After the first day of strictly ripping powder, we couldn’t get enough. We had our flyrods with plans to head to Bend, OR to hit the Deschutes, but never took it out of the rod case. Instead, we hopped in the Subaru for the second day of ripping a superfluous amount of Cascadian snow. Faces were planted, beers drank and pow was ripped. Completely satisfied and totally exhausted, we headed for the car. Once we found our Subaru in the sea of All-Wheel Drive Subaru’s, we couldn’t find the keys. Immediately, we look through the well-frosted windows hoping to see them sitting in the seat or floorboard. Using a rental helmet from Next Adventure to scrap ice off the windows the car alarm was sounded, triggering the first of many reactive looks we would get that day.
The kind staff at Mountain Meadows was able to pop the lock and open the doors, at which point we come to the conclusion that the keys aren’t in the car. We then make quick work of scouring the lodge, staff assistance included. The conclusion- the keys are on the mountain, buried in snow.
An awesome feature of the Subaru Computer Car Key is that it has push-to-start and an automatic back hatch opening feature. However, this key contains a chip, that chip communicates with the car that it is “THE” official key. Meaning we can’t just have a local locksmith make a key, it can only be made by Subaru, and programmed to the car from within…… drumroll please…. 10 feet!
Luckily, prior to taking a position for hitchhiking, we got our Roll Tops out of the car, as well as the Yeti Hopper, filled with Rainer. With a rich history of knocking on doors in my past life, I start approaching strangers in the parking lot. Every other person I smile and approach says- "YES! We aren’t going to Portland, though”. After 45 minutes and an encroaching nightfall with upright thumbs, a Ford F-250 stops, “going to Tigard?”(south of Portland), we’re saved. "Hell yeah," we exclaimed, threw our skis in the snow-filled bed and hopped in. Surrounded on all sides by ski bums who smelled of resin and ski wax from working at the lodge, we were perfectly comfortable. Down the mountain, we go.
A parking lot fine, tow truck fee and key replacement charge later, the car was back in Portland. After a thorough examination of our ski session it dawned on us, what would we have done if that had happened while we were fishing in the middle of nowhere? We would have been on the interstate hitchhiking. Think twice about your only exit from the wilderness. Get a spare key, attach your key to your pack or jacket. Have fun out there and always-