On we go into 2015, but not before a quick look back at some of my favorite Mount Hood times of the past year. Here’s to all of them — and to all those that lay ahead in the new year.
Well, not officially, anyway, but it was the last official weekend before the start of school, so that’s a kind of ending at least.
We sent the last school-free part of summer off in style with a weekend on the mountain at our regular Sandy River hot spot. Surprisingly, not only was one of the prime campsites actually available on Labor Day Weekend, but it actually wasn’t a pigsty when we rolled up. The stars were aligned for us, I suppose.
The rain did little to dampen the spirits, nor could it interfere in the slightest with all the huckleberries that needed picking.
The sun returned in time for an afternoon hike along the Sandy River toward Ramona Falls.
We didn’t make it to the falls — hadn’t planned to — but turned around where the trail crosses the Sandy River. It was here, a few weeks ago, that a flash flood washed out a bridge, swept away one hiker and stranded 23 others.
We tried not to dwell on that too long but instead enjoy the walk and the woods and the water. We did.
The last few hours of the weekend we spent up at Timberline Lodge, where the Mountain Music Festival was in full swing. Eli West & Cahalen Morrison offered some sweet old-time harmonies, while the Black Lillies, who we’d just glimpsed at Pickathon last month, brought some tasty country flavor to the high alpine meadows surrounding the lodge.
Not a bad way at all to (kind of) end the summer, though it’s not truly over yet . . .
Another successful and memorable Pickathon has come and gone, though it lingers: the music, the people, the art, the food, the kids, the lighting, Marco Benevento’s 2 a.m. Monday morning set way up in the woods that seemed to be just warming up when we peeled away around 4.
I didn’t get any shots of the Mountain View Stage with Mount Hood this year, though there were times when the mountain rose off in the distance while great tunes happened right there. But Amy and I did capture a few moments from the weekend that help to share a little bit of what went on. Such fun…
The main stage at Pickathon 2013.
Obligatory hula hoop shot.
Lake Street Dive at the Pickathon Cafe. Nothing more to say.
Spencer took ownership of this trail.
A little artwork along the loop trail.
New friends — and new boots — at Pickathon.
I had to work during both of Dale Watson’s sets, and even though a highlight of Pickathon 2013 for me was volunteering, I was bummed to miss him and a few other acts.
The rest of the crew got to see him and even meet him later on. Even signed Spence’s new ukulele. (A classic Madeline move below . . .)
Speaking of the new ukulele…
The kid busking thing has kind of become standard at Pickathon these days, but they still reeled in three bucks and some change.
We had incredible burgers from Kuza Burger — so good that we went back twice over the weekend — but we couldn’t resist giving the donut sliders from, I believe, Red Tomatoes, a try. Not as good as Kuza, but how to resist a cheeseburger served on a fresh-made donut?
Rockin’ out with King Tufff after their daytime set . . .
Crashed out, filthy, and so content at the Woods Stage — kind of how most everyone feels after another great weekend at Pickathon.
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 . . .
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!
It’s Pickathon time again, and what better way to get in the mindset for this weekend’s festival than to look back to a bit of Pickathon past. From a 2011 post:
The first time I really ever heard The Heartless Bastards, an incredible band formed in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 2003, was at Pickathon 2010. And the first song I ever heard of theirs is one called, simply, The Mountain.
The band, particularly lead singer Erika Wennerstrom, hit me hard, sharing an energy I’d not felt about any band in quite some time. And the song came at just the right time. I’d been finishing up On Mount Hood and culling my notes and research for some quotes to head up each chapter. The opening lines from The Mountain seemed to convey just what I had in mind for the introduction of the book.
Oh you feel and you taste it
And you want to go higher, so what do you do
And so you peek into the mountain
Where your desire goes
I got to write about the Heartless Bastards and The Mountain a little earlier this spring, as part of Tim LaBarge’s Pickathonography book, which looks at five years of the music festival from 2006 through 2010. The piece went along with some fantastic photos of the band that really captured the musical highlights of the entire weekend for me.
Take a peek. (And look forward to their sets at Pickathon 2012 . . .)