Timberline Lodge

I can’t believe we’ve lived here for so long without visiting the Mt. Hood area. A mere 70 minute drive from our home and we found ourselves at the wonderful Timberline Lodge.

My only previous view of it was some local TV station’s winter weather cam that show piles of snow pushed up against the walls and entrance every January.

After spending a couple of hours at Trillium Lake and gawking at the view of the shadow of Mt. Hood, we drove up the 6-mile mountain up the Timberline.

And man, the lodge is something else. If you’ve been there I’m preaching to the choir, but the view, the architecture, the craftsmanship, the history of the place is awe-inspiring. [I’m not a real big believer in ghosts, but there was definitely a presence there I noticed walking through the hallways. Of course, it might have also been the pitcher of Ice Axe IPA I chugged.]

I was shocked to learn than the lodge almost didn’t make it past the 1940s, falling in disrepair. Here’s a sad shot nabbed from Wikipedia:

[Thankfully, Richard Kohnstamm came to the rescue and helped build the lodge back to its original beauty. Thank you Richard Kohnstamm. We need more of you to help preserve our disappearing heritage.]

Here’s a scan of the lobby postcard, most likely taken during the 1960s:

The cozy confines of the Timberline Lodge.
The cozy confines of the Timberline Lodge.

And here’s a shot I tried to re-create:

Notice the dude passed out on the couch. Sleeping one off I guess.
Not much has changed - except the dude passed out on the couch. Sleeping one off I guess.

What other architectural gems are nearby that I need to explore? The Alvar Aalto library in Mt. Angel? Frank Lloyd Wright house in Silverton?

Also, I’ve started writing about my other favorite subject – local Oregon beer – on the most excellent Portland Food and Drink blog. Food Dude was gracious enough to let me scribble some words and then post them. I’m excited and plan on doing some serious “research” on area beers.

7 replies on “Timberline Lodge”

Love the blog too… and the photos of Timberline. Despite living in Oregon for over 20 years now, I’ve only been there two times – once to learn how to ski (which I failed miserably at) and another time just to play in the snow (after having totally given up on the skiing idea).

With respect to carywd’s position, I’d really be thrilled if you could do the Lloyd house at the Oregon Garden! We can never find the time or the money to get out of town to see that and I so want to see the inside of that thing!

Before you go to the Mt Angel abbey, see if they still have the museum in the basement there – if so, be sure to go when its open, the collection of assorted freaks and oddities is worth the trip!

The library is beautiful, especially with early afternoon sun shining through the upper windows, it’s all glowy and sixties to the hilt.

Before you leave the area, do not miss the churches, both at the abbey and in downtown Mt. Angel. Beautiful and amazing color selections. The downtown Mt. Angel church was nearly lost to an earthquake about 10 years ago.

Cascades Recollections:

An initial climb of Mt. Hood in 1961 as an 18-year old, led, in subsequent years, to slogs up the Three Sisters, Jefferson, St. Helens, Adams, Rainier, Shasta, 3-Fingered Jack and a few others in the NW. I’ve had the good fortune to enjoy the company of good climbing mates on the Hog’s back, Sunshine and Cooper Spur routes over the years (my wife says no to the North Face), and we’ve always enjoyed stopovers at the lodge and the pie shop down the road (the Bumbleberry is a good-un’).

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