Friday, July 20, 2018. It’s a warm, sunny beginning to the day even at 6:00 a.m. As I pull out of the rest area north of Madras, Oregon I think of the cooler weather up ahead. At least I am hoping it will be cooler.
We are headed west, still on Hwy 26, and drive through the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. Other than the casino at the very eastern end there isn’t much out here but a few houses here and there, brush and some timber. The wind is blowing sideways, and it’s pretty strong. I white knuckle through and we gain the SnoPark with no mishaps.
The plan is to stay at the SnoPark in the Mt Hood National Forest for a few days. Upon arrival I note there are a few travel trailers and a motorhome or two. The very large parking area is divided in half by a strip of brush and trees, and the vault toilet is located here, too. I find a spot on the west side. There is only one other vehicle parked here and he’s at the very tippy top, next to the road. It’s a peaceful quiet night.
July 21st, Saturday. I feed the boys and we take a walk. I discover, on the other side of the access road to the SnoPark, a small dispersed campsite on a dirt road. We finish our walk then we move to the new camp. Big mistake.
As the morning gives way to afternoon we are bombarded with dirt bikes. Waves of dirt bikes in groups of five or six roar past our camp and envelope us in dust. Once the herd is past it is quiet for the rest of the day, but they again gear up and roar past in the evening.
We take a wander across the road to the parking lot and discover the SnoPark has filled to capacity with a sea of moms and dads, grandpas and grandmas and their motor homes and travel trailers, some tents. All manner of recreational vehicles and trailers here for a motor cross event! Oh boy, that explains the dirt bikes. We hear a few oohs and awwwes, directed toward The Chiweenie Brothers. I know they are smiling!
It does quiet down for a good night’s rest, but next morning I hear revelie. The motoring herd will once again make an appearance. Enough of this, we’re outta here. It takes a mere ten minutes to pack up and we are on the road. I love being so mobile!
We drive to Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood. I LOVE Mt. Hood. There is just something very special about this mountain, but I have no idea what. Maybe the lush green that surrounds it? Maybe the way it juts up into sky with a commanding air? I don’t know.
You can read more about historic Timberline Lodge HERE .
I make a quick, illegal stop along the highway on the way back down the mountain to get a couple of shots of these small waterfalls alongside the road.
As we tip over the top and begin the decent down Hwy 26 toward civilization again, I begin looking for the road into Zig Zag Falls that I had found on the map last night.
An easy hike and a beautiful water fall.
Love this old bridge, part of the old highway that once went through here at one time.
As we are taking in the bridge and surrounding area I discover a small empty campsite right at the perimeter of the parking lot. It’s banked on both sides with green bushes and sits right along Zig Zag Creek. We spend the night here before continuing on down the highway.