Bend, Oregon / Sunriver / Mt. Bachelor

15 03 2011

With its dry climate, bountiful sunshine and snowy peaks, Central Oregon is a top destination for out of state tourists and Portland residents escaping gray skies. The Bend, Oregon region is popular for a quick escape.

Bend, with its proximity to the Three Sisters Wilderness and Mount Bachelor, draws outdoor enthusiasts from near and far. Just south of Bend lies the resort community of Sunriver. Sunriver offers plenty of rental homes and recently ten of my outdoor enthusiast friends gathered at a house for a weekend of winter outdoor adventure. We had the house Friday – Sunday and made the most of our time!

I offered to drive, so Tatsuro, Olga and I headed down in my VW Jetta Wagon. We packed every square inch available as well as the roof top box. With several pairs of skis plus winter gear and coolers full of food, there wasn’t any spare room! We were able to get out of town by about 3:30 – and while the highways were busy they were moving right along. We picked the Santiam Pass route because there was an accident blocking hwy 26 at Government Camp. The snow began falling heavily as we passed Detroit Lake. All the way to the top of Santiam Pass, by Hoodoo Ski Area, the snow drifted down. I was really thankful we were going through in daylight! We made it through handily and then through the town of Sisters. Beyond Sisters, the snow stopped, unveiling a sky full of stars!

Our house in Sunriver was really comfortable. Lots of space for cooking, lounging plus a generous hot tub. Most people arrived sometime Thursday evening…and we got to bed so that we could have a Friday full of outdoor exploration. I planned to head to Mt. Bachelor with Jim and Dave for a day of downhill skiing.

Friday morning…pancakes, waffles, omelets and fruit…then we took off for the mountain. The rest of the crowd went Nordic skiing. What a great day of skiing!

Fluffy snow and bluebird skies!

The snow was fresh and we spent much of our time skiing the Outback and the Northwest Territory lifts.

Tree skiing at its finest!

Tree run after tree run of lovely snow. Not the lightest I’ve seen at Bachelor, but fun all the same.

It was a bit thick, and being that way meant it took a lot out of us. Funny, I took a header in the unpacked snow my first run! No injury.

The views of Central Oregon opened up more and more as the day wore on.

By 3:30 my legs were spaghetti. Dave had already given in and was seated down on deck by the bar. The sky continued to clear, and it was now warm on the deck!

Jim kept on skiing…he’s such a die hard. He actually did three more runs after I quit. But it wasn’t too long before he joined us.

We enjoyed the apres ski moment, watching the sun disappear behind the mountain and then the emerging snow cats which crawled up the hill doing their grooming.

Well, at day’s end, we were the last ones as our three pairs of skis and three mostly finished beers testify!

That's a wrap!

So, onward to Sunriver to meet the rest of the gang, head to the hot tub, and enjoy some good cooking!

Well deserved.


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