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4 Tips for Viewing the Total Solar Eclipse at Mt Hood
Posted by Mt Hood Vacation Rentals | Tuesday, July 4, 2017


Top Ways to Prepare for the Great American Total Solar Eclipse, August 21, 2017

Magnitude of Totality Interactive Map for the Solar Eclipse
Find the Magnitude of Totality for your Solar Eclipse Viewing Location on this Interactive Map

If you are excited about and anticipating this spectacular astronomical event, the Great American Total Solar Eclipse happening on August 21, 2017, we have the top 4 tips to make this the most memorable experience of the year. When you are in the Villages of Mt Hood, you will be the north of the path of 100% totality. You can relax at your vacation cabin and see the eclipse in 97% - 99% totality with your friends and family or make the short drive south to the area of 100% totality.
 
1. Read Up: Start your research now about the how and why a total solar eclipse even happens. It will make the day that much more amazing. When you are in the path of totality you will see one of nature’s most incredible and rare sights, a total solar eclipse. This path, where the moon will completely cover the sun and the sun's tenuous atmosphere known as the corona will first pass over the United States at Newport, Oregon at about 10:15 AM. At 10:17 AM, the Mt Hood area will experience 2 minutes of almost total darkness. You can Google search Total Solar Eclipse 2017 and find dozens of websites with information, however, we have two websites that we especially like for science nerds and every-day enthusiasts alike. The National Aeronautics and Space Association (NASA) is one of the best resources to learn everything there is to know about the science of a total solar eclipse. Astronomy.com, an online magazine is filled with interesting articles and ideas about how to enjoy the eclipse written by astronomy experts. Plus all guests of Mt Hood Vacation Rentals during the August 17th eclipse will receive the book, "Get Eclipsed: A Complete Guide to the American Eclipse".
 
2. Eclipse Glasses: To view the eclipse, you will need special eclipse glasses to avoid damage to your eyes. Regular or even the best sunglasses on the market will not protect your eyes. You need to view the eclipse through these funny-looking cardboard eclipse glasses with lenses of optical mylar that allow you to safely look directly at the sun. The mylar filters out most of the light and all of the dangerous infrared heat and ultraviolet radiation (the same stuff that causes sunburn). Good news for guests of Mt Hood Vacation Rentals; we will have free eclipse glasses for every person staying in a Mt Hood Vacation Rental during the Great American Solar Eclipse.
 
 
3. Don't Take Photos: While you are fiddling around with your camera or trying to figure out how to take a photo with your cell phone, you will miss the 2-minute eclipse. Leave the photography to the professionals who have the best and most expensive equipment. According to NikonUSA, "When viewing or photographing the partial phases of a solar eclipse or the maximum phase of an annular eclipse, you must use a solar filter. Even if 99% of the sun is covered by the moon, the remaining 1% crescent is dangerous to view with the naked eye and can cause serious eye damage or blindness." Just kick back, look up (with your eclipse glasses on) and enjoy the day.
 
 
4. Find Your Spot: Figure out where you are going to watch the eclipse now. This is going to be the most popular event of the summer, so you want to find your viewing place soon. When you stay in a Mt Hood Vacation Rental, you will see 97% - 99% of the eclipse, or you can drive about 30 miles south to be able to view 100% of the total eclipse. Either way, staying in a fully-furnished vacation rental will give you a comfortable place to gather with everyone for your solar eclispe watching party with your friends and family. There are a few cabins, chalets and lodges available during the eclipse so you will want to secure your lodging soon before they are all gone. Check out this cool interactive map to discover the magnitude of totality in your solar eclipse viewing location.
 
 
Mt Hood Vacation Rentals Total Solar Eclipse Package:
Stay in a Mt Hood Vacation Rental during the Great American Total Solar Eclipse and included with your cabin, chalet, cottage or lodge:
  • E-Passport filled with specials and coupons for activities and recreation throughout Oregon's Mt Hood Territory
  • Eclipse Glasses for everyone staying in the Mt Hood Vacation Rental with you
  • Get Eclipsed: The Complete Guide to the American Eclipse
  • Commemorative Eclipse T-shirt: One per reservation; more t-shirts available for sale while they last
Call a Vacation Planner at 888-424-9168 to make your reservation in a Mt Hood Vacation Rental for the Total Solar Eclipse or Book online soon before they are all gone.


