The Gnome that Climbed Mt. Hood (Part One)
We sent our intrepid blogger Asit out to complete the Oregon 150 Challenge. He took our challenge, and brought Mookie the Gnome along for the ride.
I talk to myself all the time but take solace in the fact many do the same. It started freaking me out when I heard “Let me out of here man” while recently climbing Mount Hood. Let me start at the beginning of this story so you understand I am not fresh out of the asylum.
Seven years ago my lady and I gnome napped for the first time from an abandoned home. Enjoying the adventure we began ‘gnoming’ friends and clients by leaving, instead of taking, these lucky little guys. For the last three years she has been telling me to take Mookie the gnome on a summit trip. The reason it took me so long is the thing weighed ten pounds. So after years of this looming over my head I decided to make it happen while enjoying all the cool places between Portland and Mount Hood.
The adventure began at 9.30pm at one of my favorite restaurants and Portland icon, Le Bistro Montage Dinner consisted of their world famous green basil pesto mac and the best mojito in town to wash it down. The staff from Steve the bartender to Josh the owner, are all wonderful but take no bull from customers with the creed “the customer is not always right.” It must be because Montage is the late night place to go whether on the way to climb a mountain or stumbling out of a club with a new friend as they are open with a full menu till 4am on weekends.
With our bellies full we got on the road and as we were passing through Sandy around 11pm I could smell donuts in the air and sure enough there was a warm glow coming from Joe’s Donuts. The sign said closed but we decided to knock and as luck would have the proprietors, Sherry and her daughter Stephanie opened the door. I explained why we were bothering her and she was super kind while inviting us in to give us one of the best maple bars I have ever tasted. Joe’s has been around ever since I was a kid and a pit stop for true Oregon locals on the way up to the mountain.
On the road again we were coming through Government Camp and realized we were running early for our climb; so we decided to stop at the infamous Charlie’s Bar. Charlie’s has been a staple for the party crowd on Mount Hood since 1977. We were greeted with a smiling face by Mel the bartender while pouring us a pint of Ice Axe Ale from Mount Hood Brewery. Mel even smiled for a photo with the gnome before we got on the road to Timberline.
Mookie the gnome and I signed in at Timberline to obtain our Forestry Service permit
to climb around 12.45am. The late hour along with all this food and drink started to make us a little sleepy before our climb and gave me second thoughts of continuing the adventure. Falling asleep in the parking lot started to seem like a better option than climbing until…
And, there you have it! Asit has completed his Foodie Stuff, Attractions and Your Choice categories. Stay tuned for the rest of his challenge!
About the Author: Asit Rathod
Asit Rathod was born in Portland, Oregon and started skiing x-country at the age of five on Oregon's very own Mount Hood. Asit lived and skied between Chamonix, France for five seasons and Las Lenas, Argentina for four summers. He has more than 140 ski descents from the 11,239ft summit of Mount Hood, is an Ambassador for Mount Hood Meadows and contributor to 50 Classic Ski Descents of North America. Asit is a suit and tie by day but big mountain skier at heart.
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