Sunday, November 26, 2006

First Snowshoe of the season

Koshko Snowpark to ???? to Snowfoot Trail to Oldman Pass and back to Koshko
3.5 hours
Me, Pete, Jacki, Jessi, Ted, Laura
Ellie, Seasha, Blaze, Bodhi,Yzerman

Enough snow has piled up over Thanksgiving week that the we could start our snowshoe season in November. Three cars headed out and by Cascade Locks there was snow on the ground. More snow as we headed up. Parking lot full of snow in Stabler. Went to buy a sno-park pass there, couldn't. I guess the county wanted the stores to buy the passes up front and then turn around and sell them and they didn't like that plan, so no one in the county bought them. So, don't try to buy a sno-park pass in Skamania county.
I guess becasue of the low snow level, they hadn't had a chance to plow 30 up to Oldman pass. there were ruts, but you definitely needed 4WD and high clearance-lots of snow-very exciting.
Finally get to Koshko and have the whole place to ourself. Not even a car at Oldman either. Get dressed and adventure out the way we normally go. Deep snow abounds and that makes us happy-especially for the first snowshoe of the season in Washington. (lower elevation).
Then it's snowing, which is great. But it keeps snowing and is turning into a heavier, wetter snow. And after it keeps up, before long, we're all pretty wet. We're still happy to be out snowshoeing though.
After a while on the trail, we kind of realize we aren't exactly where we thought we are. Following the trail, we come out on HWY 30. Checking a map in another snowpark, we figure out which direction we need to go, and then see another trail. After a while of checking it out, we find a better map that tells us exactly where we are-at the Snowfoot Trail. Sign says 1.6 miles to Oldman Pass. We figure a little over a mile will get us to Koshko. So, we trudge out. The snow is now heavy and breaking trail takes a lot of work, so, we're taking turns breaking trail until the person in the lead can hardly pick up their leg anymore. Trying to keep three of us in front of Ellie and Yzerman to pack down the snow, So we keep walking, and before long it's 45 minutes and we still haven't gotten a mile. and we keep walking, and nothing looks familiar. We're starting to wonder if we should turn around, or head to the right or keep going. We're wet, tired, the snow is heavy, it's getting darker and Jessi still has to work tonight.
After a brief conference, Pete decides it looks familiar, we're going to keep going, the trail is cutting to the right which is where the road is. So, we keep going and lo and behold, a sign. Road. But, it's Oldman Pass. Somehow we missed the Koshko trail, but, we're back at civilization and we can get back to our car!! Yeah! So, we take the road back to Koshko-a quick .5 mile, no need for snowshoes. Great need to stop and grab the dogs every time a car passes though. Now that we're not working as hard, it's getting cold. Get back, load the dogs in the cars and start them because it's so cold. Try to have a tailgate, but, we're just too cold. Shovel in some puppy chow, huckleberry muffins, cheese, crackers, hot chocolate and red wine. But, it's too cold to slice cheese, and it's really hard to eat with gloves on. So, after a very brief tailgate, we pack snacks for the car, sit in our respective warm cars to finish our snacks, warm up and head out. At this point, my hands are so cold, that I can't actually go anywhere because I can't grab the steering wheel. Puppies are curled up and crashed out. Much easier drive down because the rain has melted all the lower elevation snow.
Now, on to pizza night.

Laura running away as Bodhi attacks Jacki

Seasha, Ellie, Yzerman

Pete, Ted, Blaze, Yzerman, Bodhi, Jessi, Jacki

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