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Are you an Umbraphile? You Could Become One this Summer: Experience the Great American Total Solar Eclipse
Posted by Mt Hood Vacation Rentals | Thursday, June 15, 2017


umbraphile (plural umbraphiles)

  1. One who loves eclipses, often traveling to see them.

​For the first time in 38 years, a total solar eclipse will occur in the United States on August 21st and Oregon will be one of the best places for eclipse-chasers and umbraphiles to view this rare astronomical phenomenon. While the Mt Hood area is not in the path of totality for the solar eclipse, we will be in a 97% totality region. When you visit a Mt Hood Vacation Rental, you will be staying in the perfect basecamp for a short drive to the south where you can observe total darkness.

Great American Total Solar EclipseThe solar eclipse will first make landfall along the Oregon Coast just north of Newport at 10:15:50 AM where people will experience almost two full minutes of totality (complete darkness). When you stay at Mt Hood, you will experience a 97% percent solar eclipse. The total solar eclipse will be viewable just a few minute later in the Mt Hood region. Or you can drive to the southern part of Clackamas County to experience total darkness. A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon completely blocks the sun turning daylight into a dark twilight, with the sun's glow shimmering behind the shadow of the moon.

Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm is in the middle of the path of totality. The farm is celebrating with activities all weekend-long, August 18-21 including farm tours, live entertainment, food vendors, sunset and eclipse photography lessons, astronomy lessons and star-gazing. The admission each day is $5/person (max of $20/vehicle), however as a guest of Mt Hood Vacation Rentals, you will receive free admission!

We have special gifts for our guests who will be staying with us during the eclipse. Guests of Mt Hood Vacation Rentals will receive:

  • E-Passport: Mobile app filled with specials, deals and links to businesses throughout Oregon's Mt Hood Territory
  • Eclipse Glasses for each person in your reservation (required to view the eclipse)
  • "Get Eclipsed: The Complete Guide to the American Eclipse", a book that is jam-packed with cool facts and helpful hints on how to prepare for and experience the eclipse

And the good news is that you can still reserve a Mt Hood Vacation Rental for the Great American Total Solar Eclipse. Call a Vacation Planner at 888-424-9168 to find the perfect cabin, lodge or chalet or you can book online at mthoodrentals.com.

For more eclipse info:

eclipse2017.nasa.gov

greatamericaneclipse.com

eclipse2017.org



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Riverfront Vacation Rentals will Energize and Relax You
Posted by Mt Hood Vacation Rentals | Thursday, March 9, 2017


Riverfront Vacation Rentals at Mt Hood for Energy and Peace and Quiet

A riverfront getaway to a Mt Hood Vacation Rental will both energize you and relax you during your vacation. While you are in riverfront environments, negative ions which are odorless, tasteless and invisible molecules are inhaled in abundance. When these ions flow throughout your body, they produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the chemical serotonin, which is known to help in relieving stress and boosting daytime energy; it also helps to stabilize sleeping, eating and digestion. Pretty awesome that your riverfront vacation can do all of this, naturally!*
Dream Catcher Cabin is one of our most popular romantic retreats at Mt Hood. Enjoy the Salmon River just steps from the outside hot tub, firepit and picnic table during your Mt Hood vacation. You will be off the beaten path, but still close to all mountain recreation, shopping and dining. You can even dip your toes in the water during the summer months. Watch for frequent visits from ducks and geese.
Rapid River Retreat is a long-time favorite gathering place for families and friends. Located close to the end of a 1 ½ mile dead-end and gated road, this is the perfect place for morning walks with your dog. You will want to gather on the deck in the back yard at sunset with a glass of wine and good friends and conversation. Relax in the riverside hot tub at the end of the day to top it all off.
Getting a group of people together for a meditation or yoga retreat or a writing seminar? The Salmon River Rendezvous is perfect for gathering everyone for a calming retreat away from the city. With a large kitchen, 3 living spaces and room to accommodate up to 16 guests, you will have plenty of room to literally stretch out. The riverfront garden and firepit is just right for evening sing-alongs and story-telling. End the day with a soak in the private hot tub.
If you are dreaming of the classic log cabin vacation, you will love the Riverwoods Lodge. This hand-built log cabin sits on 4 private acres along the Sandy River. Take a walk to the riverside gazebo and read a good book or eat a picnic lunch. Gather around the firepit under the stars to relive the day’s adventures. Just minutes from the Sandy Ridge Trails, you will want to bring your mountain bikes on this vacation.
The perfect place to enjoy the river from inside or outside is the Salmon River Retreat. This well-loved home sits just steps from the river and enjoys panoramic views from the great room, the riverside deck and the hot tub. Gather around with cocktails, grilling dinner in the evening while you watch the sun go down. The slow-moving river is ideal for splashing around on hot summer days, too.
If you would like to explore more Riverfront Vacation Rentals at Mt Hood, visit our website. If you have questions or would like to make a reservation, call us at 888-424-9168 or you can book online 24/7/365.
*Want to know more about the benefits of negative ions and serotonin? Check out this article. http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/negative-ions-create-positive-vibes#1

