Driving the twisty-turny road to Lost Lake from the town of Hood River at 5 am, you suppose how the lake got its name. And just about when when you decide you missed it and are lost…it appears. A perfect mirror placed at the feet of Mt. Hood so that it may revel in all its' majesty.
The surface of the deep lake warms under the springtime sun and meets the pre-dawn temperature drop with billows of rising steam. Paddling across the still water and parting the steam provides a surreal moment like something out of a dream. The sleeping volcano catches the first rays of light from it's glacial peak, and awakens with a rosy glow to find me quietly skirting across its reflection.
Paddling out into the middle of the lake towards Mt. Hood with the sun now rising higher at my back, the shining mountain seems to have a gravitational pull due to its sheer size or perhaps it’s just the allure of its beauty. Lost Lake is a little out of the way but on a morning like this one, the pay off is more than worth it.
That evening was spent sitting around the fire next to the lake while the mountain maintained its stance. With a crown of stars surrounding its’ steep white slopes, the reflection in the lake became too inviting and I set off again to let the mountain draw me in again.
The name Lost Lake may have actually derived from how each year, the lake levels drop significantly due to natural formed lava tubes that drain the lake. Geologists claim that the water may seep into the porous subsurface underground, refilling the aquifer that feeds nearby springs. But no one seems certain and where the water ultimately goes remains a mystery.