It took me an hour and fifteen minutes last year to drive up to Mt. Spokane, on sometimes icy switchbacks up the mountain. Just a little nerve-wracking for Mom! Silver Mountain is much more convenient. It's a straight shot to Kellogg on the interstate. Well, not really straight, as we have to go over a mountain pass to get there, but still interstate, so usually clear. Then we get to ride "the world's longest gondola" up the mountain--a 30-minute ride--to get to the ski runs. That's where the adventure came in for us this week!
Our family has ridden up the gondola a few times before, but always in the summer.I was looking forward to seeing what the view looked like in the winter. Friday, it was a little foggy and there wasn't much snow on the ground at the gondola base where we parked.
The girls were excited to get started. We had arrived early in plenty of time for them to practice for a bit on the bunny slope before time for their lessons. They had a great time... and I enjoyed drinking my coffee, doing a bit of work online, knitting some, and visiting with a friend from the warmth of the lodge.
But then the wind kicked up. Snow was blowing everywhere, the trees were swaying, and those gondola cars? Yeah, they were swingin' in the wind, too! Yikes! And that's the only way down! My friend and I wondered if they ever had to shut the gondola down with people "stuck" up on top. Lodging is down at the gondola base. The "Mountainhaus" is a coffee/sandwich shop, not a place to sleep.
After lunch I told the girls I thought we might leave earlier than we had planned, because of the wind. Then I saw the signs that had been posted around, "Do to high winds the last ride down will be at 4:30." (Yes, they spelled "due" d-o. I was tempted to take a pen and correct their spelling, but I refrained!)
It was about 2:45 when we headed down. I asked the attendant as we boarded the gondola if they ever had to stop the gondola with people still on the mountain, and she said they never had. So I guess that's comforting. I was somewhat expecting the gondola to stop a few times on our way down, just to wait for gusts, but it didn't. It really wasn't as scary from inside the car as it had looked from the lodge. So we survived! And we hope it's not as windy next week!