In the Lake of the Woods
Hard to believe we encountered such winter this weekend due east in the Cascade Mountains near Santiam Pass. We lucked out in snagging one of the hard-to-get U.S. Forest Service cabins at the Fish Lake camp for the night. The forest fire outposts all over the Northwest are rented out for winter camping in the off-season. But we almost didn’t find our dear little cabin. We forgot to cross Highway 20 and snowshoed through pillowy drifts for an hour (with heavy overnight packs on!) before realizing we went the wrong way. Doh! Dan’s rental snowshoes kept coming unstrapped. We really need to invest in a pair. I’d love to do it more on hilly terrain where you really need poles. Hey, at least we were spared Charity Noble’s fate–it’s a treacherous pass. We thought we might have to sleep in the snow that night.
But luckily we came to our senses, turned around and eventually made our 3/4-mile trip to our cabin, lit with solar-powered fixtures with a propane stove that didn’t work for heat. But the stove did, so we feasted on hot dogs, baked beans and wine. We were safe at last. We had the solitude of the Oregon wilderness to ourselves. And the plastic-covered mattress sure made us appreciate the hotel in Bend last night!