5/11/07 — I’ve had a productive week of writing, and now for the icing on the cake! Early tomorrow morning my wife, Debbie, and I leave for a trip into the backcountry of the Oregon Cascades. We’ll drive from Corvallis to the north side of Mt. Hood, where, despite the fact that it is mid May, the snow is still deep. We’ll snowshoe (Debbie) and ski (me) up a trail that gains two thousand feet of elevation in two milesSteep, yes, but worth it. Because just below timberline sits a rustic-but-lovely cabin where we’ll be staying with our close friends, Ethan and Sandy, and Gary and Sally. And that afternoon, weather permitting, we’ll all head up out of the trees and onto a ridge known as the Cooper Spur. From its crest we should have a fantastic view of the heavily crevassed Elliot Glacier and the North Face of the mountain. (See photo below. The Cooper Spur is the ridge on the lower left. The Elliot Glacier is beneath the North Face, which is in the center of the image.)
As some of you may have guessed, this the location I’m using to visualize the setting of my novel, STORM MOUNTAIN. So not only will the outing be fun, it will also be very helpful with my writing. I’ll take lots of notes, mainly sensory detail, for use later in the story, to help build a sense of place in the reader’s mind. Then, note taking done, I’ll get to point my skis down, and make big, fast turns across that wild alpine landscape, right back to the front door of the cabin. Where we’ll cook up a pasta dinner and enjoy sitting around a fire in the stone hearth.
Ah, the writer’s life!