Satish Shrestha (सतिश श्रेष्ठ )

In The Quest Of…

The Mountain will always be there

Posted by Satish Shrestha on January 18, 2011


The Flood


With an intention to learn something new, I had enlisted myself a couple months back for a free snowshoeing class at REI scheduled for last Thursday. The class briefly familiarized me with this goofy looking snow sports called Snowshoeing. And on Friday morning, out of the blue, I receive an invitation from Val for snowshoeing in Mt. Hood. She had registered her son for the event but as he got sick, he couldn’t join the team. Thus, I substituted Val’s son and headed to Mt. Hood with Val, Sue and Petey. While mere Mt. Hood was enough to excite me to the fullest degree, our reservation for rooms at renowned Timberline Lodge just sky-rocketed my excitement.

All psyched, we hit the road at 6:30 am and headed southwest. Interesting conversations, Janis Joplin in the speakers, Washingtonian desert all just made the drive more interesting. As soon as we crossed Umatilla, we were welcomed by the Oregonian rain. The mountains were all shrouded by grey clouds and all we could do was hope that it would clear out. The rain just got worse and we witnessed a massive flood as we headed towards the mountain. We stopped by a fallen tree right by the river and made a quick errand in Tamanawas Falls trail. As we drove uphill, the downpour just swelled up. We stopped at the Timberline Lodge, check in, left our stuff in the rooms and walk around the lodge. The only thing we saw outside was snow and cloud. Had it been a clear day, we would have witnessed the real beauty!

Happy faces

Val and I went out for a snow cat ride. The view was just isotropic! Couldn’t see a damn thing because of the clouds. Back in the lodge we spent time taking silly pictures and checking every possible nooks of the edifice. At 6, we headed down to the Cascade Dining Room, a really expensive restaurant for a student like myself. At the table, we were seated with Carol, a retired professor of French at Whitworth College. The conversation ran a gamut from sky diving to base jumping and trekking in New Zealand and Nepal to Patagonia. I didn’t speak much as I was quite absorbed in the stories of Sue. She’s an outdoor Junkie by hobby and professor of kinesiology by profession. The dinner was followed by an uncertainly for the next plan. Despite extreme wind and rain, we jumped into an outdoor hot tub. While rest of the body was warm and relaxed, the head was almost frozen because of the cold wind. After about an hour in the hot tub and spa, we headed back to the rooms and hit the sack with a hope that the weather would favor us the following day.

Unfortunately the weather didn’t get any better. After eating elegant buffet breakfast at the Timberline, we headed back to Spokane. The drive downhill was pretty amazing as we witnessed at least seven different rainbows and drove under three of them. The green hills and hazelnut trees in the Hood river county reminded me of my first visit to Oregon in the spring of 2008 when I was visiting my ex-girlfriend. It was the same time I first witnessed the beauty of Mt. Hood. The pleasant nostalgia and soporific Rolling Stones ballad Angie in the car’s speakers put me to sleep.

One of the many rainbows we encountered

Over 8.5 inches of continuous rain and massive flood as a result of that forced us to make changes in our plan. Nonetheless, it was one heck of a trip. I’ve heard wise mountaineers say “The Mountain will always be there”. I’ll be back sooner or later. There’s always a good reason to visit Oregon.

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