Author Archives: perfectusvarrus

About perfectusvarrus

I am an adventurer. The thrill of adventure and exploration keeps me strong; through rock climbing, backpacking, cycling, exploring, and trying new things, I love the rush of adventure.

A beach in winter

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Tuesday, 28-Dec-2021


My friend Mike came to visit!

It’s been a while since I’ve seen him – Back over spring break, if I’m remembering correctly, and I was super psyched to hear that he’d have some free time over Christmas to come up to Oregon and visit. I came up with tons of plans – keeping in mind that weather would be a pretty major contributing factor to what trouble we got into.

Without giving a full blow-by-blow of the adventure, I’ll fill you in on a snapshot of the conditions we found ourselves in: The world was burning down (or rampantly infected, more accurately) with the Omicron variant of COVID. Mt. Hood was getting belted with a full-power winter snowstorm. The roads between Mike and I were similarly under a snowy assault. And, to top it all off, both of us were pretty well burned out from the rest of the adventures of the year.

So what do you do when the whole world seems a little bit crazy?

Go to the beach! Duh.




“But Ben! Those are pictures of snow! That’s not the beach!”

“Right you are, other Ben! For you see… Mt. Hood and Mt. Shasta weren’t the only places getting pummeled with persistent precipitation! The roads to the beach were also under snow!”

But hey. We’re two New England boys, in Mike’s car with brand new snow tires. We got to the beach without any difficulty or fuss.



Once at the beach, we grabbed some lunch at a local Brewery before walking said lunch off exploring the coastline.

Have I mentioned that Oregon is beautiful?

Let me reiterate that fact:

Oregon.
Is.
Beautiful.

The walk was perfect – for me, at least, but I’m pretty confident that it was exactly what both of us needed. Low-Key, relaxed conversation. With a gorgeous background.



And no – I’m not going to transcribe everything we talked about. Because that would be crazy. And, while I’m absolutely crazy, I’m thankfully not that kind of crazy.

Though… Maybe someday we’ll start a podcast or something. Pretty sure our crazy would sell pretty well. Maybe.

For now – Enjoy a few interesting signs that we saw before the final installment on the day’s adventure!




**CONTENT WARNING**

***BUG AHEAD***

****WE WENT TO RED LOBSTER ON THE DRIVE BACK****

(I didn’t even know we had Red Lobster, to be honest. Many thanks to Mike for introducing me to Maine Lobsters in Oregon!)

Snow! In town! The first snow of the winter!

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Sunday and Monday, 26-Dec-2021 & 27-Dec-2021

December, 2021

I haven’t lived in Wilsonville long, but in my time living in the Portland area… we don’t really get snow in town that often. Then, in the few situations that we do, it usually melts off within a day or two.

When Wilsonville got an actual, legitimate, standing accumulation of snow? I was ecstatic! One of the things I miss from New England is the actual seasons:

  • Spring – Rainy, warm, and the slow swap from standing snow to flowers and green
  • Summer – Hot, sticky, and the perfect time to escape to the mountains and streams
  • Fall – Absolutely the best season! Pleasant days, cold nights, crisp air and changing leaves
  • Winter – Snow, cold days and colder nights, the entire world blanketed in a layer of insulating white



In temperate Oregon, we basically have “Rain”, and “Not Rain”.

The snow didn’t last long, of course. But it stayed for a solid week or so… and you know what? That was enough for me. I still miss it… but I’ll freely admit that I did appreciate never having to shovel. And not having to worry about an extended commute was definitely a bit of a bonus too!

Return of the Snow-Stang!

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Thursday, 23-Dec-2021


I went snow hiking!

I mean, okay. I went snow-hiking last Saturday too… but I didn’t put the chains on the car, so I don’t think it counts as a “Return of the Snow-Stang”, right? Snow driving required, for the title?


So yeah. If we’re all in agreement that this one counts as my first snow-stang snow-venture of the… snow season?


I drove out!

The snow wasn’t too bad, to be perfectly frank – I was able to get all the way to the high-point of the drive, right near the turn for the Timberline Lodge, before the roads had any snow / ice accumulation at all. In the spirit of paranoia and precaution, I took this chance to pull over and toss on the tire chains – Better safe than sorry when there’s ice on the roads, right?

The rest of the drive definitely made me glad that I’d stopped – That one intersection is basically a dividing line for one reason or another. One side – mostly cleared, plowed, and graveled roads. On the other side – packed snow, ice, and walls of snow on the sides of the road.

It.

Was.

Gorgeous!




I really do love the winter. I love the snow on the trees, I love the drifting flakes of snow, and I love the focus that the snowfall brings with it… Don’t get me wrong, I love the sound of rain pattering! But for some reason, the quiet of snowfall just hits differently, you know? It’s so serene…

With almost no one on the road with me, and my speed capped at 30mph thanks to the chains, the serenity of the drive was real. I went slowly, grinding my way over the snowpack toward the parking lot, thankfully without a slip or a slide to speak of. Even turning onto the side road to the trailhead saw the Mustang react exactly as it would on a dry summers day… or at least, the slides weren’t more than a few degrees off center axis.


I parked, I hiked, and I enjoyed the falling snow. I enjoyed the quiet that came with it, and I enjoyed the sense of exploration that I felt when my footprints were the only things I could see behind me.

The canyons cut by the rivers that I crossed were just one more piece of evidence that the winter truly had come, and when I did finally turn around I was happily content with how my little “first exploration of the season” had gone.




I definitely wanted to keep going, don’t get me wrong! Driving home at night, though… See, driving in the day isn’t so bad, because the sun’s heated the road up and kept the snowpack malleable. Enough for the chains to grip, yeah? But once the sun goes down, so does the temperature… and without the sun rays to keep the snowpack soft, it quickly becomes ice.

And while I can definitely drive on ice… I’d still vastly prefer to be past the snowline, yeah?

Back I hiked, off I drove, and soon enough I found myself back in the traditional Oregon world of warm rain…