 



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7 Books to Read While Planning your Summer Vacation at Mt Hood
Posted by Mt Hood Vacation Rentals | Thursday, February 9, 2017


7 Books to Get You Started on Your Mt Hood Summer Vacation Planning

It may seem too early to start planning your summer vacation to Mt Hood, but during the cold winter months is the perfect time to cozy up with a stack of books and dream about how you and your family will spend your time at Mt Hood this summer. We have compiled a group of books to get you started on your vacation planning. These books will get you excited about the places you will be visiting and the fun activities you will be enjoying during your Mt Hood trip.

Two popular hiking books that have been around for over 20 years still remain as two of the best guides for hikes throughout the Mt Hood National Forest in the area of Government Camp and up to Timberline Lodge.These self-published books are written by "Little Old Ladies In Tennis Shoes", Sonia Buist and Emily Keller, hence the name of their publishing company, LOLITS. The goal of these two hiking guide books is to break down longer trails such as the Timberline Trail, a 41-mile trail that circumnavigates Mt Hood at "Timberline", into shorter, easy-to-do day hikes.They have provided detailed directions to trail heads, maps, difficulty ratings along with personal commentary and interesting information about the history of the area, flora and fauna and other relevant information.

Whether you ski or snowboard at Mt Hood during the winter or summer, or you are a history buff, Timberline and a Century of Skiing on Mount Hood is an easy and fun book to read with lots of photos and anecdotal stories from many long-time local residents and employees of Timberline Lodge. The author, Jean Arthur, grew up skiing at Mt Hood and working at Timberline Lodge throughout high school and during the summers while in college. P. S. When you stay in a Mt Hood Vacation Rental during the winter and purchase 4 Timberline lift tickets in our office, we will give you a copy of this book!

These days if you are traveling to Mt Hood from Portland, it is about an hour to 1 1/2 hour drive to get here. During the early 1900's when the first automobile trips were made to Mt Hood, it really was an adventure taking up to 3 days to get from Portland to Government Camp, a 60-mile trek over mostly dirt (and mud) roads. The book, Off to Mt. Hood chronicles the early days of road trips to Mt Hood as told by Ivan M. Woolley, who was a college student at the time and would drive tourists in a 1907 Pierce Arrow, a 4-cylinder, 48 horse power vehicle. This book is sprinkled with stories of personal experiences of Mr. Woolley and his compatriots and passengers. He shares the hardships and stories of many of the early settlers who also opened road houses in the area including Wemme, Welches, Faubion, Tawny, McIntyre and more.

Mount Hood, A Complete History by Jack Grauer is the quintessential and most comprehensive chronicle of the people, events, adventures and history of the Mt Hood area. Mr. Grauer writes about everything from the early Native Americans, the first settlers passing over the Barlow Trail, winter and summer recreation including mountain climbing, animals and flora, geology and geography, famous and not-so-important buildings and much more. Jack Grauer's first love was mountain climbing, with his first of 131 ascents of Mt Hood happening in 1947 when he got the bug. The book has a definite slant on the mountaineering history of Mt Hood. First published in 1975, this book has had several updates and revisions with the most recent edition being published in 2010. 

It's been 38 years since the last total eclipse was seen in the continental USA. The moon's shadow completely covers the sun August, 21, 2017 creating the opportuntity to experience Totality. Next year's "Great American Total Solar Eclipse" will darken skies all the way from Oregon to South Carolina, along a stretch of land about 70 miles wide with the full eclipse being visible just south of Mt Hood. Imagine the morning Sun dwindling down to a narrow crescent and a moment later it vanishes as you're plunged into an eerie twilight. This is a celestial event that is an indescribable sight that is among the most awe-inspiring and beautiful in all of nature. And it is not to be missed! Get Eclipsed is written by Fred Espenak (aka "Mr. Eclipse") retired NASA astrophysicist and leading authority on eclipses, and his eclipse chasing wife Pat Espenak (“Mrs. Eclipse”). Their infectious enthusiasm will get you excited for the eclipse. For more books about the Great American Total Solar Eclipse, click here.

