leading to Bald Mountain and descending down to the Muddy Fork and the Sandy River.
Sun A.M. 6 O'clock
Hi, Abbott up with me, It's dark and rainy and the fire place fire I have going is cherry. A. is on the bench with a blanket over him and plays with a toy or two quilts so as not to disturb n or Towner who are great for the sack at this hour.
He just asked for drawing material. Went for wood and it is showing first sign of glowing light. I just read William O Douglas book on Himalayas trip of 1950. Aboe just drew a bird for you which I'll use to write on. Muffet just came in after her breakfast outing and now is basking in front of the fire. She is quite changed. A very pretty black cat with scarcely a white hair. not even the usual chest patch that most black cats have. She is a little bit fat now as compared to the slender xxx thing she was. I pamper her on occasion by getting her horse meat or canned chicken (scraps).