The Book. The Mountain. Everything in between.

Mount Hood view — or not

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.

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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.

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