Snow, Snow, Snow!
I love snow!
I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s an interesting thing worth repeating – In Oregon, the snow level is very much dependent on elevation. When I picked up my coworkers in town, it was a nice (albeit drizzly) morning. Cold, but not that nice crisp-cold… sort of a damp-ish cold. But by the time we all piled out of the car at the trailhead it was crisp, snowy, and gloriously overcast. Little flurries of snow, with the loud “whump” of snow falling off the trees as the day got warmer.
Portland itself is just about sea level, as is Wilsonville, both being just about 100ft above sea level. Our destination for the day, however, was just below 3,500ft elevation… and the snow level met us at just about 2,500ft during our drive up.
Ohh, right. What was our destination? Mirror Lake!!
I know, I know, it’s not the most exciting or intense hike out there… but you know what? This was the first time that we’d all gotten to hike together, it was the first real snow-hike of the year, and we were stuffing four people into the Mustang. So… you know, Hopefully a little understandable that we didn’t want to go too far or too long.
First off – why the Mustang? Well, my friends had all just moved to Portland earlier this year – so none of them had snow tires, or chains, for their cars. We debated it, but since two of the party were rather small we decided that it’d be simplest to let me drive… I’ve got solid Oregon-snow driving experience, already have chains for the car, and I’ve become quite comfortable driving the Mustang through the sometimes challenging terrain around Mt. Hood.
I mean, that… and I just really like driving the Mustang!
The trailhead was surprisingly empty when we parked and started into the woods… I’ve come to expect this trail to be packed nearly year-round, so this was an absolutely lovely happenstance. On a Saturday, no less! I expect that it’s from the skiing… I have a feeling that all the drifting snow would make for an excellent powder day, so it’s definitely understandable that everyone would be out enjoying the early-season pow-pow days.
We hiked in. We ate lunch at the lake (I brought beef stew!) and we even fed the birds a bit! I adore seeing peoples faces the first time they have a Jay land on their hand… There’s someone just so wholesome about seeing someone take a full “disney princess” moment, you know?
Hiking was excellent – we walked, chatted, enjoyed the views, and had ourselves an excellent time. The snow was quiet, the air was crisp, and there was just enough of a drizzle or rain / snow mixture to keep us happy to be moving.
A very good day, indeed.
As a bonus – I really love the “looking up into the canopy” picture I took… especially because, for some reason, all I can see is Sasquatch walking. Do you see it now?