Saturday, September 5, 2015

BLIZZARD! (and not the Dairy Queen kind...)

9/4: (13.7 miles) Last night we had travelled to Salem, OR to see my sister and this morning we were on the way back. The car was packed with my dad, step-aunt, and I plus our packs and a bunch of stuff to take to Bend from Salem. I got my free birthday Starbucks and we headed out. About 2 hours later we reached the trailhead at Santiam Pass. My dad and I put on our packs and started off. Most of the day was a nice jolly hike with just the occasional sprinkle of rain, but a couple miles before our planned campsite the snow started. It wasn't too bad until we got near the lake where we were camping- then it really picked up and it was freezing. We quickly set up our 2 person tent and jumped inside. After about half an hour of "relaxing" we made dinner, then argued about how we were going to sleep in the tent (fortunately there ended up being plenty of room). We were both shivering in our sleeping bags and didn't sleep very well.

9/5: (~15 miles) We got up around 7:20 (pretty late for us because we usually get going at 6:30) and slowly started packing up our stuff. It was still snowing and VERY cold. My dad decided to skip breakfast while I made breakfast in the tent (he was standing outside because..... actually I still don't know why). We begrudgingly folded up the tent (which is very hard to do with numb hands) and went on our "merry" way. Almost immediately we were walking along the top of an exposed ridge (with only lifeless trees for cover) in a couple inches of snow where the freezing wind was blasting our left sides with snow. Fun times. We finally got cover in some woods and that was most of the morning. We heard from a couple other hikers about a possible campground ahead but it would turn a 20 mile day into a 24 mile day (that my dad wasn't feeling capable of). But we saw a sign later with a map of a limited entry area containing Pamelia Lake. My dad remembered that you could get to Pamelia Lake from Highway 20 and I knew that the junction was in only ~5 miles. So we texted my step mom and she picked us up at the Pamelia Lake Trail at 3. Now I'm back in Bend after a shower, sleeping in a bed again, eating BBQ, and doing many things I NEVER thought I'd be doing when I was hiking this morning.

[Future Plans]: While this storm was supposedly a freak storm and the weather should be fine, in the next couple days I'll be skipping up to Portland, then to Cascade Locks and starting Washington. The weather looks like it'll cooperate and I can always come back and do this section of Oregon (especially since my parents live so close to where I got off).


  1. Sounds like an early blast of winter. But the forecast is for a warning trend. Back in the 80's by Tuesday or Wednesday. You may not need to jump. And the Mt Jefferson area is superb scenery!
    Hey, I just downloaded the halfmile ap.

  2. Reading this again reminds me how miserable it was. The sloshing of water in my shoes all day and no gloves. But the Reese's pieces at the end were awesome!