#ExplOregon: We would have died. Literally.

I proudly pack ALL of my weekend adventuring gear and backpacking essentials into a 22L Columbia pack and wrangled tent poles through airport security with big plans for some backcountry backpacking in Oregon with Erin and Weez. After a day of wandering around Portland on my own it was time to explore the great outdoors. On Friday morning I carefully packed up my food and reassessed my layers. The weather was much chilly than forecasted but we had high hopes for rising temps as the world woke up.

By mid morning we’d packed everything into the car and headed southeast toward the Three Fingered Jack trailhead. Our game plan was to spend the next two days/nights backpacking the 20-24ish [depending upon which website you ask] loop around Three Fingered Jack. In our diluted minds we’d spend the days hiking and exploring than camp along the trail with rainy but bearable temperatures that *might* drop below 20 degrees. The closer we got to our destination the more “uh, we might die” talk swirled around the car. The thermometer in the car kept spitting out lower temperatures…by the time we got to the trailhead, at 2pm, it was reading 11 degrees. ELEVEN DEGREES! In the afternoon…on a very sunny day. Oh, and we were surrounded by heaping piles of snow. As in the trailhead was not accessible because it was buried under 2-3 feet of fresh snow. This was not going as planned…
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Learning the Cold Way {Winter Camping}

Remember that one time when we went winter camping with Sierra Trading Post? Turns out it was more than just a weekend in the wilderness. For us it doubled as a bit of a learning experience. Of course we expected a learning curve of some sort but we weren’t prepared for one quite as cold…

As I mentioned earlier we were a little under prepared in the gear department. We knew that going in and we knew it wouldn’t be a perfectly comfortable night. Heck, Chris and I are yet to figure out how to have a “perfectly comfortable night” while camping. We tend to be rather minimalist in our packing and I think we pay for it while attempting to sleep. This time we packed everything we owned but when you don’t have quite the right gear it doesn’t matter.
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Keeping the Chaos Fun

Plans are great. They give you a purpose in life and expectations for your future. We all makes plans and usually have high hopes for things to go as planned. Some times they do. Other times…not so much. Reality happens, life gets in the way, roads ice over…

When plans to awry things get interesting. More often than not you can react one of two ways – work yourself into a quivering mass of anger or readjust your expectations and enjoy. This past weekend I watched a lot of people lose their cool over things they had no control over, all while I did what I could to take a step back and find some fun in the chaos.
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Riding Solo-ish

Welp, all that “hey, look at me because I might be a runner” blabber clearly did not work as a long-term motivator. All that running I was supposed to do this weekend? Yea, I decided to take up cross-training instead. I’d blame all the snow that finally arrived in Denver Read more…

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