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Vagabond Kids: Oregon With Kids: Timberline Lodge

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Oregon With Kids: Timberline Lodge

I love Timberline lodge, it brings back such great memories from my childhood. Mostly memories about what it must have been like to go skiing (we didn't start skiing until I was in highschool) and how cool it was that Mt. Hood had a big St. Bernard. Well, Heidi the dog has been replaced by a Bruno, and while we didn't get to see him, the lodge is still a great place to take the kids for a bit of fun as well as a history lesson. Timberline was inducted as a National Historic Monument in 1978. Timberline is a ski resort (one of the only in the US with year around skiing) a museum, a hotel and a work of art. It is also just fun to go see snow if your kids live in the tropics like mine!

Timberline lodge was a great ambitious public works project that was launched during the depression. I love the fact that the whole lodge was crafted by hand, with artisans creating a structure that would stand over time and act as a symbol of what can be done. Franklin Roosevelt dedicated the lodge in 1938 and stated the following

"This Timberline Lodge marks a venture that was made possible by W.P.A., emergency relief work, in order that we may test the workability of recreational facilities installed by the Government itself and operated under its complete control.

Here, to Mount Hood, will come thousands and thousands of visitors in the coming years. Looking east toward eastern Oregon with its great livestock raising areas, these visitors are going to visualize the relationship between the cattle ranches and the summer ranges in the forests. Looking westward and northward toward Portland and the Columbia River, with their great lumber and other wood using industries, they will understand the part which National Forest timber will play in the support of this important element of northwestern prosperity.

Those who will follow us to Timberline Lodge on their holidays and vacations will represent the enjoyment of new opportunities for play in every season of the year. I mention specially every season of the year because we, as a nation, I think, are coming to realize that the summer is not the only time for play. I look forward to the day when many, many people from this region of the Nation are going to come here for skiing and tobogganing and various other forms of winter sports."

One of my dreams is to be able to teach my children about the places they travel. Mt Hood's Timberline lodge is no exception. What a great opportunity to teach the older kids about the history of the depression, the WPA and what craftsman style design can be (check out some of the old pictures here).

The food in the Blue Ox bar was great, simple and inexpensive, but while kids are allowed into the bar to eat, OLCC (Oregon Liqour laws) require kids to sit at tables rather than the very cool bar. The mosaic work in the Blue Ox was amazing btw.

After Lunch we took the kids up to the chairlifts and were able to take the lift about half way up. Skiers and snowborders were heading further up the mountain, but hikers and people like us were able to head up about half way up the mountain, get off and walk around. If you were able, and not exhausted like our kids were, you can walk back down the hill to the Lodge in about 20-30 minutes.

After our snowplay we loaded back up and went to Hood River for some fresh fruit and a stop at Multnomah Falls. Come back for more!

For more information about the history of Timberline you can check out the Friends of Timberline website

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