Shelter in a Storm

Sunday morning I woke up and we got the continental breakfast at the hotel. For being free and a buffet, it was pretty decent. I got one of the small waffles, scrambled eggs and a piece of bacon. Then I got a bowl of yogurt with granola and fresh pineapple.

We got dressed in our snow gear. I got to try out my new snow pants! I love them. They were most definitely water proof. šŸ˜‰

Yes it was raining on Sunday as well. Oh well. We were determined to have fun with our snowshoes despite the rainy weather. We drove to Mt. Bachelor to do the Virginia Meissner trail. We parked at the Meissner Sno-Park and headed out. It was recommended by a coworker who cross-country skis and he was right on. This trail was wonderful! By far it was the best part of the weekend.

We set out on the trail. It was clearly well-maintained and a very popular spot for skiers. I think if we decide to try cross-country skiing next winter Meissner is where we’ll go. The trail was pretty flat and level with some small hills.

Michael did something very sweet and romantic: he took my gloved hand in his gloved hand and we trekked together. Aww…The rain wasn’t too heavy and our rain gear was holding up.

We were the only snowshoers on the trail that day but that wasn’t a problem. There was plenty of room for us. We made sure not to walk in the ski tracks. We got to the top of a hill and found a fork in the road. I saw a sign. It looked like we were almost to the Shelter. Ahead of us on the trail were heavy, dark gray clouds. It looked like we were about to get drenched in a storm so we hurriedly made our way to the shelter.

Half a mile up the right fork in the road was a log cabin amidst the trees. Rounding the side of the cabin we found a few skiers warming themselves next to the wood stove. There were benches inside and space to spread out and dry off.

We dried off our gloves and hats near the fireplace and relaxed for a bit while we let the storm pass.

The cabin had a view of the hills and trees in the distance. I relaxed on a bench near the fire.

The fire was so warm and cozy. I commented that it would have been the perfect place to have lunch before setting back out. Unfortunately we hadn’t known about the shelter–or the storm–so we didn’t bring any food. Next time we do the trail we’ll most definitely bring food and snacks to relax in the cabin and eat.I think with food in us we could have gone longer.

My new pants worked great and were very waterproof. In fact all of my rain gear worked well. My boots? Not so much. Unfortunately I just have hiking boots. Normally that would be okay for snowshoeing but the rain was not a good thing. My boots were leaking and my socks were getting a little wet. I tried to dry the boots out near the fireplace before we started back to the car.

The skiers in the cabin with us offered to take some photos of Michael and I together before they set out into the snow. We happily posed because we rarely have the opportunity to get photos together.

The skiers took off and we had the cabin to ourselves for a bit.

Soon we were joined by another group of skiers taking refuge. Michael and I decided to make our way back to the car. We packed our stuff up, I took a few more photos and we were off.

Goodbye romantic cabin in the woods! We zipped up and trudged back through the snow to the car.

I think the weather had scared off most of the skiers we saw earlier. It was pretty quiet out there in the woods with just the sounds of our own breathing and our snowshoes crunching beneath us. The higher temperature, the rain, all contributed to soft snow. It made it more difficult to walk.

We arrived back at the car and we made a donation to the people that maintain the Meissner Trail. They do such an amazing job at it! It was the highlight of the weekend’s adventures.


Time: 1:48

Calories Burned: 553

Distance: 3 miles

It was a good workout and we had worked up an appetite. After changing back at the hotel, we went to downtown Bend to attempt having lunch at Deschutes. It was still crowded but we decided to wait at the bar with beers.

The beer I enjoyed while we waited for a table was the Horse Ridge IPA.

Horse Ridge IPA, Pub Exclusive: This strong pale is brewed in traditional Northwest-style, you’ll be happy to know!Ā  The hops are floral and pronounced (Horizon, Cascade, Crystal) while the malt bill is made up of two types of crystal malt and two types of wheat.
IBU’sĀ 75| Alcohol by Vol. 6.1%

It was really good and REALLY strong. I didn’t realize just how strong until I was done with the beer. Ooops….I ordered the fish and chips for lunch/dinner. I got the sweet potato fries to go with it and oh my GOD they were good. They were the absolute best sweet potato fries I’ve ever eaten. I don’t think I need to say that I over-indulged on Sunday…

Yep I’m a tad tipsy in that photo. Oh well. šŸ˜‰

Just looking at the picture of my food makes my mouth water and I want to eat it again! I was stuffed after two of the fish and half of my fries. I took the rest with me but it didn’t really hold up. šŸ™ Too soggy to eat as a leftover. Oh well.

