finally...real snow - almost We drove away from feathers nothing short of elated. Well rested after a night next to the campfire and sleeping under the stars and finally headed for what looked to be epic snow.
While the rest of north america has been struggling to get even a decent base this season, Baker has been hit by storm after storm after storm. We are well aware that Mt Baker isn't a part of the Mountain Collective pass we purchased (that we have barely broken even on this year) and also doesn't allow us to use the left over passes we have from whistler/edge pass...but we simply don't care. Its just money. We need SNOW!
We have also had friends (who live next to amazing resorts) chirping about how Baker is their favorite all time resort, so its an easy decision and we point the van north. A few hours later we're winding our way through the woods approaching Baker. Its still raining, but coming down in waves and we know it must be dumping at the resort. If our apps are any indication we are threading the needle perfectly and the next 24hours is the gap in between major storms, so we should have that perfect balance of good road conditions on the way in and epic snow for first tracks!
But, as they say... the best laid plans... We arrive at the resort parking lot to a creepy feeling. It's late afternoon but the place is already cleared out. Not a single car to be found. We drive past every lodge and maintenance building but even past the torrential downpour can tell theres nobody here. We finally pull out the phone, find a signal and pull up the resort website. CLOSED.
Our hearts sink. Our snow season my actually be cursed. This is why we don't make commitments we think to ourselves. This is surely the universe showing us that we shouldn't have decided to build vans and stay in one place for a few months...we should have remained free to go with the flow and follow the winds (or in this case the snow we hope will one day come).
But... we did what we always do, we took a deep breath, climbed in the back for a drink and to talk things over. Calmer heads prevail.
We didn't commit to our friends and business partners to be back in portland for another week. The resort is only closed today and tomorrow and the rain is very clearly forecasted to shift to snow by late tomorrow meaning theres still going to be (hopefully) some good accumulation when they do open up again.
But...that leaves us sitting in an empty parking lot in the pouring rain. Literally, pouring. We hopped out briefly and ran to see if the outhouse at the edge of the parking lot is open and there's 4-6" of standing water in the parking lot...its a giant wading pool (that's clearly going to be a mess as soon as the temps drop again). Not perfect. Not really our idea of camping...but also not as bad as a pemex, and we've made that work several times...so there's at least that.
We start calling around looking for accommodations. No campgrounds nearby. No tiny homes to rent with hot tubs (sounds pretty good right now). Do we drive all the way back to feathers? Seems ridiculous...and by now were pouring a second drink- which pretty much means were staying for the night. We're nothing if not flexible, right? ;)
We decide to wait it out. Solitary existence has never been a problem, the van is both dry and warm... we even have a slight cell signal just in case the water accumulates enough to flush us downhill. We'l be fine.