A wedding shower? Ew... There are girls at wedding showers. Worse than girls: Sisters.
So instead of sitting around making toilet paper wedding dresses (or whatever they do) we manly men went to visit three other manly men and a manly mountain.
Tom, Dick, and Harry Mountain is supposed to have one of the best views of Mt. Hood for the least amount of effort. About half that effort is climbing through the second growth forest to Mirror Lake.
It's called Mirror Lake because it reflects a perfect view of Mt. Hood. Except when the clouds are low and mist rolls across the surface.
Even Henry was surprised how quickly we arrived. There were few doubts that we would continue beyond the lake. We left the crowds behind and started a long, gentle traverse into the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness. The trail was lined with wild rhododendrons, which was completely unexpected. Nothing was blooming, but when they do it will be a magnificent walk.
When we gained the ridge and switched back we left the rhodies behind and entered a land of huckleberries. They started tart, but got sweeter as we climbed higher. As the taste improved our speed decreased.
Just as the rhodies gave way to the huckleberries, the beargrass became the dominant plants near the summit. Henry led the way and scrambled up the pile of rocks that marked the high point on the ridge. (Technically, it wasn't the true summit, but it was good enough.)
There were only two others on the summit and plenty of table-sized rocks to lounge on. The view, however, was nowhere to be seen. We could see the base of Mt. Hood, bare of trees and snow. The upper slopes and summit were completely hidden.
As a consolation, a pika popped out of the rocks. "EEK! It's a rat without a tail!" Uh, no, miss. It's a pika. It's being pushed out of its habitat by rising temperatures. It was cute, though.
We were lucky to get to the summit before the crowds. Many had stopped at the lake, but there were plenty who made the walk up the hill. Our descent was hampered by a combination of huckleberries and families climbing. There are worse problems.
I've heard Mirror Lake and Tom, Dick, and Harry Mountain really do have amazing views when Mt. Hood is on display. I'd say we'd be back, but we hike so rarely in Oregon we'll probably wind up somewhere new.
Bummer. I'd have loved to see the mountain. How about you go and send us some pics?