Tuesday, May 9, 2017

El Nina Visits Central Oregon

Bend was pummeled in snow this winter - the most snow in 100 years! We were expecting it, since last year was El Nino, but we ran out of places to put the snow. For this Chicagoan, I was reminded of my adolescence with all the constant shoveling. Sometimes, Mike and I were out there 5 times a day just to keep our driveway and sidewalks clear.

the chickens were snug, thanks to their well built coop.

It made for an amazing season of snowboarding, and Mike and I tried out quite a few new activities...
Snowshoeing, which is a very good sport for beginners. It's basically wide legged walking and a great way to get out and enjoy nature. You can pack a lunch and hike off just like in the summer, but without any bugs or people, and with lots of quiet and solitude. Good snowshoes, however, run around $300.00, so we rented and may have to save up for our own pair...
Josh snapped this pic while we were on the trail

Can you see Mike? He's smack dab in the middle of the pic.

Another "Where's Mike" pic - you can see the top half of his body;
he's lifting his trekking poles up.

Cross Country Skiing - NOT a good sport for beginners. I think I fell down like 25 times this day in 5' deep snow, which sounds soft and fun, but is like getting yourself out of quicksand. On the bright side, I probably burned off enough calories to justify eating a whole cake. 

at least we could say it was beautiful.

As you know, Mike likes to "Go Big or Go Home," so we cross country skiing amateurs took a backcountry trail THREE miles from Mount Bachelor to Todd Lake. All I can say about this day is - I survived.

the mountains peeking through the trees.

Hope you don't have to use the restroom!
Mike breaking a path across the lake.
The funny thing is, you'd think 3 miles into the wilderness in the dead of winter would be a deterrent, but in Bend, it's a challenge. There must have been at least 50 people out there, on snowmobiles, snowshoes, cross country skis, and ski skates. And many, many of these people were older than us. It's so inspiring for us to stay fit and stay active.

We also went dog sledding with a friend from work, who let us drive the dog sleds ourselves. It wasn't as easy as it looks - at first, the dogs had a mind of their own, and took Mike far, far away from the trail. That's him below, in the center of the picture, driving the team!

At least I got this cool shot!

My view from my dogsled
 All in all, it was an awesome winter - tons of snow and lots of new experiences. It went by super fast and one day, the snow was all melted. Here in Central Oregon we don't get a spring, really. It goes from freezing cold and snow on the ground to shorts and flip flops. But we're not complaining - it's gardening season! I'm knee deep in dirt, plants, chickens, and flowers right now, and loving every second. I've got my chickens hopefully hatching some new friends, and we're back at work on our yard remodel. Garden pics next!