I owe a lot of my adventurous nature to the Purdue Outing Club (POC), a group of crazy outdoorsy college kids at Purdue University that somehow finds adventure while living in the middle of the cornfields of Indiana. I remember taking regular rock climbing trips to the Red River Gorge in Kentucky, driving all the way to West Virginia or North Carolina for whitewater kayaking trips, exploring the many caves of southern Indiana, or hitting up one of the several mountain biking trails around our college town. Whether it was all those crazy parties we had, or the countless hours stuck in a car with each other, or depending on each other to catch our climbing fall or rescue us when we swam in a big rapid… we forged some of the strongest friendships that I know of.
So every year, the POC alumni hold a winter reunion (actually we had a summer reunion this year too at Red Rocks, maybe I’ll post those photos later). This year we decided to go to the Seattlites’ home ski resort – Stevens Pass. This winter had been seriously outstanding so far, with consistent snowfall and colder weather – keeping the snow light and dry! But just as our luck would have it, the one weekend where we hosted the POC reunion, the snow was shit – it warmed up and rained earlier that week, then got cold again, so it was just crusty crap. We ended up skiing on Saturday and Monday, which I didn’t photograph, but on Sunday we hiked off our hangovers at some nearby trails. It was pretty cloudy, but had signs of clearing up. First we stopped by Eagle Falls just to check it out. I had never been down there before, but I know in the summers people go sunbathe down there. I’ve spent a lot of time whitewater kayaking, so I really like looking at rapids, waterfalls, strange pulsing currents created by underwater features, exposed rocks that have been carved out into bizarre shapes after years of water flowing over them. Because of the popularity of the area, there was a lot of graffiti on the rocks – which was an unusual contrast of the classic PNW nature – mossy, wet, rocky, huge trees, everything green – and humanity. Next we drove down the road and did the short hike to the Heybrook Lookout. We were chasing the visibility, as the clouds had somewhat opened up, but it seemed like some weather was rolling in. Hiking up we passed through areas where the trees were completely enveloped in moss from bottom to top – another classic PNW sight. From the lookout, we had dramatic views of Mt. Baring and Mt. Index – just barely visible through the cloudy cover. We had some lunch and enjoyed the views, and eventually headed back to the cabin to hot tub. Another fun POC adventure. Until next year!