Windy Point

February 19, 1995

The sky was gloomy overhead and darker still to the west, as our little group gathered at SEHS. (Mercifully, no one asked me to predict the weather!) We climbed into two cars and headed east, and were soon overtaken by rain — warm rain. It rained most of the way to Santiam Pass, then, as we started down the other side we caught a glimpse of the sun and a patch of blue. All day, I waited for the rain to catch up with us; but it must have turned left at the pass. Probably had something to do with being in the company of an insufferable optimist (hubby Gene)! The ruts through the snow had worn down to the pavement and both cars were dragging their bellies, so we parked about a quarter mile short of the gate. The snow was OK — “spring skiing conditions.” Mardi set herself a goal of about two miles (due to sore feet) and turned back early, as planned. Luis, a visitor from Honduras, joined her — not according to plan! On snow and skis for the second time in his life, Luis wasn’t having any difficulty getting up the road. In fact, he was bushwhacking up in the trees, looking for a little more excitement. To make a long story short, he survived, but one of his poles did not. The rest of us enjoyed the four uphill miles to Windy Point, cooled by a breeze that was almost balmy, in alternating sun and shadow. Windy Point, true to its name, was windy. The bend in the road had been swept completely clear of snow for a distance of about 50 yards, even though the road was covered to a depth of several feet before and after that high point. The sun was warm; and we found shelter from the wind in niches on the leeward side of the rocky outcropping that is called Windy Point. The tops of the major peaks were lost in the clouds, but the view out across the lava and sculpted snow was very nice indeed. After a leisurely lunch and posing for a picture or two, we headed back down to rejoin the rest of the group. Enjoying the day that turned out to be better than anyone had any reason to expect were: Bea Fontana (leader), Mardi Klotz, Josh Ladau, Anne McLucas, Luis Enrique Paz and Gene Thaxton.

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