The "wildly" popular book that was made into a movie, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed is the book to pick up this winter to read about a personal life transformation with many of the author's experiences centered around Mt Hood. Much of the movie was also filmed throughout the Mt Hood National Forest and at Timberline Lodge. Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman at a crossroads in her life after sufferening loss as she forges ahead on a trek from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Crest Trail that eventually strengthens her will and heals her soul.

Mt Hood Vacation Rentals are scattered throughout the Villages of Mt Hood, from Brightwood to Welches, Zigzag, Rhododendron and on up to Government Camp. Our cabins, cottages and lodges are from 1-bedroom to 5-bedroom and accommodate 2-16 guests. All homes include fully-equipped kitchens, fireplaces or woodstoves, cable, satellite or Internet TV and wifi and washers and driers. Most homes welcome your well-trained dogs at least one year of age. Many include a private, outdoor hot tub, too. All are non-smoking
 
Search here for the perfect Mt Hood Vacation Rental for your summer vacation or call us today at 888-424-9168.

 



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3 Hearty Dishes + Turkey Sandwiches for the Day after Thanksgiving
Posted by Mt Hood Vacation Rentals | Monday, November 14, 2016


Thanksgiving Cabin
Aaahh, the day after Thanksgiving. Friends and family are gathered around watching football, playing board games or maybe taking an afternoon nap. And the refrigerator is stuffed with leftover turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing and veggies. Of course, everyone has a preferred way to make a turkey sandwich. Here are the favorites from the Mt Hood Vacation Rental team.

Turkey Sandwich Ideas

Turkey Sandwich

Paul likes just plain white or wheat bread, white meat, mayo, iceberg lettuce and salt and pepper.
Cari likes her turkey sandwich on a seedy whole wheat bread with cranberry relish, pepper jack cheese, romaine lettuce and slices of sweet pickles.
Betsy uses a whole grain bread, the more textured and interesting the better, white meat, sliced tomatoes, leafy greens and Miracle Whip. Cheese added is ok, too.
Kayla likes her turkey sandwich hot; she uses leftover rolls from the night before with hot turkey, gravy and mashed potatoes open-faced and of course, eats it with a fork.
Debi is a purist and likes dark meat on a grainy, wheat bread and lots of mayo.
Cailin likes dark meat only on thick-sliced garlic Texas Toast, mayo, tomato and romaine lettuce or spinach.
Rachael and her family do not make turkey sandwiches with the leftovers; they make turkey soup with homemade noodles using her husband's grandmother's recipe.
Turkey Cranberry Sandwich

Of course, if you have had your fill of turkey sandwiches,
we have 3 tasty recipes for using up turkey day leftovers below.

Mashed Potato Pancakes

2 cups mashed potatoes
1 egg
1/4 cup flour
dash of salt & pepper, to taste
dash of garlic powder
canola oil for cooking
 
Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Form into golf ball sized balls, the flatten with your hands to about 1/2 inch thick. Heat 1 - 2 tbsp. canola oil in cast iron skillet or other large pan. Cook the pancakes on each side until they are golden brown and crispy, about 3-4 minutes. Serve with sour cream.
 
For a really flaMashed Potato Pancakesvorable variation, try adding one or more of the following ingredients to the mashed potato mixture.
 
1/2 cup shredded cheese
Diced scallions
Diced cooked bacon or ham
Substitute sweet potatoes for the mashed potatoes

Turkey Biscuit Pot Pie

2 cups frozen peas, carrots and green beans, thawed (or leftover cooked veggies from Thanksgiving Dinner)
1/2 cup diced celery
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup butter
1/2/3 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
1 cup chicken broth
2/3 cups milk
2 cups chopped cooked turkey (light and dark meat is ok)
1 package ready-to-bake refrigerated biscuits
 
Preheat oven to 350°.
 
Turkey Biscuit Pot PieSaute onion and celery in butter until soft, but not browned. Add the flour, salt, pepper and seasonings and stir to make a roux, cooking off the flour flavor. Add the milk and stir until it bubbles and you have a creamy sauce. Slowly add in the chicken broth and stir until combined; bring back to a slow simnmer. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Pour into at 13" X 9" X 2" pan. Top with the biscuits, spreading evenly over the top.
 
