On its surface, this should be relatively obvious: get in the car and drive there. Duh. Well, the TDI Jetta, Flash, has been hard starting since the weather started getting colder in the valley. He had some starting issues in late Summer/Fall too. I verified the alternator and replaced the battery, even re-did the vacuum lines and replaced the anti-shudder valve along the way (the original had a bunch of PO goop on it presumably to keep it working). My last resort, which I probably should have done sooner, was to replace the glow plugs. I replaced the glow plugs in the bus a while back and that motor fires right up every time. Since I went off-script for sourcing those plugs, I went to the same source for the Jetta: AccurateDiesel. They are based in Michigan and manufacture glow plugs for all kinds of vehicles, mostly domestic trucks. For $55 delivered, they make TDI plugs. I'm sure some will read this and bristle at not using Bosch plugs. It's okay. Make your own choices. These plugs work great, and the Jetta starts more responsively than before.
|Beer Stube deck|
Expectedly, the traffic through the city was very light. It wasn't until we were on I-84 that we started really seeing other cars. With such light friction, we were in Sandy shortly after 8 and chaining-up along the 26 in the Mt Hood Forest by 8:30. We were met with cries of Merry Christmas from the parking lot attendant at SkiBowl, as well as a less-than-1/3-full lot.
The weather guys in the Portland area have been trying to outdo each other with their descriptions of the snow that has been hammering the Cascade Mountains this past week. Each day, there has been measurable snowfall of more than 6". Some days have seen almost a foot. With the weather folks going bonkers and the resorts also describing the snow as some of the best ever, our expectations were suitably high. Very high. We were gloriously not disappointed.
The snow was arguably perfect. There was maybe 2-3" of fluff atop a firm base. Aside from a little bit, and I mean little, of icy at the very top of Upper Reynolds where the sun break had struck, SkiBowl was ice-free. The riding was fast, but controllable, allowing new and experienced riders alike an opportunity to have a day of their choosing. Most of the resort had been groomed, but "Surprise" hadn't so we were able to get our rough-stuff-fluff fix in as well.
|Upper Bowl from lift|
Boo and I tried just about everything SkiBowl had to offer. We started at the Beer Stube after getting our passes, and sampled the platter of fries from the cafeteria next door. The pours were strong, and the pile of fries big enough that we shared it with the ladies at the table next to us. After some runs and another round, we took the shuttle over to the Cascade Lodge (SkiBowl East) for dinner. Once we conquered the queue at Multipor, we hit the Historic Warming Hut for Americano's. At each stop, the servers were great, friendly and responsive. The shuttle driver chatted us up as we negotiated the traffic in Govy.
|Upper Reynolds from below|
We had a great holiday, arriving home completely tapped from playing in the snow all day. With comments of the "best Christmas ever", we both look forward to what could be an amazing season on the mountain. So, if you were like me, skeptical of snow after last year, I strongly encourage you to go up... just bring your positive happy-to-be-there energy :)
That's it for today. Thanks, as always, for following along, This will be my last post for the year, so Happy New Year 2016.