Go on, Winter, Move Along

18 04 2014

Here we are again, another year, another Spring, another change of seasons. Let’s all take a moment to wave our final farewells to Old Man Winter and help him scoot on out the door. All the way, there ya go, buh-bye!

This last weekend, JRock and I decided to help the seasons transition. Just in case Mother Nature needed a hand. (Don’t tell her I said that.)

First up: a Saturday hike in the gorge-ous Columbia Gorge. I am forever in awe of this incredibly diverse place! The last time I explored the Gorge, we went to the saturated West to see the waterfalls; this time we headed East to visit the open hills and cliffs. The eastern end of the Gorge gets roasty-toasty in the summer, but right now it’s crazy green and cool and sun-shiney. The flowers are just starting to bloom and I LOVE ALL OF IT.

So much perfection. Once Simba realized he was going, he was super-stoked, too. The trail head was packed by the time we got there – good thing there’s enough trail for everyone! Off we went, climbing up along Coyote Wall, gulping in the fresh air, drinking in the sunbeams. The balsamroot sunflowers are in full bloom, splashing bright yellow across the emerald slopes. The mountain bikers were out in full force, puffing up the steep inclines, and hikers of all kinds paused to enjoy the views.

That’s one of my favorite things about hiking – just about anyone can do it, and it’s such an awesome way to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. And we all get a little exercise.

hiking in the Columbia Gorge, Coyote Wall

Conquerer of Coyote Wall and the sunflowers!

Coyote Wall hike on the Columbia River Gorge WA-OR

JRock surveying the mighty Columbia as so many explorers before him

After basking in the warm welcome party for Spring-time at the lower elevations, we switched gears on Sunday to give Winter our official get-the-hell-out good-bye bash. One last day on the ski hill!

It was a gorgeous, blue-bird day: flashing sun beams, not a single cloud, warm spring breezes – perfection! We got up to Mt Hood Meadows a little before 1pm, and the morning rush had cleared. Smearing on some SPF, we cruised right onto the first lift and headed up for arguably my best day on the mountain all season.

The snow was more slush than anything, which would be a bad thing for most. But it slowed me down, letting me focus more on my form: rolling my weight, keeping my skis aligned, keeping my body pointed down slope. As I felt what it was like to do something right, it clicked in my head – OH! That’s what they mean when they say to do this or that! (Pretty sure I’m pro now.)

skiing Vista Ridge, Mt Hood Meadows OR

By golly I think I’ve got it! (At least more than I did before…)

We took a lift I hadn’t been on yet and cruised up above the tree line. As I turned off the lift, the expansive landscape of Oregon opened before me. The peaks of the Cascades lined up: Jefferson, Washington, Three-Fingered Jack, even the Three Sisters down by Bend. All the foothills and buttes and cinder cones in between stretched up, not to be overlooked.

Good thing I’m pro now; otherwise, the sheer beauty of the scene before me DEFINITELY would have knocked me right over. Good thing.

Down the slopes we went, giggling, talking smack to each other, having a blast. About 2/3 of the way down, we decided on a pit stop: the mid-slope bar! We always see folks out here, enjoying the day, watching the passing skiers/snowboarders – but we’ve never stopped. Today is the day! J picked a beer on tap, I opted for hot spiced wine, and we found a couple of chairs to soak up more vitamin D and rest a minute. I’m telling you, it’s a hard life, folks.

sipping beer at the Mazot Bar, Mt Hood Meadows skiing

Safety first, folks.

And that’s all! We waved good-bye to the snow as we drove off, and frankly, I hope to see NO MORE until next year. Don’t worry, Old Man Winter, I forgive you for your lame appearance this year. Just know I expect you to make up for it next year!

😀

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2 responses

19 04 2014
Lucille Glasgow

I could almost envy you – your life now and my age pushed back a long way.  How awesomely beautiful!  Happy Easter! Love, Grandma

23 04 2014
ksnapped

Thanks Grandma! Hope you had a great Easter!

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