"The Magic Mile", 15-July-2012

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kepPNW
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"The Magic Mile", 15-July-2012

Post by kepPNW » July 20th, 2012, 2:41 pm

Sunday in Zigzag was rather gray. After visiting Castle Canyon in the morning (and a misty morning is perfect for that hike BTW!), we decided to pack a picnic and head up to Timberline, thinking we might find some sun up there.

I've read a lot about "recliner hikes" here. Well, we are "recliner picnic" lovers, ourselves! (Perhaps this story actually involves both?) When we pulled over at that last turnout before the parking lot, and setup our chairs, we seemed to cause a steady stream of folks to pull over to photograph whatever it was that so enthralled us. :D

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But really, taking the road out of the photo, how can you beat this for "lunch with a view"?

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The "weather" on the west side kept trying its best to cross over the divide, but Mt. Hood put up a steady defense.

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Pardon the digression. Back to "the hike." :) After moving on to the main lodge area, and wandering a bit, my wife decided to spend a little time lounging in the lodge and maybe reading a bit or writing some postcards or something. I had my boots and pack in the car. That was my invitation. :)

I'd been watching the area up around Silcox Hut all during our lunch, seeing the weather come and then watching it go just as fast. Decided that'd be a great post-lunch stretch! I was glad to have a windbreaker in the pack, and had to switch from an old baseball cap to a stocking cap in short order as the first one kept blowing off.

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Most of the way up, other than the sno-cat right-of-ways, was snow-free.

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And there were wildflower outbreaks scattered about.

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Soon enough, I'd ascended the 1000' up to Silcox Hut.

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I found the door unlocked, and was absolutely amazed at what was inside!!! Now, the last time I was here, was also the last time I climbed Mt. Hood - back in 1976. We stopped here to put on our crampons. At the time, Silcox was nothing but a wind-sheltered outhouse. Today, well, ... have a look...!

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Wow. So, after getting kicked out (they were hosting a birthday party "very soon!"), I wandered up to the edge of the glacier, just because it was there. Took a few more photos, and then took a call (great cell reception up there, darnit!) letting me know it was time to rejoin the party in the bar.

It was 43°F with gusts in the 30-40mph range. The fleece and gloves in my pack felt good, now that I was no longer moving upwards.

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So, back to the lodge I go...

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One last shot, from the 3rd floor bar.

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And the track, such as it is...

http://gpsfly.org/gps_map.php?gps_id=1668&w=645&h=440

Totally fun way to kill part of an afternoon on the mountain!
Last edited by kepPNW on August 7th, 2012, 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Karl
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Splintercat
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Re: "The Magic Mile", 15-July-2012

Post by Splintercat » July 23rd, 2012, 6:58 am

Thanks for posting, Karl! I did that loop for the first time in eons last summer, and really enjoyed it. The USFS had a stimulus project underway to restore the exterior of Silcox Hut, which was nice to see... so, at the time the interior was filled with power tools and contractors, not catered place settings! :)

Tom

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kepPNW
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Re: "The Magic Mile", 15-July-2012

Post by kepPNW » July 23rd, 2012, 9:31 am

That was just a really fun one, yeah. Been to Timberline countless times, and this was one of the few where my companion(s) were fine with me taking off to explore.

The last time I was at Silcox, in 1976, it was just tragic. A shell of a shelter, filled with ice and feces. The transformation is nothing short of magic.

To close on a happier note, just as I was getting back to Timberline, the birthday party was setting off for Silcox. It was funny to watch. They'd clearly been in the bar already, and were mostly clad in shorts and t-shirts -- probably more than a couple pair of flipflops in the bunch. I thought for sure they were going to board a sno-cat, but nope! They just bumbled on up. I guess they were "insulated" from the inside-out. :lol:
Karl
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Re: "The Magic Mile", 15-July-2012

Post by Splintercat » July 23rd, 2012, 11:52 am

That's too funny! It's actually a fairly stiff hike up there in decent shoes, so flip flops would be an interesting adventure..! Maybe the sno-cat will bring up the rear and pick up inebriated stragglers...? (or haul them down afterward...) :D

Yeah, it's great to see that structure preserved -- and scary that it got so bad to begin with. Ditto for the lodge, itself, which apparently was in serious state of disrepair before the Timberline Triumvirate was formed. Amazing structures from an amazing time in our history!

Tom :)

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Re: "The Magic Mile", 15-July-2012

Post by HikerFam » July 24th, 2012, 6:12 pm

The last few years or so silcox has been a real hotspot for wedding and receptions

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