Bake in the preheated oven according to the biscuit package instructions. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Turkey Soup

Turkey carcass with meat still on it
1 tbsp canola oil
1 small onion, minced
2 stalks celery, minced 
1 16 oz. package frozen peas and carrots
1 cup uncooked rice
season to taste (salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, garlic powder, turmeric)
 
Turkey SoupThe most important and time-consuming task in making your soup is in prepping the carcass and making the turkey stock. First, remove all the skin and any other little bones or gristley pieces. You may need to break the carcass into 2 or 3 pieces to fit into your stock pot.
 
Put the carcass into your large pot with water to completely cover. Bring to a boil, then simmer slowly for about 3 hours, partially covered. This will pull all of the meat off the bones and pull flavor out of all parts of the turkey. You will need to scoop out the bones and place them on a plate. When it cools to the touch, pull off any turkey meat that did not come off in cooking and reserve. Discard the bones and other inedible parts. Pour the stock left in the pot into another pot or bowl, through a strainer. This will help you find any small bones, but keep the meat that ends up in the strainer. Put your stock and all turkey back into the pot and simmer on low.
 
In the meantime, sauté the onion and celery in the oil until it is soft and translucent. Add the onion, celery and frozen vegetables to the simmering stock and bring back to a simmer. Add the rice and cook for another 30-45 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked.
 
Your turkey likely already had seasonings from roasting, however, you can add more salt, pepper and other seasonings to your liking. A pinch of turmeric will brighten the color of your soup stock.

 



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Cozy & Quick Comfort Food Dishes for Fall
Posted by Mt Hood Vacation Rentals | Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Easy Versions of Favorite Fall Comfort Foods
 
 
One of the best reasons to stay in a vacation rental when you visit Mt Hood is for the fully-equipped kitchens. You and your friends and family can easily prepare a group meal in the kitchen, then you can gather around the dining table for conversation and a delicious feast.
 
During the fall months, with the cooler and wetter weather, it is the time of year when we start to cook inside more often, too. We have 3 of our employees’ favorite fall comfort food recipes below. These dishes are all versions of more complex dishes in easy to make versions that will be sure to please a crowd, but if you want leftovers, make an extra pan.
 
Cari’s Pan Burrito
This is Cari’s quick version of burritos. You can make a large batch and feed a crowd without having to do all of the work of making individual burritos. You can substitute shredded chicken or pork in this recipe, too.
 
1 lb ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 package of burrito seasoning
1 12 oz can of refried beans
1 small can of tomato paste
1.5 cups of water
4 cups of grated cheese
1 cup of salsa
4 large flour tortillas
Sour cream
Fresh chives, diced
 
Brown beef in skillet with diced onions then season beef and onions with salt and pepper.  Drain off fat.  Add packet of burrito seasoning, water, tomato paste and refried beans to the same skillet and mix well.  Let simmer for 10 minutes.
 
In a greased 9 inch pie pan, place ¼ of beef/bean mixture then a layer of cheese topped with a tortilla, repeat this process until you have 4 tortilla layers.  On the top of the final tortilla spread 1 cup of your favorite salsa and more grated cheese.
Bake at 350° for 30-45 minutes until pie is thoroughly heated.  Serve with sour cream & chives.
 
 
Betsy’s “Fake” Lasagna
This recipe includes most of the ingredients you will find in lasagna, but it is a lot less work to make as a casserole. Make 2 batches for a large crowd.
 
3 cups orecchiette, farfalle or fusilli pasta cooked according to package directions.
2 jars marinara sauce
1 tbsp. olive oil
½ onion, diced                                                                                                                             
1 bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb chicken Italian sausage (mild or hot)
1 pint ricotta cheese
3 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
 
Saute onion and bell pepper for about 5 minutes. Add the sausage and cook until browned. Add the minced garlic and cook for a couple of minutes (do not let the garlic turn brown). Add the marinara sauce and cook for 5 more minutes to meld the flavors.
 
Pour a layer of sauce in the bottom of a 13” x9” pan or a 3 quart casserole dish. Add 1/3 of the cooked pasta. Spread ½ cup of the mozzarella cheese over the pasta, then a layer of sauce so that it seeps down into the pasta. Add spoonfulls of ricotta cheese and another ½ cup of mozzarella cheese. Continue with 2 more layers, topping the casserole with the grated parmesan cheese.
 
