A January Snowshoe Excursion


The Adventurer, Vernon Wade

Vernon was born in the Pacific Northwest and still lives in the shadow of Mt. Hood, near the small town where he grew up. Vernon has spent decades wandering the hills, hunting mushrooms, camping and riding motorcycles into the remotest nooks and crannies to be found in the region.

Preparing for an upcoming snow camp, Andy and I set out today to see how we’d do on snowshoes and check out potential campsites within our walking distance. Andy borrowed snowshoes from our brother, Dave,


I had a new roll-up deer drag I had never used. When we got to the trailhead, I strapped my chair, gear bag and stove to the drag and harnessed it to Walter Dawg. I’m not sure if I want to use it when we go camping. It wouldn’t track and tended to roll over on uneven snow. Walter pulled it without complaint, but I was worried we’d lose something if it tipped over.




It took about an hour to reach the turn around point. We did OK for a couple of fat old men who never snowshoe and seldom hike. Made it about a mile and one half from the junction. Probably could have gone farther, but it is a good thing we turned around where we did. My hamstrings were really hurting by the time we got back to the truck – I might have pulled up lame if we were out much longer.







We tried walking around a bit without the snowshoes. The snow was almost firm enough to hold us but every so often it would give way unexpectedly, sinking one leg up to the knee. Rather than risk injury, we strapped our snowshoes back on.

Retracing our steps we stopped for lunch in a sunny clearcut.








Andy wandered about taking photographs while I got the BioLite Campstove lit. I fried some bacon and made grilled cheese sandwiches; we washed them down with cold beer.











After we ate I made Ibarra hot choclate with just a splash of rum and Shanky’s Whip.










Before heading back I cut some battens and lashed them to the sled, hoping to improve the stability. It worked until they came loose. I will have to make a more permanent modifaction if I use this sled again.






We checked the maps, looking for a stream we might camp near next month. Andy ranged around through the woods looking for the water; we could hear it but we couldn’t locate it.








The sun was setting by the time we made it back to the truck.

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