Tubing at Trillium Lake

Tubing at Trillium Lake
Saturday, February 16, 2008

After doing some snowshoeing and cross country skiing this season I kept thinking it would be fun to take my niece, Allie, up to the mountain to let her play in the snow. This Saturday we got to do it, and it was a blast. My sister, Tiffany, her husband, Shaun, and Allie and I went up, along with Tiffany’s friends Anne and Jenn and their husbands. We met up at Coffee’s On on Sunnyside and headed up to the mountain from there. We sort of just followed Tiffany’s friends as they searched for a good sledding spot, and we ended up getting some advice to check out the hills around the Trillium Lake Sno Park. It turns out it was a great spot, and we found a super nice hill off in the woods that we had all to ourselves for the whole time we were there. It was a great find and we all had a great time (despite a little problem of sinking up to our waists in the snow!).

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Tiffany Pumping up a Tube While Allie Watches
Allie Posing in the Bed of the Truck
Jason Helping to Inflate the Tubes
Tiffany, Shaun and Allie Waiting Their Turn at the Sledding Hill
Tiffany, Shaun and Allie Waiting Their Turn at the Sledding Hill
Tiffany and Allie Tubing Down the First Small Hill
Allie Tubing Down the First Hill By Herself
Allie Tubing Down the First Hill By Herself
Allie Checking Out a Snowman Someone Made
Mt. Hood From Trillium Lake Sno Park
Mt. Hood From Trillium Lake Sno Park
Arriving At Our Private Hill
Arriving At Our Private Hill
Shaun Tying a Strap to the Tube to Pull Allie On It
Shaun and Allie on One of the Slow Sleds
Shaun and Allie on the Big Hill
Jenn, Anne and Jason Hiking Back Up the Hill
Tiffany and Nate at the Top of the Hill
Tops of Trees Sticking Out of the Snow
Tiffany and a Bare Tree Trunk at the Top of the Hill
Shaun Leading Allie Back Up the Hill
Tiffany Leading Allie Back Up the Hill
Allie Falling on the Snow and Mommy Sinking in the Snow
Tiffany Leading Allie Back Up the Hill
Anne Holding the Tube While Allie Prepares to Go By Herself
Anne About to Let Allie Go
Allie Tubing Down the Hill By Herself
Allie Tubing Down the Hill By Herself
Allie Tubing Down the Hill By Herself
Allie Tubing Down the Hill By Herself
Tiffany Catching Allie at the Bottom of the Hill
Jenn and Anne Head Down Together
Jenn and Anne Tubing Down Together
Anne and Jenn on the Tube with Snow Flying Up Behind Them
Nate, Shaun and Jason Talking at the Top of the Hill
Allie on Her Back on a Little Snow Hill
Anne and Nate Tubing Down Together
Anne and Nate Tubing Down Together
Anne and Nate Falling Off The Tube as They Reached the Bottom
The Lone Bare Tree Trunk at the Top of the Hill
Tiffany, Shaun and Allie Making Their Last Trek Up the Hill

When we got to the Sno Park it was super crowded, as it was an absolutely beautiful day, but we managed to find a spot to park the truck and Tiffany and Shaun started blowing up the tubes they had bought for the occasion while Allie watched.

I told Allie to smile for the camera and she held this pose until I had taken the photo. :)

After getting all his gear ready, Jason came over and helped inflate the second tube. Thankfully they had a couple of manual pumps, 'cause the electric pump we brought didn't work with the car adapter for some reason. It would have been tiring blowing both tubes up ourselves.

When we first got there we saw two or three very popular sledding hills that were overcrowded with people. Here Tiffany, Shaun and Allie were waiting near the top of the smaller of the two main ones for a turn.

Tiffany and Allie had a great time going down this little hill.

After going with her mom and dad she tried going by herself with no fear. She did great.

After going down this short hill only a handful of times, Allie turned her attention to running around in the snow, often intentionally throwing herself down onto it. She had a blast just being out there. Here she was checking out a unique snowman someone had made.

After we saw that Allie was bored with the little hill and just wanted to run around, Tiffany wanted to find a bigger, flatter area where she could run around without so many little drop-offs to fall down. So, we followed a recommendation of someone out there who said there was a longer, more gradual slope back toward the parking lot. This was one of the views of the mountain that we could see on our search for this hill.

