February 28, 2010

the end of february

today I rented some snowshoes

shoes.

and went up to the mountain. which mountain? this mountain.

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I climbed up a big hill

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and I almost made it all the way to Timberline but I got nervous because there were a lot of skiers and my legs were pretty tired. I wasn't sure if I could cross the ski path fast enough, and I wasn't sure what good snowshoeing manners were in terms of traversing the path with my crampons, so I went back down. but that's OK. when I got back down to the end of the trail I got in the car and drove to the lodge anyway.

hey, you guys? I have a guilty secret. I've lived here 4 1/2 years and I'd never been to Timberline. I know, I know. it's because, honestly? ski culture scares me. I have very little experience with winter sports -- we always vacationed in the summer and cocooned in the winter -- so being around all these alpine people is like visiting an alien tribe. there's all this gear, and I don't know what any of it is called or what it does or how to use it, and everybody seems really die-hard. and clad in gore-tex.

(I did go cross-country skiing once, in college. I loved it. everybody told me it was so hard, but it was like a cross between running and skating, two things I love to do. but I've never been since, and I've never been downhill skiing. it just goes so ... fast. so fast!)

what finally convinced me to go up to the mountain this weekend was a post on the Run Oregon blog about free snowshoeing trips guided by U.S. Forest Service Rangers. FREE! I like free. Snowshoe rentals from REI are only $20, which is almost free. So I was pretty stoked to learn about the aerial tramway from the 1950s, and Mt. Hood birds, and other things I imagined the ranger would tell us. only, see, that didn't quite work out, because the ranger couldn't make it. there was only me and one other couple waiting for the guided trip, so I debated for a minute or two about what to do in the absence of a CHAPERONE. but hey, snowshoeing is just hiking with pointy shoes! I can do that. so, I followed the trail we would have taken, and walked 2 1/2 miles up the side of the mountain. like, straight up. but that's OK! because in two weeks I'm running a 15K and half of that is also straight up, so I could use the conditioning.

anyway, I'm glad I got over my alpine sport aversion and can I just say, I want to sleep over at Timberline TONIGHT. or maybe last night. all the hewn rock and the giant wooden beams. also, the snow covering the windows. and the cozy fireplace. I'm a big sucker for cozy.

it's not exactly the same, but I'm going ahead and crossing off number 21, more in the spirit than the letter of the law. I just wanted to get in the snow.

Nub enjoyed the mountain too.
snow hedgehog

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