Amazing Spring Break Mountain Retreat

By Rhiannon Murphy


What do people who live on the beach like to do for spring break?  We go to the mountains of course!  Isn’t the grass always greener on the other side?

This wasn’t really a ‘planned’ trip. My little boy had recently joined an awesome Boy Scout troop and was going to stay at a lodge on Mt. Hood.  He hadn’t spent time away from us like this before, so we wanted to be close by. Conveniently, our fourteen year anniversary was coming up on March 15th and so we thought how perfect it would be to make an anniversary trip out of it as well.

We did some looking online for cabins to stay in.  Looking to find one within budget last minute was a little challenging, but then we found the ideal place.  It was the most perfect cabin you could dream up, and it was only about 20 minutes to the lodge our son was staying at, bingo!  We booked it right away.  We always try to find a place without unreasonable fees attached to the final price, and this one fit everything we were looking for.


Cabin on Mt. Hood

It took about three hours to get there from the coast.  It’s been a pretty long and rainy winter this year so we were very hopeful for some snow and/or sunshine.  It rained most of the way there.  As we drove into higher elevations towards Mt. Hood the rain was trying to turn into snow but the milder temperature just wouldn’t allow.  There was a lot of snow on the mountain this year.  It finally cleared up and the sky was mostly blue.  We wound around the mountain and then, taking center stage, Mt. Hood dominated the view.  It is the most breathtaking site to see.
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Mt. Hood

We arrived at the trail-head to the lodge where the troop would be staying, along with 120 other boys.  They had to carry all of their supplies for the weekend in a backpack on a snowy trail for about a quarter mile.

We walked in with him to see where he’d be staying. The snow was eleven feet deep and the parking lot was surrounded with towering walls of packed snow.  We followed a long line of boys, packs, and sleds of supplies walking a slippery trail of packed snow.  If you stepped off the trail, your foot would sink about two feet into the unpacked snow.  After winding through the trail for awhile we saw the lodge buried in snow and could smell the wood smoke trailing from the chimney. It was very enchanting and I knew our son was going to have an amazing weekend. We could hear laughing and cheers echoing through the woods as some boys were already tubing down the hills when we arrived. We walked in, spent some time there as our son settled in and then we left to find our own special time. After the somber feeling passed that my little boy was growing up and could survive without me for a weekend, the excitement set in and we were ready to go see our cabin.

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The short hike in to the Boy Scout Lodge
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Lichen Moss
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Boy Scout Lodge

We drove back down the winding mountain highway that carved through the deep snow, passing snowshoers walking along the side of the highway on the tall walls of snow. There are several snow parks on the mountain.  Some of the more popular ones are Meadows, Ski Bowl, and Timberline.  We followed the mountain road to our vacation rental passing some of the most beautiful rushing rivers that flow through some of the most pristine land. Curiously looking around every curve for the cabin, we finally arrived. Nestled right against a mountainside surrounded by the woods, it was the peaceful haven we were hoping for.  The cabin had mixed rustic decor down to the smallest details. It had such a cozy feel to it and made you feel right at home. We settled in and had a bottle champagne to celebrate the last fourteen years together and the many more to come. Then we warmed ourselves by the fire and reminisced into the night.

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Sandy River
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Inside Our Cabin
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Happy 14 Years!
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The next morning, we were pleasantly surprised by a tiny waterfall right outside the dining room window.  We could hear the trickling sound of it while we enjoyed our breakfast.  We started the day with a veggie scramble, roasted potatoes, bacon, and fresh blueberries.

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After a nice quiet morning together and a hot cup of coffee, we decided to drive up to see our little boy to see how he was doing and make sure he was enjoying himself.  When we got there, we found him laughing and playing the board game, Risk, with a group of boys.  It was raining rather hard, so they decided to stay in and play board games, hide and seek in the three story lodge, and ping pong until it let up.  Once we saw things were going well and he was having fun, we decided to go do some exploring and spend some time with each other.

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Boy Scouts Lodge

unnamed (18) Beauty everywhere!


We walked around the trendy little ski town, Government Camp, in the rain.  We stopped into a ski shop and a small museum.  Then we walked down to The Taco Shoppe and had an early lunch.  We each had a taco and shared a Coke, the waitress asked if we’d like lime in our Coke.  I didn’t even realize this was a real thing, then the song, “put the lime in the Coke” came to mind.  We had a good laugh because we didn’t know any other lyrics and it was such a weird commercial.  We had never had lime in Coke, and all have to say is, “wow, if I was a regular pop drinker (or soda-Coke if I’m in the south-no matter what kind), this would be the one!  It was surprisingly delicious!!

After we ate, we drove around a neighborhood that was divided by tall snow walls. Then we headed towards Timberline Lodge, one of our favorite places we’ve stayed in the past.  It was built in the 1930’s by the WPA and was featured in The Shining by Stephen King.  It’s such an awesome place to walk around and explore.  On the way up, there were some snowboarders hitchhiking to the top.  We decided that since we had room, we’d offer them a ride, it was cold and raining.  They gladly accepted and put the snow boards in the back of the Jeep and got in.  We wound back and forth ascending to the ski lodge as they told us about themselves and talked about snowboarding.  When we arrived we dropped them off at the Timberline Alpine Trail and we went on to the lodge.  After walking around and getting some photos, we found a little nook at the Ram’s Head Bar to sit and visit. We had a dark beer and we shared a drink called Bruno’s Brownie.  Topped with whipped cream, nutmeg, and hazelnuts, it tasted similar to a hot chocolate and was amazing. We talked for hours and then went walking around the building again to get some more pictures before leaving.
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Next, we went back to the cabin and spent some time together.  A little later, we were really missing our little boy, so we decided to go see him for awhile before dinner.  When we got there he was a little homesick so we stuck around and built a snowman together.

After awhile, we went and had a late dinner at a cafe close to the cabin.  After that we went back to the cabin and had another wonderful night together by the fire.

On our last morning, we had a special anniversary breakfast to end an extraordinary spring break.  We had cheesecake crepes with blueberry compote and orange juice on the side.  When we picked our little boy up and he was with us again, we felt whole once more.

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Down the mountain we went, on our way back to the Oregon Coast, ready to be at home again. When we arrived back in Lincoln City, the sun was shining for the first time in weeks, it was the ultimate welcome home.

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If you would like to stay in this cabin, contact Cascade Cabins, they were great hosts and very friendly.  We enjoyed our stay so much.


 Rhiannon Murphy is the owner and author of the Oregon Coast Travel Blog where she shares her love of the Pacific Northwest, photography, and road trips with her readers. Join in on her adventures at