July 2023 – Tour Around Mount Hood, Write-Up and Photos

July 2023 – Tour Around Mount Hood, Write-Up and Photos

Text : Carl Foleen     Photos: Sharon Case and Carl Foleen

As usual, things do not necessarily go to plan, even with a relatively early start to the day. Specifically, Google Maps may find the fastest route from one place to another, but it has yet to have the ability to predict minor traffic issues before they happen.

There is a saying that “To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, and to be late is unforgivable.”  Ignoring such sage advice, my beloved copilot and I departed our domicile with what appeared to be enough time to meet the combined group of Seattle Jag Club and Jaguar Owners Club of Oregon members for a drive around Mt. Hood. (This is the part where the failure of Google Maps looms large.) As we proceeded along S.E. Powell Blvd. toward the appointed assignation locale, a nondescript and rather shabby unlicensed car (nary even so much as a trip permit was displayed) suddenly blocked our path  as we were eastbound. Stopped dead in its tracks. (Murphy’s Law in action, this happened on the narrower single lane eastbound lanes east of the I-205 freeway.) We were waved around the dearly departed, but we also had to contend with others in the procession that had taken immediate action and began crossing the double yellow lines and speeding (with some alacrity) on ahead of this impediment. Once around this rather unique (and occasionally mobile) traffic flow control device, we found ourselves following a boxy compact car that proceeded along at a leisurely five miles per hour under the posted speed limit.

Once around the rolling roadblock, we managed to navigate to the wrong meeting place, and at this point unification with the group would take too long, so a message was sent to one of the participants that we would be directly behind them and would meet the group at the first stop of the tour, which was the Sandy Historical Society.

Compounding the delay was the fact that today was a special event for the city of Sandy, Oregon, and the eastbound traffic was backed up almost to the western city limits. Fortunately we were able to find a parking space in the museum’s lot and enjoyed some time looking at the exhibits and souvenirs. It was not lost on us that some of the tour group simply opted to bypass the museum an proceed directly to Timberline Lodge.

The balance of the group departed the museum just before Noon to wend our way to our chosen lunch and refreshment stop at Timberline Lodge. The parking lots were full, but carefully perusing the options allowed those without lodge reservations or handicap parking permits to get fairly close, with just a moderate trek up to the lodge. Fortunately it was not at all difficult to be seated at the mezzanine bar and order a lovely lunch that would tide us over nicely until our dinner destination was achieved. Just before we headed to Hood River, we managed to get a group photo of most of the participants on the steps of the lodge.

Back on the road, we stopped at the shoulder of eastbound US 26 to gather the group together for the drive into Hood River. Christopher Silva and  John Buchanan lead our parade in a beautiful 1959 Rolls Royce. Quite a statement as we would pass opposing traffic and it got the attention of quite a few folks enjoying the scenery along the route.

Sharon Case from the Seattle club thought it would be a good idea to have a refreshment stop in Hood River. We found ample parking (for free!) in the lot of the Hood River News, and we walked to Mike’s Ice Cream shop on 5th just about a half-block form Oak in Hood River. (Ever notice that the topography of Hood River has quite a lot in common with downtown Seattle?) This was a fun stop and a nice way to refresh ourselves with a stretch, short walk, and a treat before driving on to Vancouver and our dinner stop.

Christopher and John needed to return to Portland sooner than our dinner stop would allow, so Carl Foleen was asked to lead the remaining participants from Hood River on to dinner in Vancouver. Fortunately the route was familiar this time around, and there were no goofy direction changes preceding our arrival at the Black Bear Diner. As luck would have it, our group was seated immediately (there were about sixteen of us) and it was not too long before we were enjoying a refreshing drink and ordering a hearty meal from the menu. Almost all of us learned that the portions served here were quite near the portion size one would encounter at the Camp 18 restaurant on US 26 near Elsie, Oregon (the opposite direction from Mt. Hood). It is safe to say that no one left feeling the slightest bit hungry.

Thanks to the Seattle Jaguar Club for inviting JOCO to join them on this fun drive. This time the tables were turned. the Oregon members outnumbered the Seattle members, which was just the opposite of the two previous joint events (the Boeing Museum of Flight and the Olympic Peninsula Loop drive). It is wonderful to see the two clubs forging a stronger bond through participating in each other’s events. This will unquestionably strengthen our Northwest Region as well, and it is to be hoped this will be a model for other JCNA clubs to emulate.

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