National Geographic : 1969 Jan
(Continuedfrom page 82) Hood, the 11,235-foot king of Oregon peaks. Portlanders speak of it proudly as "our moun tain," and as a daily ritual they look across the Willamette Valley in the hope of seeing it (pages 78-9 and foldout, pages 84-6). Some days they're lucky, but often the mountain hides behind clouds that pile up against the Cascade Range. This barrier cre ates more than frustration for the would-be sightseer; it produces two distinct weather zones for Oregon: mild and moist west of the Cascades; to the east, warmer in summer, colder in winter, and drier in both. Mountainside Hotel Owned by Uncle Sam One day when the clouds were in and the view was out, I sat in the big-windowed din ing room of Timberline Lodge, on Mount Hood's flank, looking out at swirling mists and listening to Richard L. Kohnstamm as he discussed the joys and problems of running a resort hotel halfway up the mountain. The great hotel, a classic of wooden con struction, was built during the late 1930's as a project of the Works Progress Administration. Oregon ponderosa-pine logs were shaped into pillars and beams for the hexagonal main lobby. Stairway newel posts, made from old telephone poles, were carved with sleeping foxes, bears, and otters. Railroad tracks were turned into andirons for six immense fireplaces opening off the 92-foot-high stone chimney. Scraps from discarded Civilian Conservation Corps uniforms were made into hooked rugs. "Running Timberline Lodge is like running an exclusive restaurant in the Lincoln Me morial in Washington, D. C.," Mr. Kohn stamm said. Since the 63-room lodge lies in Mount Hood National Forest, it belongs to the United States Forest Service. A succession of early conces sionaires tried in vain to operate it at a profit. Dick Kohnstamm, a New Yorker who had chosen social work over a job in his family's chemical company and moved to Portland in 1953, became interested in the lodge as a weekend skier there. He outbid 150 others to win the lease. "I took the bull by the horns, and I'm still holding on," Dick told me. "The first year I would call possibly the most expensive hotel management course in history. But we're in the black now, and we're going to make it. "Skiers keep us going," Dick went on, "but we need more people to enjoy the nearby fish ing and hiking and the swimming in our heat ed pool. One trouble is that we're so close to OPPOSITE PAGE FOLDS OUT At home with Western traditions, Massachu setts-born Governor McCall signs himself Tom rather than Thomas. He grew up in central Ore gon, where his father cleared ranchland to raise crops and a large dairy herd. In 1966 the former news analyst, a Republican, won his four-year term with the largest vote ever given an Oregon governor. Warm-hued Oregon myrtle panels his office in the State Capitol in Salem (below). The marble building, topped by a statue of an ax-wielding pioneer, was completed in 1939.