Tuesday, September 8, 2009

An Overnight at the Overlook

As an amuse bouche to the spook season, the man and I decided to spend the night at the Timberline Lodge near Mt. Hood. A.k.a? The Shining Hotel!

Okay, okay. So they just used the exterior and the rest was filmed on a soundstage in England. But what an exterior. As soon as we turned the last steep bend and laid eyes on the stony edifice, complete with flickering flags, at least one of us peed a little. Just a little.

Though the inside bears no resemblance to the swanky swell hotel in the movie, the rustic wood-and-stone ski lodge still has lots of cubbyholes and crevices, mysterious stairways and strange creaky noises. Even the cheery inglenooks are just a bit too sinisterly tucked away.

Not that I was complaining.

Beyond the elaborate wall carvings and etched plaques, there's an eerie display of old photos and artifacts. First you're greeted by this dude. The hugeness of the painting, not reflected in this iphone photo, is like something out of an old family castle. But just imagine it's about 8 feet tall and it looks like it's Frank Langella. Those eyes, weird.

Then there are the actual photos, depicting guests from another era. Maybe it's the b/w, maybe it was because they were so ridiculosly enlarged or maybe it was because they were just damn creepy, they suggested a certain family-related tragedy from several seasons back.

Pre-sunscreen or pre-Amber Alert? You decide.
The Timberline holds the Shining card close to its vest, but still gives a nod to it now and again. Just check out the engraving on this ice pick in their ski museum.
But the bartender let us know in no uncertain terms that he would not answer to the name Lloyd. Strong words from stoner youth, I thought.

Overall, the hotel was the perfect mix of creep and comfort. Just my kinda cocktail.

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