This afternoon I walked in to Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood, sat down in the third-story bar, and ordered a sandwich plate, a chili bread bowl, and an amber ale with another hiker named Dewy. What a treat! We stuck around long enough for the janitor to show us a photo album of his snow biking, kite boarding, and white water rafting adventures (serious stuff – the guy had spent $8,000 on bikes alone, welding the frames himself), then waddled just far enough to camp past the ski lifts after a 22.3-mile day. I’m now watching the grooming machine do laps on the upper slopes, still open for skiing.
I was laboring up the last steep mile before the lodge, through soft sand, head down, when a couple of day-hikers ahead of me exclaimed, “Oh look, a Turkey Vulture!” I glanced up in time to catch a subadult Golden Eagle cruising past – way more unusual than a vulture in these parts… Glad they spotted it! I guess day-hikers are useful for some things ;)