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.
After weeks of planning and prepartion Andy, Walter and I were finally on the road, heading out for our annual snow camp.
The county plowed about four miles up the road, then abruptly stopped, leaving a berm of ice blocking the way. We parked the truck and pulled the sleds out.
It was about 930 Friday morning when we started out for camp.
We left the sleds on the road and pushed through the brush until we found a suitable camp site on the river.
First things first: Using some of my home made fire starter, I got a fire going so our lunch could heat while we set up camp.
We got busy setting up our tents while the taco things warmed by the fire.
Firewood was easily gathered from the surrounding stands of alder. Anticipating a change in the weather we got in a good stack of wood while it was still dry.
Pausing for lunch, we enjoyed shirt-sleeve weather on the beach.
By the time the shadows lengthened, we had our camp squared away, the tents set up and a tarp stretched for a kitchen shelter.
Andy made beans for dinner.
We watched the sun set from the comfort of our lean-to, with a blazing campfire to stave off the cold.
Too many stars to count.
Saturday morning was frosty, but still dry.
Kindling the morning fire, I put a pot of river water on to boil so we could make tea.
Sausage patties and Cajun pancakes for breakfast.
Cap’n Ron hiked in Saturday for a visit.
The Cap’n brought his drone with him, providing some aerial footage of our camp. I will post the videos as I get them edited.
Anticipating snow, I put a tarp over my tent.
After Cap’n Ron went home we put some water on the boil. Happy hour first, then dinner.
We had Ramen noodles for dinner and freeze-dried ice cream sandwiches for desert.
The moon was setting as I got up Sunday morning
It was a brisk morning and I wasted no time getting the fire going.
Andy had a treat for us – Biscuits and Gravy for breakfast.
The Mountain House B&G was suprisingly tasty.
I had stacked some rocks on the bank to check for rising water. The water rose about 4″ overnight. We were camped on low ground, hence my concern, but it worked out Okay.
After breakfast we hiked up to Cabbage Creek Road and followed it south along the opposite bank of the Little White.
We followed a compass bearing through the wood from the road to the river’s banks.
The rotten snow under the trees would give way unexpectedly, encouraging us to pause and reflect upon the beauty of nature.
When we emerged on the river bank we were rewarded with a new persective of our campsite.
We had thought there might be some better place to camp on the far side of the river, but there are so many snags and widowmakers it might prove difficult to find a safe spot. We do plan to exlore some more when the snow is off the ground.
Our excursion took us a little over two hours to complete. We were hungry when we got back to camp.
Brats and beer hit the spot.
We had Mountain House again for dinner, this time beef Stroganoff. Another winner.
The night sky was spectacular, but a cold breeze and dropping temperature foretold a change in the weather.
We turned in, our last night in camp.
We woke to fresh snow on our final day at camp.
The snow presented certain challenges first thing in the morning.
Not the least of which was the ice encased latrine rail.
We fortified ourselves with tea and a hot bowl of oatmeal.
We struck camp and packed our sleds,
Once on the road, it was a short haul back to where we left the truck.
We loaded our gear into the truck and headed home. Snow Camp 2022 had come to an end.