I knew they were out there, but until a couple weeks ago, I don’t think I ever came across one. Then, while we were down in the Sisters area for two On Mount Hood book events at the Paulina Springs book shops, I got one back in a handful of change from the general store.
There’s nothing incredibly valuable about this quarter. It’s simply part of the United States Mint’s ”America the Beautiful” quarters program, which kicked off in 2010. Through the program, the Mint is releasing 56 different quarters — five a year through 2021 — depicting national parks and other sites from all over the country.
The Oregon quarter showcases the Mount Hood National Forest through a view of Mount Hood over Lost Lake. For a little reference, here’s the vista in real life:
It’s Halloween week, my time of year for watching Stanley Kubrick’s classic adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, The Shining. It is a great and eerie film that within the first few minutes spotlights a couple famous Oregon landmarks — Mount Hood and Timberline Lodge.
It’s a fleeting glimpse, though, because other than the brief glance of the mountain, the lodge and a couple other minor exterior shots, there wasn’t much of the movie filmed on Mount Hood. Instead, most of it was shot at London’s Elstree Studios using massive sets, sound stages, and a full-size mockup of the lodge’s exterior.
No matter though. All it took was that short little cameo to forever brand Timberline Lodge as the Overlook Hotel from King’s book. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing.
One other interesting fact about The Shining at Timberline Lodge: in the novel, room 217 of the Overlook Hotel is a haunted one, tainted by scandal and suicide. Rather than spook guests who might have ended up in room 217 at Timberline, the filmmakers were asked to change the room number in the movie to one that didn’t exist at Timberline. That’s why, in the movie, little Danny Torrance asks, “Mr. Hallorann, what is in Room 237?” — not 217.
One place it’s not been yet, however, is Central Oregon. That will change this weekend with two events at Paulina Springs Books. The first is tonight at 6:30 at their store in Sisters; the second is tomorrow night at 6:30 at the Redmond store. Always love spending time in this beautiful part of Oregon, so we’re looking forward to a fun weekend…
For years now, I have been wanting and meaning to get involved in some kind of community service effort to give back a little bit with some of my free time. Sure, I’ve donated books here and there, I put a little time in at my daughter’s school, but it’s been pretty unfocused so far.
Part of that has to do with a limited amount of hours to spare from what seems like a pretty spoken-for supply. But part of it also has to do with the fact that I just haven’t quite found something that syncs well with what I care about and what I can do. It’s probably just that I haven’t thought about it hard enough, but who knows.
This summer, however, something stared me straight in the face and pointed me in the right direction. It came in mid August during a book event at Timberline Lodge with a few other authors. It was a beautiful summer day. The mountain was out in full, the lodge was bustling with tourists and summer camp skiers and Pacific Crest Trail hikers from all over the world. I sat outside on Timberline’s back patio talking about the mountain with people and feeling like a lucky person to have such a direct connection to the lodge and the mountain.
So I’m sitting there, on the back patio of Timberline Lodge, staring at incredible Mount Hood, not to mention talking to Sarah Munro, author of Timberline Lodge: The History, Art, and Craft of an American Icon, and thinking, too, about how I can get involved with something that really matters to me, and it finally dawns on me — Duh, how about the Friends of Timberline?
Founded in 1975 to conserve and restore the art and furnishings of the lodge, the Friends of Timberline have been involved in a range of projects that, essentially, care for the lodge, its artwork and furniture, and its history. Among their more recent efforts, they completed the first phase of a project to light up some of the artwork in the lodge, and they restored the outdoor amphitheater and front steps. Over the years, the Friends have also been involved with public outreach, story and photo archives, and pathways and landscaping outside the lodge, among many other projects.
It’s such an obvious choice for me, for all the reasons already mentioned, but also because the Friends had invited me to speak at their annual meeting and fund-raiser at the lodge this past Saturday. Amy and I went up there on Saturday — another beautiful mountain day — and had a great time talking with so many fans of Mount Hood and Timberline Lodge. We also explored parts of the lodge we’d never seen before, and came to appreciate the lodge and the mountain even more than we already did.