Well, we don't think we found what the person was trying to show us, but what we found was probably much better. We started trekking up a little untrodden path (which meant sinking in to the snow at least three feet almost every step we took), and found a great clearing with a nice long but relatively gradual hill! It was a fairly difficult trek without snowshoes, but it was worth it in the end.

Shaun had gotten a tie down strap from the truck to make a rope with which to pull Allie along on the sled so she wouldn't run off ahead of us. I don't know if we ever actually did that for any length of time, but it was a good idea.

I'm not sure if this was Allie's first trip down the hill or not, but possibly. These sleds were ones that Anne and Nate or Jenn and Jason had brought, and then turned out to be pretty slow going down the hill, so it was probably a good first run for Allie down the big hill.

You can kinda see the path we took down the hill most often, heading straight for that grouping of three trees. Thankfully there was a little hill right before the trees that slowed us down a little bit, but we were still almost always in slight danger of hitting them if we didn't drag our feet a bit to slow ourselves down or alter our course. If you look to the very right of this photo you can kinda see the path we took on the way back up. It was quite difficult getting back up at first, but eventually we had a semi-reasonably-packed path created.

Here's Jenn, Anne and Jason making the trek back up the hill. These tubes that Tiffany and Shaun bought for like $5 each at a sporting goods store turned out to be by far the best. They were a lot faster than the sleds, and they would spin (and could be intentionally spun), which made for even more fun. :)

I just thought this looked cool.

Tiffany displayed her motherly instincts during this trip as she didn't want Allie to get hurt and had a hard time keeping up with her. Allie being so little could run across the snow without sinking in, and there was no way we could move anywhere near that fast. But despite all the worrying, I think she still had a great time.

Shaun leading Allie back up the hill

Tiffany leading Allie back up the hill

The path back up was riddled with boot holes, anywhere from six inches to three plus feet deep. Allie tripped in them a few times, and the rest of us made them. It was quite the challenging trek, but it got a little easier each time.

After a while of us all going down tandem with Allie, we decided to let her try going by herself, with one of us at the bottom to catch her and make sure she didn't hit any trees or anything. The first time she did it, I was at the bottom and caught her. She was a little scared I think by the abrupt stop, but after getting over that, about half way back up the hill, she was ready to do it again. This time Tiffany was at the bottom, and she had Anne take her down part way to start her out.

Ready . . .


She looks like she's just chillin' in the pool or something. She did amazingly well.

Now she sees her Momma.

Almost there, starting to turn backward again...

Yeah! Her mom caught her a little more gently than her uncle David did... lesson learned that we needed to let the little hill slow her down a bit first.

Now the adults were trying the tandem thing. With two people you get going pretty fast.

Anne and Jenn tried a different path this time, to the left of where we were normally going down.

They caught a little bit of air right here and the snow shot up behind them. They just about bit the dust in a tree well at the bottom, but they made it out safe and sound.

Nate, Shaun and Jason were ready for some burgers at Calamity Jane's.

This was hilarious looking. The whole time Allie would run around and throw herself down into the snow. I think she was just enjoying the soft landing and all the interaction with it that she doesn't get in Portland. Anyway, this time she landed on the top of this little snow hill and just laid there on her back for a little bit. We tried to get her to stay like that so we could take a photo, but by the time I got over there she had started to roll off.

Toward the end I think Nate tried spinning the tube as Jenn and Jason went down, and it was pretty cool, so everyone wanted a shot at that experience. Here Anne and Nate were going down together, Nate just about falling off.

I think they did tumble off the tube at the bottom.

Again, I just thought this looked cool.

Tiffany, Shaun and Allie went down for one last run before making their final trek up and the hill and heading out. :) I think everyone had a great time, and we were all ready for some lunch. So, we decided to pack up and head out to Calamity Jane's. I wasn't too excited for a burger place, but it was fun, and I ended up getting a Cajun Gardenburger with Jalapenos that was mighty tasty and a couple huge mugs of Barqs to wash it down. Not a bad end to the snowy day of sledding. Allie was great the whole day. She ran and ran and sledded and tubed with us and by herself, and never complained. I think she had a blast. We'll definitely have to do it again, but next time bring snowshoes so we can get back to our own private hill. :)