Monday, August 20, 2007

High Above The Trees

Over the last two weeks I have shared about the wonderful trip we took with our out-of-state family. We had a wonderful day trip together, sharing the beauty and history of our area with them. We drove through the Columbia River Gorge, along a historic highway, stood on the shores of the Columbia River and loved every minute of our drive around Mount Hood. This is the final part of that journey to share - I think it was my favorite!

Nestled midway to the summit of Mt. Hood is Timberline Lodge, a National Historic Landmark and masterpiece of mountain lodges. Constructed of mammoth timbers and native stone in 1937, Timberline Lodge stands today as a tribute to the rugged spirit of the Pacific Northwest.*

Timberline (as the locals call it) is on the south side of the mountain, about 60 miles east of Portland. This is a popular tourist attraction where more than a million visitors come each year. The lodge was built entirely by hand - inside and out - at the height of the Depression. It was built by unemployed craftspeople hired by the Federal Works Progress Administration. It is a wonderful monument to the talents of local artists and craftsmen who used materials of the area to express the spirit of the mountain.

Architects provided for even the tiniest decorative detail, using three themes to illustrate regional heritage: hand-hewn timbers and hand-crafted furnishings to pay tribute to early pioneers, carved wood and wrought iron designs to capture the Indian spirit, and carvings of animals and paintings of wildflowers to represent wildlife native to Mt. Hood.*
A broad sloping roof rising up to a central point was designed to harmonize with the shape of the mountain and its ridges. Stone buttressed walls and massive timbers were planned to withstand heavy alpine winds and deeps snows. Blueprints included huge observation windows to bring the mountain and surrounding valleys "into" the lodge.

Wooden salmon sculpture

silouetted against the view of the mountain above

(The terrace below was being set up for a wedding!)

The interior of the lodge is amazing! The craftsmanship and decor throughout each area is perfect for this special place on the mountain.

Hand-carved stairways seen through stone archways

Massive hand-hewn timbers join the stone chimney

Doorway into Blue Ox Bar

(The back wall is a huge stained-glass rendition

of Paul Bunyan and Babe, the Blue Ox)

Mount Jefferson (seen through the doorway of the 2nd-story stone terrace)

Timberline Lodge is a fascinating place to visit. I plan to return again, perhaps sometime in the winter when the snow is deep and winter has changed the views. Perhaps my wintertime visits will be reserved for rainy days in the valley below by way of beautiful books and photos of those more adventurous than I! No matter how or when, I know that I will return to this place above the trees again in the future - if not personally, in my heart.

*with gratitude to Timberline Lodge


  1. What a place! I'd love to visit. Especially since our family name is "Hood". Blessings...

  2. Adrienne,
    I live in Mcminnville. Love the pics of the "hood" and the gorge.

  3. Hi Adrienne! I love Timberline Lodge. I haven't been there for years, so I appreciate the visual reminder of how beautiful it is!

    Have a great week!

  4. These photos are awesome! Thanks for sharing!

    Lindy :)

  5. So beautiful!! I bet you had a wonderful time. I grew up in Idaho and do miss the mountains. The lodge is so pretty and would be a very cozy place to stay!



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