To top it off, we were lucky enough to spend the night at Timberline, wake the next morning for a swim in the pool, and then enjoy a fantastic breakfast in the Cascade Dining Room. It was hard to leave when we had to, but the entire experience gave us even more cause to support Friends of Timberline and to continue enjoying and taking care of not only the lodge, but the amazing mountain it sits on, too.
We took a somewhat impromptu family bike ride up to George Rogers Park in Lake Oswego on Sunday, mainly to check out the boats in the Oswego Heritage Council’s annual Collector Car & Classic Boat Show. A slight bicycle malfunction, however, sent us into the car show in search of a gearhead with an allen wrench instead.
We found one, thankfully, and also ended up finding something I never would have expected at a classic car show in Lake Oswego:
It’s an old-school Tucker Sno-Cat from 1968. No one was around to talk to while we were there, but I know from my research for On Mount Hood that snowcats in general have a long history on Mount Hood. Back in 1936, a WPA foreman came up with one of the very first snowcats ever while working on the construction of Timberline Lodge. The lodge also featured one in a great postcard for the ski area back in the 1960s and again for its spring ski pass this year. It’s a Tucker, just like the one we saw. (Tucker, by the way, is still headquartered in Medford, Oregon.)
The snowcats are still widely used on Hood and all over the mountain ski areas for everything from grooming and creating terrain parks to search and rescue missions, climbing shuttles, and as a way to get up to the one-of-a-kind alpine lodge on Hood known as Silcox Hut.
It’s kind of a stretch to connect Pickathon, the annual indie music fest happening this weekend in Happy Valley, with Mount Hood, but I’ve been doing it for a while now, whether it’s sharing a picture of the Mountain View stage, which offers a glimpse of the mountain in the distance, or using a line from the Heartless Bastards’ song “The Mountain” as an epigraph for the first chapter of the Mount Hood book. (I first got turned on to them at Pickathon 2010.)
Not sure I have any new connections to make between the festival and the mountain just now, but who knows, maybe I will after this weekend. In the meantime, a few images from last year’s Pickathon to get ready for this year’s . . .
Enjoyed being part of this event so much last year that I’ll be back there with dozens of other authors again this year from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 22.
This year’s fair also ties in with the 100-year anniversary celebration of the Oregon City Public Library. On hand for that will be some big guns in the Oregon writing world, including author Matt Love and Oregon Poet Laureate Paulann Petersen.
It’s always flattering and honoring to come across On Mount Hood in local bookshops. This one came from Graham’s Book & Stationery in Lake Oswego, where the book has found a home amidst a great selection of Oregon books.
One of the things I really like about this picture isn’t just On Mount Hood though, but some of the other books that are there as well.
One row up and to the right is Crossings: McCullough’s Coastal Bridges by Judy Fleagle and Richard Knox Smith. What I love about that is that 12 years ago, Judy Fleagle was the editor of a magazine called Oregon Outside, and I was a furniture truck driver and an aspiring writer looking for a break. Judy gave me that break by publishing one of my very first pieces ever, a story about canoeing some of Oregon’s alpine lakes. The layout and design and editing were so nicely done that I still use that clip whenever I’m pitching other outdoor stories.
Right above Judy’s book is Timberline Lodge: A Love Story, which was edited by Jon Tullis, spokesman at Timberline Lodge. Jon not only provided a blurb for the paperback of On Mount Hood, but he also helped launch the book two weeks ago at Powell’s.
And just to the left is Hood River Valley: Land of Plenty, and below that, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, both by Janet Cook — now the editor of The Gorge Magazine — and photographer Peter Marbach. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting both of them at past book events and have long admired their work spotlighting some of the beauty of Oregon, the Gorge and, of course, Mount Hood.
Great company to be in . . .
When On Mount Hood initially came out two years ago, we launched it at Powell’s on Hawthorne. And while that was a great event and a great venue to launch a book — and while this may sound a touch petty and ungrateful — I’d be less than honest if I said there wasn’t a part of me that was really hoping it could have happened at the real-deal Powell’s, Powell’s City of Books on Burnside. It’s kind of the dream spot that a lot of writers have in mind.
