We decided to spend a couple of days in Hood River and get in a couple hikes before we head north to Bellevue for the Christmas holiday. We had looked at going to Cougar or down to the southern coastline, but decided the shorter drive after work and snow was what we wanted.
Thursday after work we headed out for the slow drive out I-84E to Hood River. But this drive was much better than the +4hr drive down to southern Oregon like we planned. Natalie booked a familiar hotel for us to spend a couple nights in. We don’t ask for much and really just need a place to feel safe and hang our coats. The Sunset motel seems to be perfect for us. Only a mile from down town Hood River, just off the freeway and right across the street from a Safeway and other stores. The room isn’t big, but enough room for us to spread out.
The weather was not supposed to be great in the afternoon so we weren’t sure how to spend our Saturday afternoon. We wanted to go somewhere with a view of Mt Hood and maybe not too many people. We settled on Chinidere Mountain; a hike we have done during the summer with some amazing views of hood and the forest below. We thought there might be a light dusting of snow, but nothing we couldn’t hike through.
We arrived on FSR 1310 and began to ascend. There was a sign mentioning that there was “no winter maintenance” on the road ahead. With a lifted 4x4, I wasn’t too worried about the road. Our first obstacle was a rock slide that threw some rocks and boulders onto the road. We took a few minutes to clear out the worst of the rocks and boulders and then pressed on. We then started to hit snow, which got deeper as we ascended. As we trail-blazed and the snow got deeper the truck started to hop and bounce around. The truck was working harder to get through the snow and I started to question if we should try and go another 2.5mi in the snow to the trail head. The only tracks in the snow were from a fox and my Goodyear tires. This meant we were alone! Great for the solitude and quiet, but not so good if we have a breakdown or get stuck. It was time to pause and come up with a new plan. Looking up towards where we would probably be hiking, the clouds started to roll in and we would not have a great view from the top. On top of that I didn’t bring a sweatshirt or something to wear under my jacket, so I would have been cold the whole way.
Our new plan was to get out the Walmart Christmas onesies, crack a beer and take some funny photos. I had this idea in mind of story-boarding the photos when I shared them on social media. I tried to craft them around a naughty elf breaking into my cooler. Having fresh snow and the place to ourselves we had a blast. We ended spending 2 hours goofing around.
This was an unplanned spontaneous afternoon in the snow with Walmart onesies and had a blast. We seem to always structure our outings and they are pretty much predictable. But days like this are my favorite; where we make something out of nothing. These are probably some of my favorite goofing around images that we have done. So, get out there and don’t be discouraged if everything doesn’t go as you planned. Sometimes those unplanned afternoons are the most memorable.