Dashing Through the Snow

We woke up on Sunday to more snow. It was clear and the air was ccccold! I made breakfast again- bagel thins and smoked salmon plus we split an apple. We packed up everything and checked out of the resort before heading back up to Mount Bachelor. We wanted to get one more snowshoe adventure in before we headed back to Portland and rain.

It was much colder on Sunday and the snow was coming down hard. It wasn’t quite white-out conditions as we drove up the mountain but visibility was limited. Quite different than the previous day!

This time we went to the Virginia Meissner Sno-Park. We did part of it last year and really enjoyed it.

The snow was coming down even more. We trekked along the groomed trail (much easier than Saturday’s backcountry trek!) amongst the snowy trees.

That spot was popular with cross-country skiers and I could see why. It’s always groomed and it’s wide enough for everyone to enjoy it.

I even saw some blind skiers! There were two groups of them and each blind skier had a guide with them. It was fascinating to watch. What a cool job. I would love to be a guide of some sort. (I remember seeing a 60 Minutes piece on a guide for blind people who want to run. I thought it was really cool.)

The trail was fairly flat and then went up a hill. Instead of doing the same trail as last year, we took a different fork in the road and went down a hill.

The trail forked again at the bottom and we took the uphill climb into the trees to the shelter.

The snow was fresh and soft, like fluffy powder. We sunk into it a bit. It was a really cool trail winding through the trees and the white wonderland.

The wind was picking up and the snow was wet. Not exactly comfortable. But I was still having fun. We stopped many times for Michael to rest. His hips were bothering him.

The trail uphill was steep and the snow was soft. We sunk down in a lot of places. You have to really be careful that what you’re walking on is stable and there isn’t something like a huge crevice or lake underneath you!!!

We arrived at the crest of the hill and saw the shelter amongst the snow drifts and trees. It was like there should have been cherubs singing as the shelter came into view!

It was packed!! There were so many people in the shelter that there was no room. There had to be at least 30 people taking refuge in there. We decided not to stay. 🙁 I was a little disappointed because I enjoyed it so much last year.

We headed back to the trail and took a different route back–The Mistletoe Trail back to the main trail. (Last year we took the Manzanita Trail.)

The wind and snow was pelting us pretty badly at this point. It wasn’t miserable but it wasn’t my favorite part. I did not have my face shield like Michael did. I sadly left mine at home. But I did have my goggles, which helped (and Michael had forgotten his goggles at home!).

Michael and I held hands (as much as we could with puffy snow gloves on) and walked side by side the rest of the way back.

Time:  1 hour 40 min
Miles: just over 3

My heart rate monitor didn’t work so we used Michael’s. I typically burn about 60% of whatever he burns. I burned about 500 calories, he burned over 800.

Virginia Meissner is a great place to play. We both decided that next year we’d do that trail first since it’s a little easier and just plan on packing lunches and spending more time there.

The snow was really coming down in Bend. We grabbed sandwiches at Jimmy John’s in Bend and then headed back to Portland! The drive home was uneventful until we got to the top of Mount Hood. It was dark, snowing hard and the traffic came to a screeching halt.  We sat for some unknown reason for a good 25 minutes before the traffic started moving. It was so slow, driving 15 mph the entire way!

We had a fantastic vacation and we were able to enjoy ourselves without spending much money (which was our goal). The resort was perfect, the food we ate was good and we couldn’t have asked for better snow!

QUESTION: Where are you going on your next vacation?

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. 😉

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!  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’s 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. 😉

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. 🙁 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?