Sunday, February 2, 2014

Applegate and Garfield Peaks -> The Wombat

Crater Lake National Park
Smith Rock State Park
Oregon is a state of many faces, marked by a wide diversity of landscapes, from the sand beaches and rocky cliffs of the coastline, up and over the Ring of Fire and the Cascade Crest, to the High Desert of the east.  When you gaze down from far above, all these unique places look so close together, one blending seamlessly into the next as mountains rise of out foothills, and rivers wind themselves in broad arcs across valley bottoms and fertile plains as they had for the ocean.  It can seem like the distant reaches of the state are far away from each other, but in reality all this diversity is crammed into a pretty small package.

And it's a good thing too, because this varied landscape creates some crazy and unpredictable weather.  Sometimes, storms roll in from the Pacific for months on end, and it seems like endless days of powder shots will never last forever (remember the winter of '98-'99).  Other times, like this year, a blocking ridge of high pressure can make Oregon feel more like Colorado for weeks and months at a time.  We are exposed to wide extremes in temperature, precipitation and geography, and its awfully hard to predict when conditions will be good for whatever it is that floats your boat in the outdoors.