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The Majesty of Mt. Hood

October 7, 2013

Yesterday, I took my friend to the airport so that she could return home to Florida after a week of fun running around Oregon. It was painfully early, but I realized that it gave me the chance to do one thing I have always wanted to: Take sunrise photos of Mt. Hood.

Mt. Hood is the highest peak in Oregon and it stands watch over the Portland metro area. It is a mecca for skiers, mountain climbers and hikers. Personally, I have always considered it to be a beacon of freedom. Tucked in the midst of virtually untouched forests, the volcanic peak is the symbol of my home, of the place where I feel most alive and the state in which I reclaimed my life as my own.

I knew that I wanted to take the photos at Trillium Lake, a body of water just over 7 miles from the mountain. On the clearest, calmest days, the lake perfectly reflects the mountain in its waters. Unfortunately, due to a confluence of factors, I didn’t reach the mountain in time to take the pictures right at sunrise. Instead, I pulled up to the lake in 31-degree weather and found the area blanketed in freezing fog with just a tinge of color on the eastern most edge of the mountain. Still, the reflection in the lake was breathtaking and I decided it was well worth the trip.

MH 1

I also knew that the view was likely to get even better if I was patient enough, so I waited in the freezing temperatures, trying to ignore the cold creeping into my hands and feet. I wasn’t disappointed as the sun started lighting up the mountain.

MH 3

By the time the sun filled the sky, I was astounded by how the mountain lit up and the trees started to warm to a bright India green.

MH 9

Before heading home, I decided to stop by Timberline Lodge to take a few closer photos of the mountain. While Trillium Lake is at 3,600-foot level, the historic Timberline Lodge stands at the 6,000-foot mark. Despite the elevation difference, the grounds of the lodge, which are warmed directly by the sun rather than through a thick layer of trees (like the conditions I encountered at the lake), were a relatively toasty 45 degrees when I arrived just after 8 a.m. Because of the guest building that has been erected in front of the lodge, it’s hard to take great photos of the historic building, but I did manage to capture another shot of the top 5,000 feet of the mountain.

MH 9a

And, I also managed to catch a beautiful view of Mt. Jefferson with at least one of the Three Sisters barely visible off its shoulder.

MH 9b

There will definitely be more photos to share of my vacation in the coming days, but I wanted to post these first because they perfectly complement my first vacation post about Crater Lake.

From → Random Beauty

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