Dean and I backpacked around Mount Hood last weekend. We planned the trip as another in the series of the “loop trails around a Cascade volcano” we seem drawn to, but it ended up being a surprisingly nostalgic trip for me. Which really shouldn’t have been a surprise, but it was.
Mount Hood is Portland’s backyard mountain, and Portland was the first place I lived out west. Mount Hood is where I learned to ski and snowshoe. It’s where I took my first real backpacking overnight. I volunteered for the Forest Service there, and came to appreciate what capital-W Wilderness means in modern public land management. We also walked about 15 miles of PCT tread, which is pretty much memory lane.
In the end, it wasn’t our favorite trail. It was dusty and busy. But we saw all the faces of Wy’East (the traditional name for the mountain), under cloudless blue skies, and he was looking good in his summer finery.