White River West Sno Park

Fun in the Snow

Michael and I had the chance to have some fun in the snow and sun this weekend! On Saturday, his mom and stepdad came over to babysit Logan and we drove up to Mount Hood to go snowshoeing WITHOUT a kid and WITHOUT a dog! It was so crazy! LOL It was crazy how easy it was to packΒ for just us.Β πŸ˜‰

It was such a gorgeous day. It was clear blue skies and warm–almost 45 degrees up on the mountain. We drove to White River West Sno Park and arrived at about 10am. (When we left the parking lot that holds 200 cars was packed full.)

White River is a popular place for sledding and there were lots of kids out sledding. It looked super fun! The other nice thing about White River is the immediate view of Mount Hood:

It was such a nice day! And it was so nice being out there just the two of us, doing something we used to do before having Logan. Not that it’s not nice doing stuff with our dog and kid, but it’s also nice just doing stuff as a couple, too.

We hiked around a bit and then crossed over into the trees where we found some other trails.

Lots of people were out that day!


We ended up doing the Boy Scout Ridge Trail (or at least, part of it). We were the only ones on the trail, which was kind of nice! We followed the trail through the quiet trees, away from the sledders. The trail had been forged and then the snow had frozen a bit and there wasn’t new snow, so that was nice because we didn’t lose the trail.

We followed the trail for a bit and then felt like it was time to turn around. We didn’t have a ton of time and since it was about an hour to drive home and we wanted to stop for lunch, we had to get going. I definitely want to explore this trail some more, though!

I was feeling really good and felt like I could keep going, which is a bummer! But we were short on time, so had to head back to the car. It was such a gorgeous day to be outside on the mountain! And such a nice way to spend some time together.

I was surprised that I didn’t burn more calories. Especially being at a higher weight that I am currently at right now. Usually snowshoeing burns a pretty decent amount. But my heart rate just never really got that high.

We stopped at the Tollgate Restaurant for lunch on the way down. We had a beer.

And split some mozzarella “sticks”:

I had a side salad and the brussels sprouts (about 1/3 of them. I was stuffed by then). The food wasn’t anything special. I don’t know that I’d go back, honestly.

Then home to this cutie pie:

He didn’t want to take a nap until we got home, which actually worked out well because we got home and ALL took a nap!!! It was glorious! It was a nice, relaxing, lazy afternoon. Just what we all needed. We were super lazy the rest of the night and I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner, slathered my calves with this magnesium lotion to hopefully stave off soreness, and went to bed early!

Sunday I went swimming and sat in the hot tub and that felt fantastic! I think the magnesium lotion helped a lot, too, because I wasn’t sore!

Hello January 2013

Long ago, I used to make monthly goals and post them here. I was usually pretty successful in my goals and accomplished (most of) what I set out to do each month. I think the biggest component of that success was choosing goals that were realistic and attainable. If I made a goal of “lose 5 pounds this month” I would not achieve that because I don’t really have 5 pounds to lose. My body seems to like where it is at and I rarely see a loss on the scale anymore. Yay for maintaining!

Despite that success, I stopped doing monthly goals in 2012. Part of the reason was that I chose to do the 32 Things List. While that was (mostly) fun, it was also a lot of pressure to have a huge list of things to accomplish in a year. I realized I preferred the monthly goals better, so I’m bringing it back for 2013!

Β January Goals

1. Limit alcohol intake to 1-2 nights a week only.

2. Go snowshoeing (if knees allow).

3. Focus on positive emotional health: thinking positive, ignoring negativity, and work on being HAPPY!

I chose these specific goals because two of them are timely. I would really love to be able to snowshoe a lot in January and February and I hope my knees allow that. The physical therapy I was doing for months seemed to improve my situation; unfortunately it didn’t cure it completely. Time will tell. I may be limited in the miles I can run for a long time.

The alcohol goal is just a continuation of the goal I made to myself after Thanksgiving. Limiting the liquid calories is a pretty easy thing for me to do and I think it will help the weight loss goal as well!

Another January tradition I’m bring back is the “work out at home” a few times a week. The gym is always flooded with new people January 1st. I’m happy people are trying to get healthy and lose weight, but I’m less happy about the small percentage of those people who ignore common sense and etiquette. Those people make the gym experience miserable. So I just start doing some home workouts to save my sanity.

First Workout of 2013!

My first workout of 2013 was on Mount Hood! Michael and I headed up to the mountain on New Year’s Day to go snowshoeing for the first time of the season. I was nervous how my knees would hold up. I was anxious that we’d drive 90 minutes up to the mountain and two steps in I’d be riddled with pain and we’d have to turn around. Thankfully, that was not the case.

It was a GORGEOUS day on Mt. Hood! The sun was out, the weather was nice and crisp, the snow was fresh. It was picture perfect up there.

