Twin Lakes: Family friendly hikes on Mt. Hood

Throughout the school year when Eric teaches, we typically spend every weekend taking turns working and playing with the girls. So this summer, when Eric’s job is much less demanding, I wanted to make a point of spending more quality time together as a family. When we got a rare weekday off together earlier this summer, we searched for a family friendly hike on Mt. Hood and headed up the mountain to Twin Lakes. Boy, was I glad we did!

This kid friendly hike on Mt. Hood to Twin Lakes is perfect for family travel outside Portland, Oregon! Ten Thousand Hour MamaThis kid friendly hike on Mt. Hood to Twin Lakes is perfect for family travel outside Portland, Oregon! Ten Thousand Hour Mama

The hike was perfect. It was challenging enough to make me feel like I got a bit of a workout and had a breathtakingly gorgeous payoff at the end. The girls loved the hike—especially since they got to swim in a pristine lake on Mt. Hood. (What’s not to love?)

I’d recommend this family friendly hike on Mt. Hood in a heartbeat. Here’s all you need to know!

This kid friendly hike on Mt. Hood to Twin Lakes is perfect for family travel outside Portland, Oregon! Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

From near and far: Summer family visitors

Summer in Oregon is pretty much the best time/place combo I can think of. With the state’s beautiful weather, easy access to swimming holes and unbeatable hot-weather harvests, it’s no wonder we get a ton of visitors this time of year.

It’s just mid-August and a slew of family members from afar have made the summer even more wonderfully full.

Grandparents - Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Portland Zoo - Ten Thousand Hour MamaGrandparents - Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Eric’s parents drove their mini-RV out from Michigan. They hadn’t seen Peeper since January, so she was quite a bit different! They witnessed her first solid food then; this go around, they joined us for her first camping trip. We also visited the zoo, though Peeper was more interested in playing with leaves and bark chips than watching the animals. And we captured a rare moment: Peeper with all four of her grandparents.

Bill Ryan - Ten Thousand Hour Mama

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My brother, aka Uncle Fuzzy, jetted out to surprise a friend for a camping bachelor party. Thankfully he had a few days to hang with Peeper, too. We went berry picking and played at the park, but the highlights were tickle fights and roughhousing at home. Even better: Uncle Fuzzy will be out later this summer, too!

Welches, OR Old Salmon River Trail - Ten Thousand Hour Mama

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My sister from another mister Monica and her son T joined us for Peeper’s birthday celebration in Welches. We discovered an island along the Old Salmon River Trail and plotted a camping trip at the secret spot. T pretended to fish in the creek, and Peeper pointed at the water a whole lot.

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My younger sister and her husband moved from Berkeley to Seattle this summer. Now that they live much closer, that means more games of chase and high fives lessons for Peeper.

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We also visited Mr. T for his big 4th birthday party. He loved his superhero costume (which I ordered from the Etsy shop Fun Kidz Stuff) and his alien-themed party in the park. I enjoy eating blue-frosted cupcakes and wearing bobble alien headbands as much as the next guy. But most of all I loved being with those I care about.

Have you had family visitors this summer? What parts of your town or state do you show off?

The most Oregon-y Father’s Day

We celebrated Father’s Day in full Oregon style.

We began with a hike to Old Salmon River Trail outside Welches. The path was an easy grade along the river, which Peeper loved. She was fascinated and couldn’t tear her eyes away. Her finger got quite a workout as she pointed at it for, oh, the entire hike.

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We walked through the old growth forest and marveled at the enormous trees. As the rain came down harder, though, we zipped through uncovered stretches (“quick feet, quick feet!” Eric would say, echoing what he tells his students when they have to hurry through the halls).

The trees didn’t offer quite as much cover as we’d anticipated, and the 10-30% chance of rain turned into more of a 100% situation, so we had to turn back earlier than we’d anticipated.

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