Tag Archives: Oregon

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!

The first major snow-hike of the Winter!

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Saturday, 18-Dec-2021


Snow!

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?