Well, maybe for the next book, I remember thinking at the time.
The next book did come along — the paperback version of On Mount Hood — and with it the incredible opportunity to kick it off at Powell’s on Burnside.
We did it last night in the storied Pearl Room, and it was great.
But it wasn’t just me and it wasn’t just On Mount Hood.
It was also Hood photographer and artist Gary Randall, who shared some of his favorite and most amazing Mount Hood images.
Gary’s been photographing the great Northwest outdoors for decades, and his work has been published and posted and shared all over the place.
He’s got amazing pictures from all around the mountain, and some engaging stories too, from shooting a fierce lightning storm from inside his truck one stormy night to catching the Dollar Lake fire two years ago right when it blasted a massive mushroom cloud up into the sky.
The night was also Jon Tullis, the spokesman for Timberline who’s worked at the landmark lodge for more than 26 years. Long a huge fan of the lodge and the mountain, Jon shared some thoughts and a couple short videos celebrating the lodge, including one on the book he wrote and edited, Timberline Lodge: A Love Story.
And last night was also the 70 or so people who turned out to celebrate the beauty and glory and the singularity that is Mount Hood.
There are a lot of people out there who love and enjoy and revere that mountain, and a bunch of us got together at Powell’s last night because of it.
(Thanks to Sue Bartz and John Burton for some of the event pictures.)
A little press release about a great writing event happening this weekend:
The Estacada Area Arts Commission is sponsoring its eleventh annual Writers Night at the Springwater Grange on April 20th at 7 pm. The Springwater Grange is located at 24591 S. Springwater Rd, near the town of Estacada.
This year’s event will feature Jon Bell, author of On Mount Hood: A Biography of Oregon’s Perilous Peak.Bell will read from his book, and show slides of the mountain from his extensive collection of images.
Jon Bell will be joined onstage by hosts Stevan Allred and Joanna Rose, and by Portland based writer and publisher Laura Stanfill. Stanfill’s Forest Avenue Press has recently published its first book, Brave on the Page: Oregon Writers on Craft and the Creative Life. All four writers are included in this anthology.
To celebrate the publication of Brave on the Page Allred, Rose, and Bell will read work that explores and defines this evocative phrase. Stanfill will speak about her own creative life, and the pleasures and pitfalls of being a writer, an editor, a publisher, a wife, and the mother of two small children, all while bootstrapping Forest Avenue Press from nothing to a going enterprise in less than a year.
In September Forest Avenue Press will release Allred’s short story collection, A Simplified Map of the Real World. “It’s a suite of linked short stories set in a small town I call Renata,” says Allred. ”For me, being brave on the page has meant writing about the place where I live, fictionalizing it of course, but always running the risk that my fellow Estacadans will feel like I’ve gotten it wrong.”
Rose will read from her novel-in-progress, Everybody’s Rules for Scrabble. Her novel takes on the controversial issue of abortion. ”There are lots of things we’re scared to talk to each other about, like sex, and death, and religion,” says Rose. “Writing about them takes some courage. It helps if your parents have already passed on, which mine have.”
As always, host Stevan Allred will invite the entire audience to his home for a reception after the reading.
Forest Avenue Press will release Stevan Allred’s A Simplified Map of the Real World in September of 2013. Allred has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He has survived circumcision, a tonsillectomy, a religious upbringing, the 60′s, the break-up of The Beatles, any number of bad haircuts, the Reagan Revolution, plantar fasciitus, the Lewinsky Affair, the the Florida recount of 2000, the Bush oughts, the War on Terror, a divorce, hay fever, the real estate bubble, male pattern baldness, and heartburn. He is the editor of the zines Dixon Ticonderoga and The Intentional Ducati, and together with Joanna Rose, is the leader of the writing workshop known as The Pinewood Table.
