The Bustache


Life on Misty Mountain Installment #1:

It seems our days are numbered here at Misty Mountain. We’ll spend the next few months enjoying the Winter Wonderland that we’ve been told is Mt. Hood Forest, but in early 2021 it looks like we’ll be heading somewhere else.

With an end in sight, I’m feeling the need to document our time here – to codify it to more than just memory.  I’ve loved almost every moment, and I’m already missing it. I know I will look back on this place as a home of immense peace and wonder.  So I’ll be writing a few posts about our life here.  

First, let’s get our bearings, shall we? 

It is impossible to talk about this place without centering it around what everyone here calls, “The Mountain.”  It is inescapable.

Mt. Hood is Oregon’s tallest summit.  A volcanic peak that rises suddenly out of rolling carpets of trees.  At 11,250 feet it can easily be seen from Portland, over 60 miles away.  

View from Downtown Portland (almost got in a car accident taking this photo! Oops!

Steve and I like to joke that Mt. Hood is the kind of mountain you draw when you are a kid. A perfect pointy triangle with snow frosting the top. In fact, if you pick the “mountain” emoji from your phone, you’re looking at a pretty accurate portrayal of Mt. Hood. 🏔

View from Top Spur.

The Mountain is the sun to our solar system. We are caught in its gravity; always orbiting and orienting our adventures around it. We are pulled in by its massive presence and perpetually craning for another glimpse. No matter the day, time or angle, it just never gets old. Even the predictable views manage to be surprising time and time again. We are always caught off guard by its scope.

Camp Quarantine, our home for the past 7 months, is nestled on its westside.  It’s peak is visible from our living room – ever changing throughout the day and seasons.

Ever changing view from our deck.

To the North is Hood River, the Columbia Gorge (home of the famed Multnomah Falls), and picturesque farmland holding Oregon’s “Fruit Basket” – berries, apples, pears and fields of lavender.

Northern View from Hood River Area

East are several serene lakes perfect for camping. And then, if you drive just over an hour, a high desert, where the land suddenly changes to parched flat mesas and golden dusty hills. It’s as if Mt. Hood sucks up all of the moisture and there is nothing left to give.

Finally, to the South is the Cascade range.  Among thousands of other trails, the PCT winds up from there.  Passing through Mt. Bachelor, Broken Top, The Sisters and Mt. Jefferson before reaching Timberline Lodge on the southern flanks of Hood – 5000 feet below its apex.   

Now that we’ve oriented ourselves, I’ll write next about the climate and weather. After 10 years in SoCal, I find the weather FASCINATING.

P.S. As I post this, the weather looks like this!

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