The Great Arctic CC Walk of 2013: Powder Snow And Minus 10 F In Western Oregon?!

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By now it’s probably old news that a powerful arctic storm and cold air blew through much of the West in the past couple of days. This was unlike anything we’d ever experienced here on the mild western side of Oregon. We get the occasional snowfall, usually wet and heavy and gone within 24 hours or so. But this time, it was like being transported to Montana or Utah: the most perfect light powder snow, about seven inches or more, and freezing temperatures in its wake. It was -10 F (-23 C) last night, only two degrees from shattering the all-time record low ever recorded in Eugene.

And since snow removal is a bit of a relaxed affair here, and salt is a strict no-no, the best and smartest way to experience it was to leave the Forester sit, and head out on foot, skis, or snow shoes. So we set out for Skinner Butte, to document the great arctic winter of 2013 as well as the CCs along the way.

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The first car worthy of fumbling out the camera from the pocket is this ’66 LeMans. Guess which car will be the first to eventually venture out?

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This diesel VW pickup’s yellow paint job really stands out against all the white.

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A frigid Panther.

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Don’t old Volvos just always look right at home in the snow? I’m not familiar with this one, and from the looks of it, it has been out and about already.

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Will this start as readily as the old Volvo?

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Rectilinear meets curvaceous.

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Some more snowy Swedes. And the second box-Panther Lincoln so far, back there against that shed, where it’s been sitting for over a decade. A boxy theme is developing on this walk.

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One of my favorite three-somes in Eugene. That ’72 Cadillac was the subject of the first CC I ever wrote, almost five years ago. It’s still there.

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Our destination. This is just a couple of blocks from downtown, and the streets are almost devoid of cars.

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The exposed basalt columns on its western side are enhanced by the snow. Nobody climbing today.

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Eugene Skinner was the town founder, and in its earliest days it was commonly referred to as “Skinner’s Mudhole”. Not today.

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To the east, the Cascade foothills rise, and two of the Three Sisters are just barely visible on the horizon.

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Our “grandson” (younger son’s dog) is staying with us for a week. His drool has frozen into a swinging pendulum.

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Wow, it must have snowed a lot more in this neighborhood, from the looks of this VW bus.

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This is not an ideal vehicle for the snow.

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This former object of my musings has been tagged.

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The third Volvo box and the third box-Panther Lincoln.

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Waiting to cross Sixth Avenue, the busiest thoroughfare in the downtown area. Still packed snow, and very few cars. But what’s that one, the second one? A Subaru BRAT, no less.

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After walking some two hours, we would have stopped into the Falling Rain Pour House for their killer home-smoked pastrami sandwiches and a brew, but I forgot my wallet. Someone in the parking lot is well prepared for the conditions.

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And who are you kidding? Not me, despite that emblem looking so authentic.

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(Cold) air cooled (and heated) VW lovers live here. Looks like the double-cab pickup might have been out already.

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Time for a late lunch at home and some hot tea. The view out our back windows to Spencer Butte is a winter wonderland. In a couple of days the rain is due back and this will all soon be a distant memory.