Joanna Rose writes poems, short stories, long stories, and really long stories, true to life and also imagined. Some of them have been published (Bellingham Review, Windfall Journal, ZYZZYVA, High Desert Journal, Story Magazine, and the Oregonian newspaper.) One of them was so long it became a novel, Little Miss Strange. She teaches writing in classrooms all over the state, and with Stevan Allred at the Pinewood Table, which is in her living room in a small blue house in southeast Portland.
Laura Stanfill believes in community. She’s the founder and publisher of Forest Avenue Press and the editor of the anthology Brave on the Page: Oregon Writers on Craft and the Creative Life, a Powell’s Small Press Bestseller. Laura, an award-winning journalist, has been published in local newspapers and magazines in New York, Virginia and Oregon. She earned her English degree from Vassar College and she’s at work on a nineteenth century novel about bobbin lace, music boxes and a fainting pimp. See forestavenuepress.com for more information.
An outdoor enthusiast and wordsmith, Jon Bell has been writing from his home base in the Portland, Oregon, area since the late 1990s. After growing up in Mansfield, Ohio, Jon got a bachelor’s degree in history from Michigan State University, then traveled extensively across the American West before landing in Portland. His first published pieces were about some of his backpacking and climbing excursions in the Northwest, including countless weekends on Mount Hood. His work has appeared inBackpacker, The Oregonian, The Rowing News, Oregon Coast, and many other publications. He is also co-author of the climbing guidebook, Ozone, and a former president of the Ptarmigans Mountaineering Club. Visit his freelance writing web site, www.jbellink.com. He lives in Lake Oswego, Oregon, with his wife, two kids, and a black Lab.
For a few months now, I’ve been sharing details about the paperback of On Mount Hood, including the event at Powell’s at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 24. That event is just two weeks away, and now I’m really excited to announce that two fantastic friends of Mount Hood will be a part of the night as well.
In addition to my new slideshow and a reading from the book, Jon Tullis, who has been with Timberline Lodge for more than 25 years, and Gary Randall, an incredible photographer who’s been capturing amazing images of Mount Hood for decades, will be sharing their stories and images of the mountain as well.
Jon Tullis is currently the spokesman for Timberline, vice chair of the Oregon Heritage Commission, and also the editor and writer behind the book, Timberline Lodge: A Love Story. He’ll have some classic historical photographs, possibly a short movie about Timberline, and some stories to share from his time at the lodge.
Living in the shadow of Mount Hood for most of his life, Gary Randall has been a photographer since buying his first camera in 1976. There’s a pretty good chance that if you’ve seen a jaw-dropping shot of Mount Hood that you just can’t ignore, it came from Gary. He’ll be showcasing some of his absolute Hood favorites.
We’ll have time for some Q and A afterward — and hopefully some other great Hood stories from anyone willing to share — and then maybe head over to Deschutes for a pint or two to fuel plans for our next adventures on Mount Hood.
See you at Powell’s on April 24th!
With the paperback of On Mount Hood coming out later this month (7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 24 at the downtown Powell’s to be exact), I had to find some solid and willing folks to offer up blurbs for the back of the new cover. Luckily, since the book first came out, I’ve met a few of those folks and they have been kind enough to lend some lines to the paperback.
Many thanks to them all:
Jon Tullis, spokesman for Timberline Lodge, vice chair of the Oregon Heritage Commission, and the author and editor behind the book, Timberline Lodge: A Love Story. He’ll also be part of the paperback launch at Powell’s on April 24th!
I got a box in the mail today with something inside that reminded me I should probably start spreading the word about an upcoming event at Powell’s on April 24.
The paperback version of On Mount Hood officially comes out the day before the event at Powell’s. More info on that event to come soon. In the meantime, though, I thought I’d share the paperback image as a little peek at the next chapter of On Mount Hood.
It doesn’t happen all that often, but every now and then we’ll stumble across a copy of the Mount Hood book in an unexpected place. The Zigzag Ranger Station, the museum in Government Camp, even New Seasons.
Today it happened while hiking around and learning about owls at the Owl Fest at Tryon Creek State Park. There in the gift shop, we came across a lone copy on the top shelf. A nice surprise, indeed.
