A quick check-in with some friends’ weekend plans revealed the following: As I type this, one is en route to Otter Rock for a day of surfing. Another will be trekking out to Seaquest State Park near St Helens to go yurting. Yet another has a day of volleyball on the books for Saturday. In other words, yeah, it’s spring out there. Time to bask in the predicted 70-degree temps along a trail, in the waves, or on a sand court, with a beer nearby.
So what I am doing? Call me crazy, but I’m still holding on to winter.
You see, to me, right now is the absolute zenith of the ski season. The crowds have moved on. The urge to rise before dawn and study the snow report is gone. Why would you? Instead, you can linger in your PJs. Maybe read the Times. Do some Tai Chi—whatever. All while the sun rises and works its magic, turning the hard pack into butter-soft, spring corn. Once at the mountain, the smell of mini propane grills and suntan lotion (and maybe a beer or two) marinates amongst the fir trees and the slush. Ahhh… Delicious.
For anyone who’s in agreement, Skibowl (which still has a decent amount of snow clinging to the Upper Bowl) has a nice way to kick start the weekend: Today, the 24-hour, Hope on the Slopes event gets underway, with more than a dozen bands, loads of barbecue, and skiing running through the night. Tickets are $35 and benefit the American Cancer Society. Who says you can’t feel good about partying all night?
But if you’ve hung up the skis for good, consider heading out to the Coast. Tomorrow is the beginning of Spring Whale Watch Week. And organizers are expecting, well, a whale of a performance. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) A ranger with the Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay informed me this morning that 133 whales have already been spotted this month. And with clear weather on the horizon for Saturday, you can likely expect many more sightings. For a list of official watching posts check in with the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department.
Lastly, for anyone sticking around town, Saturday would make a fine day to check out the new 4T trail. Departing from the Oregon Zoo, this urban exploration will have you boarding trains, trolley cars, the Portland Aerial Tram, and walking a fair bit of hiking trails. And from the path’s highpoint up on Council Crest, you can scope out a stupendous view of Mount Hood, where winter is still hanging on—and where I’ll be squeezing every last drop out of season.