Willamette World News

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Dazzling white snow

It was once a fantasy for me, a lady from a country with a humid subtropical climate, to see real dazzling white snow. But this dream is now realized to become a fantastic memory. When I first heard there would be a snowshoeing trip to Crater Lake National Park organized the Outdoor Program, I was tremendously excited and signed up without a second of hesitation.

This little adventure began in a rainy afternoon in mid-March. We put on warm winter clothes and backpack loads of belongings, including the sleeping bags. Then we walked straight to the Sparks field to meet the others. After filling the entire car trunk with backpacks, we started our exhilarating journey……
Although the sky looked depressingly gray, it still did not diminish my excitement, looking forward to seeing the real snow. On the way there, it was getting darker and a sharp decline in the temperature gave me a shiver. My friends asked me to look out the window and I realized that there were snowflakes strewing the road. With the frosty wind, more and more snowflakes fluttered from the dark sky. We then came to the entrance of a stunning white snow “maze” with huge snow walls at two sides.
Our car was full of international students from different countries. Even though some of them came from European countries, they had not seen such an enormous amount of lingering snow before. We were in search of the right lodge for our stay in the complete darkness. Passing by a number of lodges with icicles hanging from the eaves, we still could not find our lodge. We eventually found our lodge and some of us got out of the car and went to find the key of the lodge under dim light. But they could not found anything. Despite our intense feelings of hunger and tiredness, those of us remaining in the car played our music and energetically sang in a loud volumes. Without any phone reception and a stepwise drop in the amount of car diesel, our leaders decided to “borrow” the fire station to spend our night there. Beyond my expectation, there was no one in the fire station, not even a fireman. It reminded me of the overwhelming American’s friendliness, that the fire station was too easy to be break into.
In the fire station, we decided to make ourselves at home. We unpacked our stuff and ate bagels as our dinner. We spread out our blankets and sleeping bags. Watching the Batman movie, “The Dark Knight,” was the original entertainment for that night, but most of us lying on the hard, cold floor could not resist the heaviness of our eye lids and fell into a deep sleep. The sleep was not long and was interrupted by the arrival of an inspector questioning our unanticipated stay. The leaders immediately explained the whole story to the inspector. In order to show our sincerity, we tidied up and left the place in a flash.
Unbelievably surrounded by the huge snow walls in this wonderful morning, we stood in the middle of the snow-covered wilderness. The dazzle of the white snow made me not even open my eyes. I took off my gloves and squatted down to touch and feel the snow in my warm palms. It was so soft and seemed intangible. A knowledgeable ranger was invited to guide us for the snowshoe walk. I put on my pair of giant snowshoes and walked like a penguin, slowly, step by step. We started our snowshoe walk.
While the ranger was interpreting the ecology and the mystery of the Nature, we decided to create more fun……..
We made ourselves huge snowballs and threw them hardly to the others. We got all wet but highly enjoyed it. After a long walk, some of us felt thirsty and grabbed a handful of snow and tasted it. Like the ranger said, although it had plain taste, I could still taste the freshness of the snow. This two-hour walk gave me a thorough understanding on the ecology of this gorgeous snow-capped mountain. Before we left, I grabbed a small snowball and flavored it with honey syrup. It was surprisingly awesome!

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