11 July 2016

One Way or Another

Mount Hood from I-84 in Portland, Oregon.
Outdoor adventures represent a mix of making things happen and letting things happen.

This summer's plan was to visit four volcanoes. Mount Hood in Oregon was one of the four. As it turned out, that trip meshed planning and decision-making with adapting to the environment and circumstances.

Initially, I planned the trip to Mount Hood for late July. However, a few weeks ago, I learned that my brother-in-law was flying into Portland and needed a ride from the airport on July 7. Since the flight arrived at 9:30 p.m., that left plenty of time for an adventure in Oregon during the day, so I moved the Mount Hood trip up and added in dinner reservations for Multnomah Falls. The new plan seemed perfect. It consolidated trips, saved gas, and did not require rushing.

Nature had other plans, however. Checking the forecast the day before the trip, I found that clouds and rain were predicted for July 7. Since I could hike anywhere and not see Mount Hood, it didn't make any sense to drive two hours out of Portland for a hike on a cloudy day, so I changed my plans again. With the dinner reservations at Multnomah Falls set, I moved the hike to that area. That's when things finally clicked.

My mom and I hiked around and between Multnomah Falls and Wahkeena Falls, took in the sights of the Columbia River Gorge, and had an amazing dinner at the Multnomah Falls Lodge Restaurant. As luck would have it, I even got a picture of Mount Hood (at least, most of it). When we drove through Portland on the way to the falls, the cloud cover had lifted enough to see all but the mountain's peak. I snapped a picture of it from the car and felt satisfied that the trip would go down as a success. The experience at the falls confirmed that feeling.

When it comes to spending time outdoors, things don't always go according to plan, but if you put a good strategy in motion, a few adjustments along the way are just fine.

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