A bit wet and scrappy today, but good to have the driving done. Just got off the phone with Grant Gunderson over at Ski Journal. Will stop by there and report.
Long slog up here from Carbondale. The Nissan Versa cruised it like a miniature Caddy, XJ was a bit squirrelly, perhaps worn ball joints, or just those new grippy tires leeching to every asphalt rut they could sniff out. Probably a bit of both. Yet amazing how that thing keeps on trucking with 230,000 on the clock.
So what if the XJ doesn’t get the MPG of a Prius? When you can rack that many miles in something that hauls weight, has a transfer case and can actually drive up a dirt road without ripping out the muffler, paying for some extra gas is not as big a deal as it seems — especially when you consider the cost of something new or new-used and include debt service. Besides, without the wind catcher on top XJ still gets an easy 19 mpg on the highway (unless you drive agro, then all bets are off).
I had to laugh when we hit fog at Snoqualmie Pass and woke up to same out our motel window (note to self: not camping was a good idea). As the one who infamously called the PNW “wet and scrappy,” in my history book “Wild Snow,” I’m sure the locals are doing everything in their power to make sure that’s a self fulfilling prophecy every time I show up. They’re probably up there cloud seeding as we speak. Or perhaps even installed fog generators outside our hotel room.
At any rate, it’s great to be here and we’re looking forward to exploring.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.