Chinook pass had a record early opening this year – April 3rd. Many years it’s not open until mid to late May – and it has to get plowed by GPS to find the road. While the northeast had a terrible winter, here in the Pacific Northwest, we barely got winter at all! (Of course, I’m not sure how much the early opening counts as a record, as I see on the Washington State DOT website that in the winter of 1976-1977, it appears that they didn’t actually close the pass at all).
Since we were busy last weekend – I worked Saturday, and we had plans with family last Sunday for Easter – I may-or-may-not have waited until the weekend was over to make sure Destin was aware of the pass opening because I wanted to go with on the trip up 🙂
We had fun tromping around in the snow, though we discovered we really should have worn our gaiters and snow shoes, and I kept ending up halfway to my knees in snow! The views were gorgeous, and it was fun to get out into the fresh, cold air and move around a bit. It was just barely snowing while we were there – much to Destin’s disappointment – and I managed to refrain from making any snow angels out of a desire to stay dry and no colder than I already was!
As we headed back to the truck, we saw a few people with a couple of huskies and a malamute strung together like they were trying to rig up a sled tow (bottom left in the photo above), and some people further up the mountain that were working on coming down. I’m not sure how they got as high as they did – walking around in the snow is hard work, and I didn’t see snowshoes or skis on any of them!
From Chinook Pass, we kept heading out Highway 410 to see Fife’s Peak – remnants of an old volcano. It was a pretty cool view, and we saw lots of evidence of deer, but didn’t actually see any deer. After a little poking around, there was a detour to check out American River.
The river was very pretty, and very clear. It didn’t seem too deep in the area we were checking out. I’ll bet it’s wonderful to play in during the summer when it’s nice and hot outside, and there is less snow melt feeding the river, but I suspect many people would likely have that idea! However, on a Saturday afternoon, in early April, we had it to ourselves.
From the area we’d pulled off to stop, we could see the snow line in the trees. I always find it amusing to see the line were rain or snow stopped or began. The weather report had talked about the snow level dropping to a certain level, and whether they were accurate in their estimate or not, we could see the snow level!
Since we have a JetBoil, and are both rather burned out on sandwiches, I’d brought along a hot lunch to share 🙂 The Mountain House freeze-dried Rice and Chicken is actually pretty good, and beat the pants off of PB&J.
For what I’m sure is likely a pretty popular campsite in the summer, there wasn’t nearly as much litter as we expected – though we found a muffler in the bushes that Destin brought home to dispose of. Please, everybody – if you go hiking or camping, pack your trash (and car parts!) back out!
Today was a bit lower key. We headed up to Destin’s mom’s house, where he fixed the gutter on her garage, and I picked up my canvas bags. I’ve got my Etsy shop back online if anybody is interested 🙂 I also worked a little more on an apron I started on Friday – the pattern is for a work apron, by Anna White, and I followed a couple of the modifications on That’s My Letter to add the pleats. It’s still not finished – I’ve run out of fabric to do the waist tie, but I like it so far. I added a 7″ zipper to the apron, as well, to keep any loose bits contained.
I also came across the “241 Tote” pattern by Noodlehead that I fell in love with and decided that I must make one. Keep an eye out – I’ll definitely be posting photos when I do!