Recently my family and I took a few days together in a cabin we rented on Mt. Hood. I’m not a “blog” guy, but we had such a fabulous time that I feel compelled to tell somebody. We decided that the kids (we have three of them) needed some time with big trees and cold water – it’s got to be a Northwest thing. The countdown to school starting and weather cooling off had begun and we figured that if we were going to do something as a family before Labor Day, we’d better do it right away. Our adventure took us just over an hour east of our home to the forests of Mt. Hood. We drove to the office of Mt. Hood Vacation Rentals in Rhododendron for a brief stop where they were expecting us, had keys ready, gave me driving directions, information on great local retail and restaurants and then sent us on our way. The cabin was easy to find, only about 3 miles from the office, but it felt “a world away”.

It’s funny how architectural style and nature sometimes blend together perfectly. There were other cabins nearby, but from inside this rustic looking log cabin or out on the deck listening to the sound of Still Creek you would have never known it. The privacy and intimate setting felt comforting and peaceful. This particular place had a deck with a hot-tub and Webber gas grill. It had Adirondack chairs and was surrounded by Doug Firs that remind you how big the trees can be in Oregon. The private pathway with a wooden bridge leading to a private sandy spot on the creek connected us to the water and the woods. The place was incredible – a place where water pauses in a pool just long enough to entice you to wade in and feel the fresh mountain run-off. My wife chose to spend time in the early morning sitting on a bench creek-side, drinking coffee and relaxing. The kids and I answered the call of the stream and played in the water when the afternoon heat rolled around. The evenings were special inside and out. Inside we lit a small fire in the wood burning stove – it was warm, cozy and inviting. Outside was cool and crisp, it was a secluded mountain, dark with the sound of quiet everywhere. We ate together around the table, talked about family things and played games both nights. The day we checked out, we took a short drive up to Timberline Lodge to pay homage to the grand old Cascadian style lodge and take a ride on the “Magic Mile” scenic chair lift. Our two teenagers didn’t see the point until we reached the lodge parking lot. The ride up and back down on the roundtrip ride was breathtaking. With clear blue skies, visibility was terrific and we could see other mountains and lakes. I rode with our 9-year-old and as is often the case, it was amazing what you can learn from your kids when you listen to them. The mountain has a way of putting things into perspective. It was only two days and nights away from home in a cabin on the mountain, but I’m convinced the kids will look back on our short time together on Mt. Hood with memories much deeper and longer than that.

For more information on visiting the Mt.Hood/Gorge region, please visit our Attractions section.

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