I have lived in Oregon for nearly seven years, but I have spent surprisingly little time near its tallest peak. Sarah and I have driven over the lower slopes of Mount Hood on our way to central Oregon, but we have never taken a trip to explore the big volcano until today.
In the morning we drove to Hood River, then traveled south to Cooper Spur, an area that was burned by a large fire in 2008. We hope to find a trifecta of Picoides woodpeckers: Hairy, Black-backed, and Three-toed.
Upon reaching the burn, we pulled to the side of the road and easily found a Hairy and a Black-backed. We continued up the road to the Cloud Cap Inn hoping to find a Three-toed, which would have been a life bird for both of us. Alas, the forest was pretty quiet and today was not the day to add this woodpecker to our list.
After leaving the Cooper Spur area, we drove around the mountain to Timberline Lodge, an Oregon icon I figured I should visit before the state revokes my residency.
With unbelievable views and gritty interior artwork, this Depression-era monument to Big Government was all I hoped it would be.
Sarah and I enjoyed a local beer on the back deck while Clark's Nutcrackers flew around stunted trees and skiers glided down the remaining bits of snow.
Though we did not see all the birds we hoped for, the day was a great success thanks to progress made on my Oregon to-do list.