Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mt. Hood and Timberline Lodge, May 11, 2013, Saturday

This morning we were up earlier than usual and leaving the motorhome bt 7:30am.  A community park opposite the entrance to the campground was having a special event this morning and no one was to use the entrance from 8am to 10am.  So we were off to find breakfast first and then to go on the Mt. Hood Scenic loop.  We had breakfast at King's Omelets and, yes, we had omelets and they were good.

We then got underway to do the second half of the loop we had started on yesterday.  This segment was south of the Columbia River circling around Mt. Hood.  It was not too long after started out that we got our first glimpse of Mt. Hood, a high snow-covered peak that stood out over the other Cascade peaks.  The forested area we were driving through had numerous "Sno-Parks" that we thought were state owned areas for cross-country skiing and/or snow-mobiling.

 Personnel at the campground had recommended that we stop at the Timberline Lodge which we did and what an interesting place.  This ski lodge is at the base of Mt. Hood and is listed as a National Historic Place and owned by the US Forestry Service.  Tom and I had walked around the lodge and then Tom noticed a sign about a tour of the lodge at 11am.  We decided that we wanted to take the tour which was free and led by a Ranger.  The lodge was built during the time of the depression by the WPA and CCC.  The CCC boys built the camp for the WPA workers,were paid $25.00 a month of which $20.00 was sent home and the boys were able to have $5.00, room and board was furnished.  The WPA built the lodge and were paid $0.90/hour for skilled labor and $0.55/hour for unskilled labor and they had to pay $1.00/week for room and board.  Italian stone masons were  the only laborers outside of the WPA workers used to build this lodge.  All labor was done by hand - logs were squared and trim by hand and then positioned with manual labor.  There are no nails or screws, everything is together with tongue and grove.  The wrought iron was forged using scrape material- andirons and foot scrapers were made from pieces of  railroad rails.  Scrapes of linoleum were used by an artist to carve and then paint the pictures which decorate the walls in one room.  At the main entrance scrapes of tiles were used to create a compass on the floor.  Women using scrapes of old army uniforms made rugs for the rooms and looms were used to weave material for curtains.  Even bed linens were made by the workers.  All the furniture was made and is still being used.  It is a truly amazing building and continuing today rugs are being handmade and material for curtains woven on a loom.  The unfortunate thing is that many of the young people (it is primarily younger people that ski and snow board) that use this facility do not appreciate it and have even done some vandalizing. 

Leaving the lodge, we continued on to the town of Hood River and ate lunch at 3 Rivers Grill on an outside patio overlooking the town and the Columbia River.  From Hood River we got on I-84 to return to Troutdale for a stop at Safeway and then onto the campground.  Tomorrow we will be moving north a little way.