Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Dip in Paradise

Ever since I started blogging I find myself giving titles to everything I do. This past weekend was worthy of at least 10 different titles. Picking the perfect one occupied my thoughts for the hours spent gaining 2500 ft. on my bike. As the weekend came to an end, I asked Rick what title he would give to the weekend. When he immediately replied "A Dip in Paradise" I knew that would be the name for this post, because the weekend turned out to be just that.

A few weeks ago, Steph offered to watch our kids for the weekend. At least I hope that's what she was offering! I didn't want to go too far so I checked online and found a place to stay in the gorge. We settled on "The Viewpoint Inn" for our weekend getaway. Of course, we picked the smallest and cheapest room. The fact that we had to use a shared bathroom wasn't a big deal because we would only be staying one night. We were also excited about the fact that part of the upcoming movie "Twilight" was filmed at this Inn. How cool is that? Here's a picture of the room we reserved.
We knew it was going to be a good weekend when we showed up and the host told us we had been complimentary upgraded to the Roosevelt Suite. Woo hoo!! This room normally cost 3x's as much and has it's own private bath. I love the decor.
We were thrilled as the night went on and we realized we were the only ones staying in the inn that night which meant the common room was all ours.
Here's a picture of the inn and the beautiful grounds.

And a picture of the view. It was gorgeous. Of course the picture doesn't do it justice and doesn't encompass the peace that comes from looking at such a view. This is the view we had as we sat on the grounds eating dinner and from the window of our room.
The main level of the inn is also a restaurant so we indulged and had halibut and steak dinners as the sun set and the lights of Portland began to twinkle. Of course we had desserts as well. We had earned them from the 15 mile bike ride we had just finished. The Inn is on Larch Mt. road we set out to explore the road on our bikes. It was a wooded, mountain road with hardly any traffic on it. After almost 8 miles of a gradual incline, I was ready to turn around and enjoy the downhill. Very fun!
The next morning, after our private breakfast at the inn, we decided to see what was at the end of Larch Mt. road. We had read that there was an incredible view of the 5 volcanoes in the area. How can you pass that up? We had made it 8 miles on our bikes the night before and were only able to make it 10 in the car. The road was closed for the last 4 miles of the road. We hadn't planned on riding bikes that day but we couldn't pass up what might be one of the best views around. So we hopped on our bikes and rode another 4 miles of hills. In the two bike rides we climbed a total of 2500 ft. in elevation. I feel a little bit better knowing that because of how painful it was!! We got to the top of the road, hoping to see the awesome view, and found a parking lot covered in snow. I wasn't ready to give up. We found a sign sticking out of the snow for a trail that we thought might be the viewpoint. The majority of the trail was covered in snow but the sign said it was only 1/4 mile so we thought we could manage.
I was wearing my trusty chacos, not so great for the snow, and Rick had his biking shoes on. But we had to press onward. We would occasionally find the trail but most of the time we were just hoping we were on the right track and hoping there was an awesome view at the end.
We weren't disappointed. It was worth cold toes and sore legs. The view was breathtaking and I couldn't help but to squeal with delight as we climbed the last few steps to the top of the viewpoint. Once again, the pictures do not do it justice. The mountains/volcanoes behind me are St. Helens to the left, Rainer in the back (hundreds of miles away), and I think Adams to the right.

And Hood is behind us in this picture. The bike ride down to the car was fast and fun and then we headed down the gorge to get a waterfall hike in before we saved Steph from our children.

I wanted to show Rick the Oneonta Gorge. I happened upon it with my brother John last summer as we waited by the river after a different gorge hike. Rick was working when we went last time so I wanted to take him on this short, wet hike. It reminds me of the narrow canyons of southern Utah but this canyon is green instead of red, and the water is ice cold. But it is just as beautiful.
It's worth getting waist deep in the cold water to see the waterfall at the end of the gorge.
And here is Rick taking "A Dip in Paradise". Once I jumped into the pool he knew he had to take a turn as well. As cold as it was, it felt good to swim in the crystal clear waters.
We came home from our weekend feeling refreshed, in love and ready to share that love with the 4 little morsels we had left behind. Steph, bless her heart, had dinner on the table ready for us, the house was clean and the kids were happily playing in the kiddie pool. Not only did we spend the weekend in paradise but we came home to it as well. Life, my friends, is good.


Robin said...

Where'd you guys go? Very smart not to be in the city on Saturday. Woo-eeee heat wave!

Robin said...

p.s. I put a comment on before Stephanie.

And also, good call on the mental blog-titling. Very true. It happens for activities as well. ("I could blog this/that, etc." It's almost like you're the camera-man on your own personal reality t.v. show).

Stephanie said...

Hummmm....I'm not sure I like that Robin and I are racing for comments. Now I MUST win! I'm super glad that I offered to watch your kids. Someone needed to have a weekend away, and since it couldn't be me, you two are the next best choice. LOOKS LIKE FUN!

Also, very cute that Rick called it that. awwwwwwe

Stacie Raddatz said...

Thanks for blogging about your weekend. It seems divine. That place and area looks beautiful. Love that Twilight was there.

Danielle said...

What a fun weekend. It is always so good to be able to recharge as a couple.

And what an awesome sister you have!

Tonya said...

Heck yes life is good! What an awesome place you stayed. It looks so breathtaking and I LOVE the decor! Chaco's and snow huh? You are one brave girl, but it sounds like such an adventure! The picture of Rick in the water in the cave reminded me of Matt and I caving in Belize, but the water there was warm:0)Family that will take kids so couples can reconnect is the best!

Breezy said...

What a great weekend! Getting away with your spouse changes your whole perspective on life.

Roberta said...

You really take beautiful pictures. It looked like you had such a romantic getaway! Good for you to rejuvenate yourselves. I love the way you describe things and your feelings with such great detail! I feel like I am living in the moment with you!

hedrad said...

Why is it that reading things like this makes my cry? I'm so happy to hear about all the wonderful experiences that are going on at home. We are a lucky bunch of people. How'd we get to be so blessed? Love it and I love you!

Anonymous said...

Heidi! I discovered your blog when I followed your profile link from the comment you posted on Brad's, and what a treat! This will help me keep updated on your wonderful family. (Also, I'll pass any comments you leave on Brad's along to him, just FYI!) Thanks Heidi, have a great day!