Outdoor enthusiasts were drawn to Lake Oswego in the early 1900s by the promise that it was a community where you could, “Live where you play.” That love for the outdoors is still alive and well among Lake Oswegans and many of them can be found boarding the Mt. Hood Meadows ski bus on Thursdays, starting today, January 5, with the promise of what bus coordinator Linda Hilgart calls, “a mini-vacation in the middle of the week.”
Hilgart has been part of the group for the past 30 years and cites many veterans among the registered list of adventure seekers. Liz Martin is one of them. Despite an admitted fear of skiing, she has signed on for the six week program for more years than she can count. “I’m always happy that I went,” Martin explains. Here are some reasons why.
- Mid-week skiing means more runs. “You have the mountain to yourself,” Martin explains. The lines and crowded lessons that weekend skiers must contend with don’t exist for these Thursday escapees.
- It’s an easy way to get up to the mountain. Greyhound made the slogan famous, “Leave the driving to us,” but it could just as easily work for the Mt. Hood Meadows ski bus. Lake Oswego skiers depart at 7:45 a.m. from the Rolling Hills Church parking lot on Thursdays, beginning January 5 for a series of six to eight weeks, depending on the package, and head back home at 4:00. Walk-ons are also welcome but should check in with Hilgart first to ensure there is space at firstname.lastname@example.org. Buses depart from other locations as well, depending on where you live.
- The people make even a bad day of skiing fun. The camaraderie of this group is what keeps many of them coming back. There are stories to tell from the snow-banked bus that never quite made it up to the mountain to injured skiers, but the group’s chemistry gives them all a happy ending.
- It’s a party on wheels. Calling the trek to and from the mountain a bus ride is like calling the San Francisco Bay to Breakers just a foot race. From the continental breakfast served on the way up to the wine and appetizers on the way home, this is an excuse to have a good time.
Where do you like to get away to ski when Lake Oswego is home base? Do you have any secrets for beating the crowds?