Fresh air on top of a mountain – nothing sounds more rejuvenating. With more snow this December than usual, it’s a great opportunity to dig out our snowshoes and play in some fresh snowfall. We’re able to slip away to Douglas Mountain, about an hours drive from Portland. Unpacking the snowshoes from the truck, we head off in search of the summit. Reportedly there’s a stone look-out tower (built early in the century) that marks the peak. Adventure – what I call a good afternoon.
Snowshoes have a way of making a 3 mile hike feel like an entire afternoon workout.
Stopping to see the depths of recent carvings of a local Woodpecker. The wind today is brisk and I’ve folded down the fleece lined ear flaps for warmth.
A small spring-fed spring flows across our path. We pause briefly to watch the cool water flow over snow covered rocks and make its way South.
Ice is just now forming near the source of the spring. Snow clings to the rocks, waiting for ice to take over the entire stream.
The job of a man is never done. Quickly lifting a few trees out of the path… (joke)
Lunch hour. I loosen the straps of my pack and let it rest against a birch tree. A downed tree makes for a bench. We brush the snow from our seats.
Locally-made pepperjack cheese and crackers. Good for what ails you.
Sliding the knife back in its sheath, I tighten the snowshoe straps and continue up the trail. For some of us who despise cardio, it’s a painful elevation gain.
The view begins to appear through an opening in the tree line.
The stone tower comes appears and rises high atop the peak. A small staircase leads to a small observation deck situated on top of the tower. We peel off our snowshoes and make our way up.
Snow-covered mountains can be seen West. The eye can see as far as Mt. Washington in New Hampshire. Surprised by the grandness of the view, we take a few moments and silently take it in.
Snowshoes with a view.
Up here the air seems cleaner, the soul seems more alive and the smile is glued on. Another satisfying journey through the backcountry.