Family travel letter: Dear Mt Hood, we love you

Mt. Hood, Oregon

Family travel adventures await whenever you to head to mountains. For us, nighttime mountain tubing, snow park playing, hot tub soaking, and winter wonderland walking await at the slopes of Mt Hood, Oregon’s highest Cascade peak.

And... boom! Driving toward the lone peak of Mt Hood is a beautiful sight. There's nothing like the sight of mountains during family travel!
And… boom! Driving toward the lone peak of Mt Hood is a beautiful sight. There’s nothing like the sight of mountains during family travel!

Learned

…Family travel means not every new thing you and your family try is going to be a home run…
…Some activities you’ll love…
…Some you’ll be glad you did, but you won’t do them again…
…The most important thing is that you were learning, doing, and sharing, together…

Made

…A choice to try something new, even if it was scary…
…A snowgirl…
…Wrinkled fingers after long soaks in the hot tub…
…Cozy fires in the wood stove…
…Lots of hot cocoa…
…A new love for playing solitaire…
…And about 1,000 bootprints in deep snow…

Our snowy Oregon Mt Hood end-of-winter family travel adventures

One more snow adventure. That’s all the kids wanted.

Then Jodie had an interesting idea.

What if we went tubing down a mountain… at night, to music, with flashing lights?

Our Mt Hood family travel adventures included snowy innertubes at SkiBowl’s Cosmic Tubing, a sunny morning shedding layers in a sno-park, forest walks, snowball fights, and lots of cozy blanket snuggles with cocoa, solitaire, and a blazing wood stove.

You won’t love every family travel activity you try, and that’s okay

But you know what? The tubing… it was cool, but it wasn’t really our jam. We wound up not being able to find a safe way for Jodie to protect her prosthetic leg, so she didn’t go down at all.

Aster and I went together, on a tandem innertube. I’m terrified of this sort of thing, so while trying to keep a (mostly) composed dadface, my internal dialogue was something along the lines of “oh crap oh crap this is like getting on a roller coaster oh crap oh crap… but Jodie’s always right so let’s give it a go.”

At the bottom of the slope, Aster took my hand and said, “Daddy, it was okay. I don’t want to do it again though.”

Fair enough.

Back up top, Jodie and Aster walked down to the bottom of the slope while Connor and I waited to do another run. Connor had gone down first. He had done great, and said he liked it. He and I waited…and waited… Yet as we got close to the head of the line, he looked at me and shook his head.

“Daddy, I don’t want to go again.”

We’d been trudging through a long, slow line, but that didn’t matter. I smiled, and gave his shoulder a squeeze.

“No worries, son.”

We headed down the slope to find Jodie and Aster, and to go back to our cabin for cocoa and a soak in the hot tub.

Whatever the family travel experience, it’s being together that matters most

Cozy cabin cuddles are a great way to warm up after romps in the snow. Blanket snugs? Essential part of family travel.
Cozy cabin cuddles are a great way to warm up after romps in the snow.

That’s not necessarily a knock on the tubing itself. The night we went, in the aftermath of some bad snow and ice storms, SkiBowl was still getting all its lights and sound back online, so some of the experience wasn’t a hundred percent. Even if there had been the usual light show and music SkiBowl’s cosmic tubing is known for, it still probably wouldn’t have been our thing. Scads of people were there though, and the tubing is unique and pretty darn cool.

More importantly for us, our tubing letdown brought up a really valuable family conversation. We talked about how we would try so many different things when we travel. Some of them we’ll love. And some of them… we won’t. Some things we’ll be glad we tried, but once was enough.

The most important thing we all realized, was that what mattered the most was that we were doing something together. High or low, yes or no, fun or meh, as long as we were together, we could work through the exuberant or disappointed feelings, talk about our experiences, and decide what we did—or did not—want to do next.

That said, both kids said they’d like to try skiing and snowboarding next. So I guess we already know what snow adventure bucket list items we’ll check off next year!

Speaking of: What Aster got up to with the snow? Well, you’ll have to see the end of the video below to find out:

Fun times at Mt. Hood

Here are some of the family travel adventures we got up to:

Go to Mt. Hood, Oregon

There’s nothing like the mountains. Mt. Hood, we love you.

About the author
Learners and Makers
We are the St. Clair Family: Anthony, Jodie, Connor, and Aster. As Learners and Makers, our family of four slows down, connects, and enjoys the world and each other's company. We have been traveling full time since 2022.