When the time came, I drove my car across the country, packed full of camping and skiing gear. I planned to be gone for a month, so as I made my way to Oregon, I stopped off in Colorado and Utah to ski with friends. Mt. Hood was my ultimate destination. Every year in the spring, hundreds of skiers make their way to Mt. Hood, Oregon to camp in the woods and ski together. I’d meet up with a few friends and camp out for the first time in Mt. Hood National Forest, spending our days skiing and our nights catching up.
Quickly, we learned how unprepared we were for the rain and cold of camping on Mt. Hood. I’d brought just a sleeping bag and a tent, neither of which were waterproof. After a week or two, most of my friends had left, driven out by the crazy weather, but I didn’t mind it too much. I spent my days skiing in one of the most beautiful places I’d ever seen, and the rain seemed to stick mostly to the base of the mountain, leaving the snow pristine.
Despite the cold camping weather, it was the best month of my life. Every day, I woke up in beautiful wilderness, made breakfast with friends, and spent the rest of the day on the mountain. We hung out and grilled lunch together, drying out our gear in the sun and laughing about all our attempts at new tricks we’d tried so far that day. At night, we made big fires and big dinners, drinking and swapping ski stories. Being surrounded by people who shared my passion felt unreal. I made so many good friends that spring, people from all over the country.