Bake covered at 350° for 30 minutes. Bake uncovered for another 15 minutes. Take out of the oven and let the casserole rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
 
 
Rachael’s Pumpkin Dump Cake
When Rachael makes this cake for work, she has to make two, so her husband has one to eat at home. The first time Rachael brought this to the office, the team devoured the entire cake by mid-morning.
 
Cake
1 package yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 tbsp butter, melted
 
Filling
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
8 tbsp butter, melted
1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
 
Preheat oven to 350°. Combine the cake mix, egg and 8 ounces melted butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13x9 inch baking pan. To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and the pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla and 8 ounces melted butter and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix well. Spread the pumpkin mixture over the cake batter and bake for 40-50 minutes. Make sure not to overbake as the center should be a little gooey.
 
 


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Family Road Trip Tips when Driving to Mt Hood for Christmas Vacation
Posted by Mt Hood Vacation Rentals | Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Staying in a Mt Hood Vacation Rental with family and friends has been a tradition for decades. Many of our holiday guests drive to Mt Hood, so we thought it would be a good idea to share a few tips for getting here and getting around after you arrive.

Family Road Trip Vacation Travel Tips

Taking road tips longer than an hour with kids can be very challenging. Depending on the age of your children, road trips can be trying for parents and add the need for extra planning. Young children need a lot of attention and older kids will constantly need to be entertained. Here are some tips to make that road trip as much fun as the destination.

Family Tips For Parents

Relax and Breath - Your kids are going to play off your emotions. If you are stressed and in a hurry it will be more difficult for your kids to enjoy the car ride. Don't be in a hurry to have fun. Plan an extra day at the front end of your holiday visit, so you will have more time to enjoy the holidays once you are here. If you are planning on preparing a big meal, bake pies, wrap presents or decorate a tree, you will appreciate the more relaxed atmosphere.

Be Prepared for Hiccups - With kids something is going to go wrong. It doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Plan for car mishaps, lost money, and possible medical issues.

Take the Right Car - Consider renting a car. Renting a car will alleviate wear and tear created by mountain driving on snowy or icy roads at Mt Hood. And a rental car might have a few amenities you don't have in your personal vehicle that will make the drive easier for everyone. And if you rent a larger vehicle you will have more room to haul the family's gear. The extra money might be worth it.

If you are driving your personal vehicle, make sure it is equipped with traction tires or devices for driving on snowy or icy roads. You also want to be sure your heat and defroster are working and you have good-quality windshield wiper blades. We recommend carrying a blanket, flares and drinking water in the car just in case.

Short Breaks - Make the journey as fun as the destination. Depending on the length of your road trip, you might need to stop a few times. Be creative on where you stop. Plan ahead so you can stop at popular and interesting destinations along your route. Let the kids take fun pictures along the way, then post them on your social media pages, Facebook or Instagram. If you have fun selfies, share them with us and we will post on our Selfie Hot Spots blog. Or plan your breaks around meal stops.

Family Tips For Younger Children

Extra Necessities - Make sure you pack extra baby wipes, diapers, snacks, medicine, drinks, bottles (for babies) blankets and pillows.

Car Games - This is a must for all families. Simple old-school car games can help occupy the kids for a few hours and will be fun and different for today's digitally connected kids. Some possible games include 20 questions, the License Plate (finding 50 states) game, or I Spy.

Leave at the Right Time - Planning your departure time around your kids nap time can be huge. Also, try not to leave too early in the morning; let everyone get enough sleep before departing. Make sure you give yourself enough time to get here including delays due to weather, traffic and other unforeseen events.

TV/DVD Player - No parent wants to admit that they use the electronic baby sitter, but it really works on those long car rides.

Don’t Forget The Toys - Picking the right toys and books can help create some distraction time in the car. Bring at least one of your kids' favorite toys.

Family Tips For Young Teens

Portable Electronics - Your kids already know how to keep busy with their smart phones and tablets, so for this longer road trip, let them go with it..

Necessities - Much like younger kids teens will love to have pillows and blankets for napping and snacks for when they are hungry.

Put Them in Charge – Take turns letting the older kids ride in the front seat and co-pilot with the driver. Giving an active child some responsibility will help occupy some of their time. This is also good training for when they get to help with the driving. Teach the kids how to use a paper map, comparing the route to the GPS on your smart phone or in your car.

Local Information - Let your kids help you find things to do and see along the way and once you arrive at Mt Hood using smart phones and tablets while driving.



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