So apparently this was the last Natefest – the annual weekend away that encircles Nate’s birthday which he organizes for close friends.

Natefest has a long and illustrious past dating back a couple decades and since moving back to Portland I’ve been honored to be invited. But this – the year Nate turned 40 – was supposedly his last. I say supposedly because there’s a glimmer of hope that the tradition will continue next year… especially after the high we all felt following a magical weekend at Silcox Hut on Mt. Hood.

Fittingly, Silcox Hut also enjoys a long and illustrious past. It was built in the 1930s at the same time as the famed Timberline Lodge (used for exterior shots in The Shining and one of the nation’s great lodges). Silcox Hut was initially built as a small day lodge that housed the mechanics for the magic mile chairlift (the second chairlift ever built in the United States). In the 1980s Silcox Hut was rehabilitated and converted into a lodge that could accommodate small groups overnight – replete with comfy bunks, modern plumbing, yummy food, and a snowcat ride from Timberline. It’s Oregon’s highest hotel at 7000 feet.

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