We went to White River to go snowshoeing. It was a new-to-us place and on the other side of the mountain from where we usually go. I didn’t want to do Trillium Lake because that’s where we usually go and I was honestly worried about the big hill at the end of the trail. I didn’t think my knees would like that much. What I read about White River was that it was a popular place for sledding, but if you kept going it wasn’t that crowded. That was most definitely true.

Robyn's Birthday

The entire trail was facing the beauty of the mountain and it was the perfect backdrop for a picture. Someone needs to paint this. πŸ™‚

Robyn's Birthday

Because of the perfect weather and holiday, the place was packed with families enjoying their holiday and sledding with the kids. It was super cute to watch. Parking was packed but we had no issue finding a spot in the huge lot. The only complaint: the line for the bathrooms was a mile long. Other than that, it was a great place even on a crowded day.

We got our shoes on and with a few stops to make adjustments, we were on our way. It was freakin’ cold up there–I think about 21 degrees (which is nothing compared to the 11 degree day a few years ago). I mistakenly put on way too many layers and about 5 minutes in I had to take off the gloves and jacket. When will I learn? I ALWAYS get too hot.

Robyn's Birthday

The snow was magnificent, soft and fresh and shimmering like diamonds. I am so glad my camera was able to capture even a fraction of how glittery it was.

Robyn's Birthday

The trail had a lower part and then up on the ridge in the tree line for whichever you picked. We went the low route. Again, I was being safe with my knees. I’d wrapped them up like crazy beforehand and that helped a lot. We trudged along and passed other snowshoers and some cross-country skiiers. Lots of them had adorable dogs who were loving the snow. It was cute to see them frolicking.

Robyn's Birthday

Michael ran up and down the side of a hill, I was a party-pooper and stayed on the trail for the most part. I was much more concerned with having a successful snowshoe hike with zero pain and I didn’t want to tempt the gods.

Robyn's Birthday Robyn's Birthday

The trail goes along side the river, which was mostly hidden but had some sections where you could see the fairly fast-moving water. Because the entire valley was covered in a thick, mostly undisturbed snow mound, it was hard to tell where the river actually flowed. We stayed on the trail as much as possible since neither of us new the area very well.


We trekked along the trail at the base and then turned a corner and went up on the small ridge. TheΒ tree-lineΒ was nice and there was a bunch of different trails we could have taken. I felt like I was so close to the mountain I could reach out and touch it.

Robyn's Birthday

The decision was made that it was probably time to turn around. The sun was starting to dip behind the trees and neither of us wanted to be on the mountain in the dark.

The hike back to the parking lot was easier and slightly downhill. About half a mile from the trailhead my hip started to hurt but thankfully neither of my knees gave me any trouble on the trip. I was really, really happy about that!

Who is that creep in the background?!?! He looks like a total psycho lurking in the woods. πŸ˜‰

Robyn's Birthday

We made it back to the car in no time at all, spent a good 15 minutes getting out of our snow gear, eating pickles and homemade Chex mix as a snack and then we said goodbye to a lovely day to drive home.Β I don’t know how many miles we did–I’m guess around 2 or 2.5?


Unfortunately, it seemed that everyone else on the mountain had decided to leave at the same time, too, and the one lane road down the mountain was a parking lot. We’ve been stuck in that before and it’s not fun. Michael decided to turn around and go down the other side of the mountain. The drive down from Government Camp is a scary one in the dark and neither of us wanted to sit in traffic for hours. Driving the other way was 39 miles out of the way, but neither of us had ever gone that way before so it was a nice change. The traffic was slow because the roads weren’t as clear, but at least it was moving.

The above picture was an accident we drove by. It was really scary. The car was upside down. I’m hoping that since we didn’t see ambulance or police or lots of remnants on the accident that everyone involved was okay! I really really hope so because it was scary to see. PSA: drive safely in snow and ice!!

Taking 35 dumped us out in Hood River and we decided to stop at Double Mountain Brewery for dinner. I got the Hop Lava IPA (it was dang tasty) and we ordered the pizza with capicola and Mama Lil’s hot peppers. The pizza was really good. It was a bit chewier than I’m used to but the crust was thin and smokey just like Apizza Scholl’s.

Robyn's Birthday


I ate two slices and we hung out for a little while to relax before driving back to Portland. Double Mountain was packed to the rafters with people, 90% of them also wearing snow gear. It was a good little spot to rest, eat and drink after playing in the snow. I definitely recommend it!

I also highly recommend White River. It would be an especially perfect place for a newbie snowshoer. There wasn’t anything too strenuous about the hike, there were tons of people there in case anything happened, and it was beautiful! Don’t forget your camera!

QUESTION: What are your goals for this year/month? What was your first workout of the year?