Sunriver Oregon / Bend Oregon / Mt Bachelor Day 2

17 03 2011

My first day of the weekend was downhill at Mount Bachelor, and it was a satisfying and long day.

The next day, Saturday I joined the cross country group. We picked a trail out of the Mt Bachelor Nordic Center and then headed off trail on the ungroomed track.

The Nordic Center was much more popular than I envisioned, with a couple dozen skiers getting ready when we arrived. Their trail system of groomers is pretty extensive. Still, the group opted for a further adventure.

It was pretty up there, and snowing all the time we were skiing.

It was here I met my match. There was about four feet of unpacked snow on either side of the track. I didn’t have any trouble climbing, but I knew on the way down I’d run into big trouble! On a little downslope on the climb I fell off to the side and sunk into the ungrommed, and it took me ten minutes of swimming to get back up.

I continued for another 45 minutes or so, but as the trail kept climbing and I fell again, I had to make an embarrassing announcement…I had to turn back. I predicted 10-15 falls on my way down if I kept going, and the prospect of those “swims” wasn’t very attractive. After sheepishly making my announcement, two others in the group, Lee Ann and Tatsuro, confessed they had issues and needed to head back, too. Each had different problems than I did. Joe Yuska gave me a lot of tips and encouragement on downhilling in the soft snow plus how to get up more efficiently. Thanks Joe!

So we wound up back at the house and some napped (me) whilst others hit the hot tub. In the late afternoon Lee Ann brings out the cocktail shaker…she knows how to get it done!

Lee Ann is a pro cocktail mixer!

In the evening, we prepared a scrumptious meal of pesto chicken, salad, green beans with ice cream & apple pie for dessert.

Joe's beautiful apple pie!

 

 

 

Keith and Joe at UNO

Then the board games came out…the UNO…

 

Now, who's card went down first??!!

And then speed UNO…watch the hands!

And for those unable to resolve the UNO issues in a civilized fashion,

the house had other means!

 





Skiing Anthony Lakes, Oregon

25 01 2011

Lunch in the lodge

MLK Weekend 2011 was spent out in La Grande, OR, and we planned to ski and enjoy the outdoors around Anthony Lakes Ski area. Our friends Craig and Lisa moved out there in 2010 and had bought a house downtown.

My friends Kent, Alex and Stacy all planned on heading out with me for the weekend. Craig & Lisa were very excited to have us in town and show off their place! They had a nice one-story place – real cute with a new metal roof. Craig had just bought a new 55″ LED 3D TV…holy cow it took up half the back room! We’d spend a lot of time hooking it up for Blu-Ray and Netflix streaming movies.

Ready to head out...

Situated in the Elkhorn Mountains about 45 minutes from La Grande, Anthony Lakes is a combined alpine and Nordic ski area. The alpine area only has one triple lift. Small, but it’s known for dry powder. Its base is about 6,000ft and the summit 8,000ft. The lakes themselves make for nice cross country skiing. And one can park at the alpine lodge and do an XC ski from there. Very pretty area!

It’s very low key, something I love. The lift tickets are sold out of a little shack, and are only $35, good for both XC and alpine. If you only want to do XC, it’s $13. Better yet, you can get $5 off if you bring a season pass from another ski area! The lodge is 1970’s retro. And I got a sharpen and wax in 20 minutes for $15.

Just before we left for La Grande, the weather forecast was gloomy and I was afraid everyone would cancel. A massive “pineapple express” – a warm front, was coming and rain predicted even up to 8,000ft. Winter in recreation in the Cascades would be ruined, and maybe as far as Anthony Lakes. Because we wanted to visit Craig & Lisa we rallied and still headed out. We were rewarded Saturday because instead a wintry mix, it snowed all afternoon! Even though the downhill skiing conditions weren’t ideal we felt really fortunate!

Kent, Alex, Craig and I did lots of the groomed runs. The non-groomed runs were passable, but not worth bothering that day. Craig showed us some of the views and I could definitely see that on a powder day Anthony Lakes offered some sweet terrain.

I got a nice shot of Alex at a craggy tree at the summit. It was fast snow and I was tempted to tuck all the way to the bottom!

By noon, I had my fill of the alpine terrain. If the snow were typical powder, I’d have done more downhill.

Lisa and Stacy skied the Nordic area in the morning. By now it had started snowing in earnest! I decided to check out the cross country ski trails for the afternoon…

Cross country skiing at Anthony Lakes is a treat. Trails follow routes around small lakes and these lakes lie below some craggy peaks of the Elkhorn Mountains.

I headed out with Kent, Stacy and Lisa, and we all split up because we had different XC goals for the afternoon. The trails had some twisting downhill sections, and I fell three times! I rarely fell in downhill skiing. In fact the ONLY time I have ever come out of my current ski bindings is when I was hit by a snowboarder, dislocating my shoulder, in 2009! But not so in Nordic. There, I am more of a novice I guess!

Saturday night we had a relaxed dinner in La Grande at Ten Depot Street. It’s one of the nicest restaurants in town, kind of Western grande style, but you don’t have to go for the $26 entree. You can still get something for $12.

Then we headed back to the house for a night of fiddling with the new Samsung 55″ LED TV and the Blu-ray player. Blu-ray is very nice! But these streaming and 3D systems can be problematic …I won’t go into a lot of details, but it was a wireless system, 3D, capable of streaming movies over Netflix, etc. To get this to work you have to get yourself the right accounts set up, your passwords handy, have your manuals ready, have your wireless router signal strong, have your Internet connection fast, etc. etc. etc. If one piece of the puzzle isn’t up to the task (and that includes the human techies) it can get problematic. In our case it took Internet research to find out the TV had a software bug and couldn’t connect to the Internet – so we used the Blu-ray for that. In the end, it was the bandwidth. We needed a faster Internet connection. But the time spent gave a window to make a marionberry cobbler, which was a good reward.

The 3D was interesting, especially amusing to look at people wearing the 3D glasses…

I’m not ready to say that 3D for HD TV is ready for prime time. But it is a fun toy I guess! Those glasses cost $129…

Sunday broke with heavy rain courtesy of the warm front – dousing any winter recreation plans. We spent the morning reading the paper at a La Grande coffee shop and then decided it was time to make our way back to Portland…we got Kent some new windshield wiper blades for the monsoon-soaked drive back…see you next time Anthony Lakes…when the powder returns!








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