In addition to several readings from the book, the event featured a panel with myself a few other writers, including Scott Sparling, Yuvi Zalkow, and Kristy Athens, to talk about the creative process and how we research and incorporate our own experiences in our writing. For me, that meant sharing a bit about climbing Mount Hood, researching the mountain’s history, and sitting down for tea with environmental activist Tre Arrow.
Here’s a snippet of Laura’s recap:
A new writer friend, Marcia Riefer Johnston, asked if I was floating after last night’s reading at Powell’s.
We had an overflow crowd of 150, according to Powell’s staff estimates. We ran out of chairs, so some people sat in between bookshelves or stood around the edges of the gathering. There were people I know, writers and friends and even a row of my neighbors! Tom Spanbauer, a literary god here in Portland for his own work and how he cultivates talent in the writers he teaches, attended our event. There were friends of friends and writers who have studied with writers I have studied with.
But most amazingly, there were writers who came to be inspired, to ask questions about writing what we know (or not) and how we feel about writing groups. There were so many faces in the audience that I didn’t know, and it was so special to share Brave on the Page with them through readings by Kate Gray, Gina Ochsner, Gigi Little, Robert Hill and me. And to share the sense of writerly community and camaraderie through the panel discussion moderated by Joanna Rose and featuring Yuvi Zalkow, Scott Sparling, Jon Bell and Kristy Athens.
A homegrown writing reference book, Brave on the Page: Oregon Writers on Craft and the Creative Life (Forest Avenue Press) is a multi-voiced collection of ruminations about authors’ habits, frustrations, and successes. Above all, it’s a celebration of what it means to be a writer in Oregon. Brave on the Page, edited by Laura Stanfill, features work by 42 Oregon authors, including original interviews and flash essays.
Joining Stanfill for this reading and panel discussion will be contributors Kristy Athens, Jon Bell, Kate Gray, Robert Hill, Gigi Little, Gina Ochsner, Joanna Rose, Scott Sparling, and Yuvi Zalkow.
Find out more here.
Though I’ve not yet celebrated New Year’s on Mount Hood, I’ve always wanted to. The setting, the snow, the festivities, it all just seems very inviting.
We won’t be up on the mountain for the holiday again this year, but for anyone who might be, there’s plenty to choose from.
Timberline Lodge — The mountain’s landmark lodge ushers in the new year with style: two dinner seatings in its Cascade Dining Room, dancing, champagne toasts and more. There’s also late-night skiing and snowboarding on into 2013, and at midnight, a one-of-a-kind fireworks display:
Mt. Hood Meadows — The ski area teams up with Widmer Brothers Brewing to ring in the new year with skiing and riding till midnight, a dinner buffet, live music from Keegan Smith and The Fam, and fireworks beginning at 10 p.m.
Mt. Hood Skibowl — For its 25th annual gala, Skibowl will be packing in skiing and riding till 2 a.m., Cosmic Tubing until midnight, two fireworks shows, DJs, live bands, the torchlight parade featuring the Powder Hounds snow bikers and Olympic speed skier Petr Kakes, champagne toasts, a Glow in the Dark Dance Party, and tons more.
Happy New Year!
Though it’s not really my bag, it is part of my job to spread the word about On Mount Hood.
And so today, just a quick note and a very early save the date: the paperback version of On Mount Hood: A Biography of Oregon’s Perilous Peak will be released by Sasquatch Books on Tuesday, April 23, 2013. The next night, a celebration kickoff at Powell’s City of Books — and not the Hawthorn store, which was great for the launch of the book in 2011, but the big daddy at 1005 W. Burnside in Portland.
From the Sasquatch Books Spring 2013 catalog:
A few weeks ago, I first posted about Brave on the Page: Oregon Writers on Craft and the Creative Life, a collection of interviews and and essays from 42 Oregon authors, edited by Laura Stanfill. Laura had asked me to be part of the project, and I gladly obliged.
