As some of you may know, our planned road trip to central Oregon and the California coast has been delayed because of Clifford being too sick to drive. Today is a beautiful blue-sky and real-cloud kind of day, and it feels like we should be outside enjoying it. This is the first day that he feels well enough to go for a drive, so we decide to make a short road trip over Lookout Pass to the exit at Taft on the Montana side. We have been here before, planning to explore the road up the canyon in hopes of finding a place alongside a creek where we can park the Pony (our little pop-up) for shorter close-to-home camping outings, but the road has always been too snowy. Well, this time we are able to go about a quarter of a mile before we begin sinking too deep into the slushy snow. So, no more exploring here today, but at least it is a quarter mile further than we’ve been before.
As we are heading back out to the interstate, we see a forest road alongside a stream that somewhat parallels the highway. We decide to explore it a ways in case it pulls away from the interstate and provides a peaceful spot to pull over – today for a little picnic that I put together for us and as a potential place to camp in the future. A short way in, we stop so I can take photos of the colorful dogwood bushes and the lovely clear-water stream, but we are still on the lookout for a place to pull off the road.
The gravel road has lots of puddles from the melting snow, but it looks do-able…. and it is for awhile. But then we run into snow; Clifford says it is okay: the snow is hard-packed and in the shade, so we’ll be fine. To make a long story short, it is a hairy five miles of slipping and slushing and we are quite relieved when the forest road merges with the frontage road of the town at the next exit.
Instead of a picnic by the creek, which is what I had envisioned for us, we have our picnic at the rest stop up the road, sitting at a picnic table in the sun to enjoy our lunch.
Although it was a bit more of an adventure than we bargained for, we are grateful that it ends well and that we had an outing on this lovely day.