Day #25 - The Very Long and Very Winding Road!

I might be guilty of over using variations on the title to the 1970 Beatles song in this blog, but it definitely is appropriate to butcher it again after today's events! The roads we took we very long and very windy (and very bumpy!).
We left Seattle and headed south towards Mount Rainier. The name was very appropriate because it rained (heavily) for most of the journey. Leaving Seattle along the freeway was a challenge due to the 100's of lanes, spray, dim light and unfamiliar signage! However, once we left the freeway and started navigating normal roads, we felt more comfortable.
As we approached Mount Rainier it became clear that our plan to capture some stunning photos and enjoy fantastic vistas was not going to happen. The weather was against us. The views were very cloudy and wet!

This isn't any particular mountain or volcano but it gives you an idea of what we were heading into! The drive up the mountains was pleasant enough to begin with; some lovely roads snaking their way through the forests, with occasional glimpses of a valley or a river. 

Our plan was to visit Mount Rainier and then Mount St Helens - the volcano that famously erupted in 1980. We were looking forward to seeing the views of the crater and the side of the mountain that is no longer there. However, as you will no doubt have figured, the weather meant we didn't get our wish.
What we should have seen was this:

What we got was this:

So we then decided to head out of the mountains and across to our next hotel in the neighbouring state of Oregon. However, getting off the mountain and finding our way back, even with sat-nav, proved to be arduous in the extreme and tested the patience of both us!
Part of the reason is inevitably, reception was limited (a.k.a. non-existent) meaning Google maps was just a blue arrow floating in a sea of green! The other problem was the roads had very limited signage and were very long! So one you had committed to a path, you just had to keep going in the hope it brought you somewhere you wanted to be. During one particularly difficult section, the road was heavily potholes and subsidence had caused big craters in the road. Our speed had to reduce to a crawl adding a good hour or two to our journey. All this while the night drew in, the light faded and we got more confused, frustrated and tired!
One highlight was we spotted a poor chap (homeless we believed) who had got separated from his friends and was walking the roads in the heavy rain. We picked him up and did manage to return him to civilisation!
Our Route - 372 miles in 9 hours!
Finally, after a very long drive, we were approaching our hotel which we were both really looking forward to. We were staying at The Timberline Lodge which is a historic mountain resort located on the south slope of Mount Hood in Oregon.
Built in 1937 and furnished by local artisans during the Great Depression, it's is a popular destination for year-round recreation, including skiing, snowboarding, hiking, biking, and camping. Timberline Lodge is also known for its stunning architecture and unique design - a rustic style with massive timbers and stonework. The interior features a grand fireplace, hand-carved woodwork, and stained glass windows. In addition to its recreational and historic significance, Timberline Lodge is also a cultural icon. The lodge has been featured in numerous films and television shows, including The Shining, Stanley Kubrick's 1980 adaptation of Stephen King's novel.
The exterior was used in the establishing shots of the Overlook Hotel near the start of the movie. The interior designs the hotel you see in the movie are nothing like Timberline's interiors. The movie used sets built in London for the majority of the movie and the hotel's lobby set was based on the interior of the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park. We might stay there too!
Skip to 2'40" for the shot of the hotel.