My journey into the wilderness
Note: I will add my drawings from this trip to my Artwork page and I will also share some of them on Instagram (@michaelliebhaber)
- Double black diamond jeep trail
- Wilderness with Squirrel, but no Moose
- Fox almost bites Ranger
I took a short trip last week to Badger Lake on Mt. Hood (Oregon, USA). My friends came along for company. Badger Lake is one of the few (the only?) wilderness campgrounds to which one can drive on the mountain. It’s a remote, small, spring-fed lake at 4400 feet (1340 meters). The main feature, at least in my opinion, is psychological: I encountered no one on my drive to the lake. When I stopped my Jeep (2003 Liberty 4WD) I was struck by the silence. There was no noise, none. There were no people, no cell service. I was alone.
I took the road less traveled, the short cut, which requires a high clearance vehicle for the entire 14-ish miles. Most of the road is rough natural terrain (rocks embedded in soil with some pure rock stretches) and clings to steep mountainsides.
Trees lined the road in most places, however, there were a few exposed parts; places where there were no trees below me, the road was just wide enough for my vehicle, and with very steep 800+ foot drop offs below. And then there were the scary bits! Overall, it was a punishing drive on my vehicle and me.
I arrived at the campground just before dark, exactly 100 miles from my start at Scappoose. I selected a spot that had a peek-a-boo view of the lake. I slept in my jeep – water proof, bug proof, bear proof, and (almost) big enough for me. I awoke to find that the setting was very pleasant. The lake was only about 1/3 full because of the dry summer and evaporation. Some people came to kayak in the early morning, but I think they were deterred by the mud surrounding the water. The only wildlife I saw were birds, chipmunks, and an occasional squirrel. Deer and horse tracks crisscrossed the area.
The photos below are at the campsite and the lake.
I took the recommended route out (26 miles). Much nicer. I think I saw my jeep smiling. I decided to camp at Trillium Lake. My spot in the tent camp area was a one minute walk from one of the most photographed views of Mt. Hood, so I took picture! The next day I drove up to Historic Timberline Lodge, where I took the close-up photo of the mountain – the one with my traveling companions! They were disappointed. The Forest Service Ranger said they could not climb the mountain because they did not have the proper equipment. My little friends argued that, because they were animals, they did not need equipment. The Ranger countered that real animals don’t talk and are not stuffed. At which point Foxy attempted to bite the Ranger because “That’s what animals do.” Thus ended my visit to Timberline Lodge and Mt. Hood.