Broken Plans and Caravans

Paps cutting his nails from the front porch.

Paps cutting his nails from the front porch.

The plan was Bozeman, but we changed that plan.  (Long story, but I’ll take the blame…something about a hurt finger and a long drive).  So we ended up on a short five day adventure around the pacific northwest.  Here’s how it went…

We left on a Wednesday morning and started driving.  We just drove.  We had a plan to try to summit a few “easy” peaks, but were shut down by bad weather.  What’s the point of going up high if there isn’t anything to see?

We ended up with a good weather window for a few hours that day so we headed to Mt Hood to check an item off my bucket list: a quick jaunt up French’s Dome to see the sunset. I have a hurt finger, so climbing is something I am trying to avoid at this time.  So I did it with one hand and balanced with the palm of my hurt hand.  The route we did was “Giant’s Staircase.”  It’s a quick easy way to get to the top (5.6) and can be done when the temperature is around freezing (though, not enjoyable).

32 degrees and dropping

32 degrees and dropping

Bringing up the rear..one handed and frozen.

Bringing up the rear…one handed and frozen.

We made it to the top!!!

We made it to the top!!!

Teamwork and cold feet.

Teamwork and cold feet.

Side-note: While Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgenson were tearing up the Dawn Wall, we were tearing up French’s dome…

So then we didn’t know what to do.  We had an aborted weekend plan and some time to kill so we headed to Smith Rock.  We woke up at the campground and had our first breakfast with the van.  Turkey Chili from Panera, reheated.

First time using the Stansport two burner camp stove.

First time using the Stansport two burner camp stove.

Paps then climbed a couple of routes.  After the third route we bailed and attempted to get warm.  We woke up the next morning and decided to head to Mt Hood due to the cold.

Paps on Phoenix.

Paps on Phoenix.

Paps on the rappel from Phoenix

Paps on the rappel from Phoenix

Arriving to Mt Hood.

Arriving at Mt Hood.

In the meantime, and beforehand, there was some peer pressure to meet up with our other adventure vehicle buddies and “shred the gnar” (is that right?) at Mt Hood.  We would then place our vehicles (one truck, two vans) strategically to give us a courtyard to hang out in.  It worked out well, but only for a night.

Blue skies when we arrived.

Blue skies when we arrived.

Erin tearing it up at sunset! Go girl!

Erin tearing it up at sunset! Go girl!

Nice scenery

Nice scenery

And alas, the birth of a dream.

Overnight parking take over by the "A" team.

Overnight parking taken over by the “A” team.

Gotta love the setup.

Gotta love the setup.

Propane fires all around.

Propane fires all around.

Early Morning "First chair" breakfast.

Early Morning “First chair” breakfast.

So, these cats (as Paps would call them) had done this the weekend before while I was on call.  After the numerous texts and pics, we had to try it.  It was a blast..then this happened…

Rain all day

Rain all day

This is why every other picture you will see, will be indoors with no more ski pics.  We were drenched.  But, it was great snow!  And we gave it a hard go with all the rain.  By the end of the day this is how we ended up…

Drying out

Drying out

Lunch in the lower lodge.

Lunch in the lower lodge.

Friends all around.

Friends all around.

Closing down the lower lodge to dry out our gear, followed by games in the upper lodge

Closing down the lower lodge to dry out our gear, followed by games in the upper lodge

So we finished the night playing games in the upper lodge, and fell asleep being rocked by the wind (literally thought the van the going to take out another car after tumbling over.  Dramamine came in super handy).  The next morning we did a run but bailed due to all the ice and wet gear.

Driving home.

Driving home.

Now for the van…not much to update.  The cabinets stay closed..thank you Paps and Home Depot!  Since we like to have fun and build the van, some things are just on hold until we get time.  We still need to do underneath the bed (make drawers, organize gear), finish the water tank which will be a bench,  add a water faucet, and a whole lot more.  In the meantime we are going to have fun.  We don’t have forever in the PNW so we are trying to take advantage of the time we have!

It's getting there...

It’s getting there…

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In the meantime, climb on!

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Last shot in the lodge. Thanks to everyone for taking the pics and letting me use them for the post!

Last shot in the lodge. Thanks to everyone for taking the pics and letting me use them for the post!

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