The book’s been available since early October, but the official launch reading is happening this weekend. It will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at Fulton Park Community Center in Southwest Portland. (68 Southwest Miles Street). I won’t be reading at this event, but a whole bunch of other writers will be, including Liz Prato, Michael Gettel-Gilmartin, Duncan Ellis, Laura Stanfill, Kristen Forbes, Joanna Rose, Stevan Allred, Steve Denniston, Bart King, Nancy Townsley, and Gigi Little.
The event is free, will last about an hour, and will include some light refreshments as well. So if you’re into writing, reading, and Oregonians who do a little of both, this will be the place to be this Saturday. Find out more at Laura’s Forest Avenue Press.
Earlier this summer, Oregon writer Laura Stanfill commented on a picture I’d posted of On Mount Hood on sale at Powell’s. Then another author I met this year, Kim Cooper-Findling, passed my contact info on to Laura so we could connect.
I’m glad we did.
Laura graciously invited me to be a part of a pretty great book project she was putting together, Brave on the Page: Oregon Writers on Craft and the Creative Life. The book collects interviews and essays from 42 Oregon authors, including Cooper-Findling, Bart King, Matt Love, and many others. It’s also got one of my favorite mountains on the cover.
Laura published the book in a unique process through her own startup publishing house, Forest Avenue Press. The official release was yesterday, Oct. 8, and the book is available through the Espresso Book Machine at the downtown Powell’s and through ondemandbooks.com.
I don’t have my copy yet, but I’m looking forward to getting one. Anyone who’s interested in Oregon writers, craft and the creative life should be, too.
Thanks again, Laura.
Sure, it can be a little crowded — popular might be a better word — and a touch loud close in near the boat ramp, but there is something about Lost Lake on Mount Hood that absolutely spills out summertime.
Part of it is the nostalgic air of the rustic resort (which just sold for $1.2 million to some lucky someone who will hopefully maintain its endless charm), the rowboats, the campfire smells, the chill lake — just brisk enough to refresh, just clear and calm enough to lounge about in for a while.
A simple stroll encircles Lost Lake as well, and despite the crowds on hot summer days, it still seems that you’re always able to find a spot here or there to set up for the afternoon and soak it all in. We did as much a couple weeks ago on one of the warmer Oregon weekends, and relished not only the lake, but trail-side huckleberries and salmon berries, squirt guns, elusive crawfish and newts, and a laid-out tree that invited all kinds of exploration.
Essential to a great day on Lost Lake, however, is actually getting out on the water. People do it in any number of ways, from renting rowboats and canoes from the resort to bringing their own boats, tubes, rafts, and even a few air mattresses. There is simply nothing better than being out on the water on days when the temperature and the sun are relentless, the air still and warm. Get on the water, and all of a sudden all is chill and forgotten.
But what makes Lost Lake the quintessential Mount Hood lake for kayaking, swimming, soaking in the rays, and simply enjoying a real summer day near the mountain, is the unmistakable view you take in from the middle of the lake. There’s no mistaking it. Summertime at Mount Hood.
A few weeks ago, back before these hot and sunny days, back in mid July, when morning mist and clouds hung around far too long and blocked true summer’s appearance, my friend, Wyatt, and I headed east in search of some mountain sunshine. And we found it. Not, however, on Mount Hood.
Instead, we drove out of a Portland drizzle, Hood socked in behind a curtain of gray, and made our way over and up to the east side of Mount St. Helens. Up there, at Ape Canyon and all the way up to the Plains of Abraham — 13 miles roundtrip for us — we caught plenty of blue sky, sunshine, and giant if only partly cloudy views of the mountain.
The next weekend, it was still gray in town and there was April-like rain in the air. Still, we headed out, for if you only ventured out on clear, bluebird days, you’d surely be missing too much. This time, we headed to Hood and a standby favorite: Zigzag Mountain via Burnt Lake.
The clouds lifted once for a nice far-off view of the mountain about halfway up and then just again — just — before we topped out. (Look hard. It’s there.)
We didn’t get much else in terms of mountain views that day, but I’m not sure we really needed much more. Sometimes just being out and about, rambling in the hills, is more than enough.