Finally! After a surprisingly dry December and January, winter is upon us in the Gorge. There are red, frosty, delighted faces careening down the slopes as we speak, and impromptu snowboarding courses popping up in all sorts of interesting places. I, for one, have not yet had the chance to get out the cross-country skis, but from what I hear the backcountry skiing right now is amazing. Fluffy, pristine snow, and the freezing rains have yet to descend upon us. If you can get to the Twin Tunnels between Mosier and Hood River, it is the place to be for ski, cross-country of course, and it is always a wonderful spot to see some magical views of the Columbia River and surrounding cliffs. Afterwards, I suggest a delicious local microbrew from the newly re-opened River City Saloon in downtown Hood River (207 Cascade Ave., 97031). They have a multitude of local beers available, as well as some killer hot drinks to take the chill out of your bones, such as the infamous-but-never-dull Spanish Coffee.
We are all feeling very thankful to have hard-working men and women operating the snowplows that keep our roads safe up here. Unlike in the metropolitan areas hit with winter weather, there have been no major accidents. Most of us are thankful to have an excuse to stay indoors anyway, cozy with a fire burning and a mug of hot cocoa (don’t forget the marshmallow fluff!!). I spent some time today playing in my backyard with my friend’s two amazing daughters, along with my dog, Mr. Han Solo Beelzebub Wigglesworth (you will hear much more about him in the future). I captured some of our special moments, but know that the photos do not do justice to the picturesque quality of my surroundings. I am so blessed to live in this amazing, unique part of Oregon. Happy snowy trails, my friends!