Report from January 14, 2022
Day #1 of the SnowBrains Powder Highway 2022 trip was a weird one…
The plan was to drive the 8-hours (580-miles) from Jackson, WY to Spokane, WA, and pick up my old buddy from the Cal Ski Team (UC Berkeley), Duane, at the Spokane Airport at 9:30 pm.
Follow along with us on our Instagram Story for daily updates!
The following day, we’d immigrate into Canada, lock onto the Powder Highway, and go where the best snow takes us.
On the road in Jackson, WY at 7 am.
Breakfast skipped (I like to do 24-hour fasts on travel days).
Teton Pass wasn’t bad, thank God.
Once in Idaho, an arduous fog had draped itself over everything.
Strained eyes, no views, no Tetons, both hands on the wheel.
One small, fogless window let the sunrise in for 2-minutes then smeared it away.
I-15 was a dream after the 2-lane roads.
No fog, 80mph speed limit, mostly straight.
The sunshine finally prevailed revealing mostly blues and whites and some yellows with one bald eagle poised like an Egyptian pharaoh on a leaning wooden fencepost.
After the hard left onto winding I-90 the weather turned and I began to worry.
Not about the roads, but about the temps…
It was 40ºF and raining.
I climbed up Lookout Pass and dropped into Idaho without a flake of snow – all rain.
I started to freak out.
An atmospheric river had just ripped through the Pacific Northwest raining on the tops of most mountains.
I’d heard that BC had mostly survived this storm without the R-word but in this moment, I wasn’t sure anymore…
I stopped for gas in Coeur d’Alene and made some calls to friends in the great white north.
The BC reports weren’t great:
- Revelstoke had a zipper crust up high and mashed potatoes down low after a wet snow, heat, then cold event
- Red Mountain sounded like it was going to be only groomers due to an off-piste crust
- I couldn’t get any info on Whitewater
There was some good news:
- Oli said Revelstoke was supposed to get 25cms of snow this weekend
I finished the last bit of the drive to Spokane and learned something new.
Coeur d’Alene and Spokane are fully connected now.
One long city called Spokane Valley, apparently.
I rolled into Motel 6, dragged in some gear, grabbed my barbells, and got a quick workout in to wash the road off me.
Yes, I bring two barbells and a pullup bar everywhere I go on the road 🙂
From there I zipped out in the fog-drenched night and bought a new windshield wiper blade for the passenger side (you’re welcome, Duane).
I broke my fast in Fiesta Charra II with an Enchiladas Suizas that hit the spot.
Duane landed at 9:30 pm PT and I left the room.
The fog was now on a truly insane level.
30mph on the freeway.
Every light felt blinding.
I jumped out of the car, gave him a big hug, and the stoke sky-rocketed.
Here we go…