A trip to the mountain: Mount Hood, Cooper Spur, and the Hood River Valley, 10-12 October 2020

White River Crossing, OR 35 on Mount Hood. 12 Oct 2020. Camera: Minolta Hi-Matic 7s. Film: Arista EDU 200.

It’s been a weird year for travel, obviously. Coronavirus and stay-in-place restrictions pretty much put the kibosh on travel from March (right after an eerie trip to Seattle, the then-epicenter of COVID in the US) through early summer. Then Emee and I had a couple week blast of movement–Hood River in late July, the Long Beach Peninsula on my birthday, Maryhill in the Gorge soon after. Besides my two bike camping trips, Barton in July and Ainsworth/Columbia Gorge in August, there hasn’t been anything else.

That changed this month with another one-two blast of travel. We might as well get outta town, as COVID cases are once again on the rise. Travel restrictions may be upon us again! The first trip was to Cooper Spur Resort on the east side of Mount Hood from October 10-12. It was a long weekend so Emee’s kids could come along. We’d also spend time in the fertile Hood River Valley, as it was harvest time. I’ve been by Mount Hood several times, same with the Hood River Valley. But somehow I never managed to hit up the east side of Hood, the area that Oregon Route 35 traverses.

The weekend was unfortunately damp, the first good rains of fall. And the higher elevation (Cooper Spur is about 3,400 feet high, and Bennett Pass just to the south is at 4,600 feet) meant that it was downright chilly, but not freezing. It wasn’t exactly the best time to be outdoors, but we made the best of it.

My favorite bit was the until-then unexplored territory. Oregon Route 35 crosses the White River where it transitions from high glacier-fed river to a forested canyon. The area right off the road resembled a lunar landscape, sandy and rocky with the small channel of rushing water. If there’s one thing that keeps me in Portland, it could be the proximity to glaciers.

I’ll definitely get back this way when the weather is nicer. I hope to do a circumnavigation via bike of Mount Hood at some point–hopefully this can happen in 2021. In the meantime, enjoy the pics!

Cooper Spur. Testing that MC-Rokkor PG 50mm f/1.4 lens. 11 Oct 2020

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