(map and road cams from the ODOT TripCheck page)
So today we need to get back across the Cascades, and of course the weather is being uncooperative. Here it's a mix of snow and rain, with the temperature around 35. Up on the Route 20 passes (Santiam and Tombstone) it's snowing heavily. Throughout the region, the wind is gusting up to 30 miles per hour. It's been howling all night.
And the cables that my sister and brother-in-law bought for their rental van are not fitting well. Each of them have broken a link. We've wired down the loose pieces, and they seem to be working well, but none of us are experienced with chains/cables.
We're considering driving up to the Gorge (I-84), which goes through the Cascades at just above sea-level. The problem there is that we've got to get to the gorge, which might also require chains.
So our choices are 1) Head straight over the mountains, and hope that the chains hold for an hour to an hour and a half. If they break we may have to come back to Sisters or Bend to find traction options, and waste several hours. 2) Take the chains off, and head north on 97 toward the Columbia River Gorge, hoping we don't hit areas where chains are required (more importantly, truly needed). And if we have to waste time putting them back on, will they hold? Not only does the latter option add 115 miles to the trip, we might end up in exactly the same position as we could by just trying to dash through the Cascade passes.
As I've commented several times, Corvallis has spoiled me. It's mild and we just don't get winter weather, with unusual exceptions. The temperature there now is low forties, with a predicted high of 47 degrees today. I have enjoyed the snow here in Bend, and taken many pictures of it over the last few days, some of which I will post sooner or later. But I've had my fill, and snow is great as long as you're just admiring it. Actually dealing with it is a pain in the butt.
A Close Look at the Irvingtonian
1 day ago