Michael had the garlic burger with sweet potato fries. He said it was really good. It looked delicious.

We both got one more beer, a Mirror Pond Pale Ale. I couldn’t finish my second beer though. My first had been too strong and I was too tipsy to finish it.

I left half of the beer there and we walked around downtown for a bit before heading back to the hotel for a low-key evening. We watched most of Season 4 of Entourage and relaxed. It was a great end to the perfect day!

QUESTION: What is your favorite beer?

Over the Hills and Through The Woods

No we didn’t go to Grandma’s house…but we did do the next best thing: PLAY IN THE SNOW!

Saturday morning Michael and I woke up early and drove over Mt. Hood Pass to Eastern Oregon where we spent the weekend in Bend. The snow was mostly gone from the roads over the pass. Quite a different experience than 2 weeks ago when we snowshoed up there in the Winter Wonderland.

Bend is one of our new favorite vacation spots because it’s such a cool place for people into fitness. In the winter there is snowshoeing, skiing and because the weather is so nice there–often cycling! In the summer it’s the perfect place for cycling, hiking and other fun outdoor activities.

Bend is in the high desert. I love the red rocks. One of these days we’ll make it there in the summertime and take our bikes. We arrived in Bend and had a few hours before we could check into our hotel so we ate leftover pizza in the car for lunch. Then we continued up to Mt. Bachelor, did the awkward changing into snow-gear in the car and then took our BRAND NEW snowshoes out for a spin!

Michael bought snowshoes for himself and as a birthday present to me! I love them!

A coworker had recommended a few different snow trails so Saturday we tried Dutchman’s Flats first. It was much less crowded than the others we drove by.Ā  The weather definitely did not cooperate with us this weekend. It was pretty rainy the whole time. I’d hoped if we got up high enough on the mountain it would turn to snow but it was too warm all weekend for that (almost 50 degrees).

We had a great time. The snowshoes made such a huge difference! They are so much better than the crappy rentals we had a few weeks ago. Luckily we had good rain gear so the rain didn’t bother us at all. We trekked through the snow up the hills and then down across the open valley.

We planned on renting some poles once we got to Bend but we decided to give it a try without poles first. The poles really weren’t needed honestly. So we decided not to rent them over the weekend. I think if we were really doing some heavy climbing the poles would be needed. Since both of us have broken body parts right now, we stuck to the flat trails.

Check out the grey skies in the above photo. That was the mist and rain. It was a pretty cool view there.

We went quite a ways before we decided to turn around. My snow pants were old and obviously no longer waterproof so I was starting to get uncomfortable.

I had a great time but I was glad to get back to the car to strip off my drenched pants. Luckily my skin wasn’t too irritated and I wasn’t chafed too badly. My skin was red, cold, and clammy but once I got out of the wet clothes I felt better.


Time: 1:38

Calories Burned: 600

After we got changed we checked into our hotel room. I took a hot bath and then we hit the Outlet Mall for some shopping! I scored some great new clothes at the Columbia Outlet. I found some awesome new snow pants for $40! I also got a new jacket.

I liked where we stayed. The room was a bit small and dated. But the bed was comfortable enough and there was a mini fridge, microwave and a flat screen TV. It was fairly quiet and since it was right off the main highway through town it was easy to navigate around.

After shopping we went to downtown Bend to have dinner. Our first attempt was the Deschutes Brewery Pub there was a line out the door and an hour wait. Yikes! The iPhones came out and we found a place a few blocks away.

Dinner was at the Bend Brewing Company. We were seated immediately, which was nice compared to Deschutes. Michael ordered the jalapeno poppers as an appetizer but I didn’t like them very much.They had cheddar cheese in them instead of cream cheese. Weird…

I also ordered a tray of beer samples. I skipped a few of them that I didn’t like but there were quite a few samples I really enjoyed. The High Desert Hefeweizen was tasty, so was the Elk Lake IPA. I didn’t like the espresso beer or the Porter.

For dinner I ordered the grilled salmon with a marionberry reduction, rice and steamed veggies. It was a great, healthy alternative to the fried food I was craving.

It was a really great start to my vacation! We got back to the hotel exhausted and kicked back in bed reading. It was relaxing and so needed after such an active day. We also had Star’s homemade fudge for dessert. Luckily the compression tights we both wore during snowshoeing prevented sore muscles the next day!

QUESTION: If you had a three day weekend, did you do anything special?