I’ve been trying to find a new slideshow for my blog. Previous slideshows here were just iframes into my slideshow page, which is my original webpage.


I had been pretty excited about Timberline since I saw it advertised when we went to Portland over the summer. As the time for skiing approached, I carefully weighed our options and looked at the long range snow forecasts. Timberline already had sixty inches at Thanksgiving and that was pretty much the decision right there. Added to that the proximity to a major city and the Portland area that we had already experienced and I was set.

After we booked everything, I started looking at what I had gotten myself into. It turned out that the wifi at the lodge was not in every room but it did have internet access both wired and wireless on the first floor. It turned out that other than the five-star dining in their Cascade Diningroom, there was pub food available at the Ram’s Head Bar. The nearest dining otherwise was thirty minutes of mountain terrain driving downhill with the prospect of the same in reverse afterward. Still this was for a vacation. So what. We eat what we eat and just expense it. Besides, with the money we were saving on lift tickets and rentals, it was all good. Even the lack of refrigerator and microwave in the rooms was not a deal breaker.

The weather on the other hand, had something other than cooperation in mind. The best day for skiing was our travel day to the lodge. The second best day was our travel day away from the lodge. Day one was not particularly cold and got warmer. It started out with slushy snow at the lodge elevation and by the afternoon, it was foggy with actual rain. On the plus side, while trying to navidage my way down slope, I found a ski jump. I wasn’t ready for it and wished that I could have enjoyed it more. As I was only airborn for a few milliseconds, I was on my butt by the time I realized that I was in the air. That was enough for day one. Day two was a white out. No, literally. We think that they had the bunny slope open but no one was skiing. In fact, we didn’t even dress for outdoors. We just sat around at the fireplaces, watched the snowfall and read our books. Day three was back to day one weather but colder. The snow stayed snow all day. And it did actually snow all day. We skied for an hour and sat out for half an hour about four times before calling it. And that was the skiing part of the trip.

The lodge was massive. That’s the only word that works for me. Massive. The chairs were made out of two by fours. The central area was a hexagon that stretched up three floors around a six sided, rock, triple fireplace that was bigger than our diningroom and kitchen put together. The two by four couches were eight feet in length and looked small and flat by comparison. The stairs were formed from four inch thick planks. The stair posts were sixteen inches around and had animal forms carved in the tops. There was a snow door on the second floor, frame 18 of the slideshow, that had a cannonball at head height and if you look carefully in the locking iron work, you can see the tiny brass deadbolt. BTW, frame 17 is a picture of the windows next to that door. They are covered by a snowdrift and they are on the second floor. Frame 19 is also on the second floor. That’s a snowdrift across those windows too.

The food was great. There just wasn’t a lot of selection. I had a seafood chowder with a poached clam appetizer that was wonderful. Day two was a baked potato with everything and it was bigger than the plate it was served on. Every morning we had eggs bacon, sausage, oatmeal, waffles, pancakes, french toast, jam, cheeses, fresh fruits, granola, and hash browns or mountain potatoes. The problem was that I wanted a pizza and the pizzeria was only operated on the weekends. By the morning of day three, I was asking if anyone was going to bring me one and our waitress, Alexandra, originally just asked if I was serious. When I handed her two twenty’s, told her to keep the change and deliver it by seven, she was on board. She called at six thirty to tell me she was running late and by seven thirty we were in pizza nirvana. Maybe it was the altitude or the skiing but that was one of the best pizzas ever.

There were other things. The wine and coke that we kept on the window sill to chill. The huge andirons that warmed the vast central area. The museum that gave the history of Timberline and all the stories it had already accumulated. The gift shop fudge that was half price and twice as good as any I’ve had recently. The executive chef who swapped stories with me about how he got where he was from being a sorority house cook at O.U. Thea talking amiably for over an hour with an octogenarian retired engineer. How I had to dig the rental car out of the snow and ice that accumulated over the four days of our stay. And all in all, you might get the impression that the vacation was a bust. But really, I think we are going back next year. I just hope that the weather’s better.


  1. Wil C. Fry

    Wow. I loved your descriptions of the lodge and its size.

  2. Peggy

    So if you’re staying on the first floor, there’s snow completely covering all the windows? I would find that a little freaky.

    Love the pictures. You caught so many wonderful little decorative details.

    I thought you always went to NM for skiing. When did that change?

    1. zig81

      We actually haven’t been back to NM since discovering Salt Lake City in the early 90’s. Somewhere in there, around the 2002 Olympics, we started going to Heavenly on the Nevada/California border, South Lake Tahoe. This was our first time skiing in Oregon.

      Sorry I gave the impression that we were on the first floor. The guest rooms are all on the second, third and fourth floors. We were on the third floor. The business center, museum, rec-room, gift shop and conference centers are on the first floor.


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