Snowshoeing Under The Stars on Mt. Bachelor!

So here we are, at the end of the best snowshoeing day one of us has ever done.   I won it at an auction and we hadn’t made time to use it until we figured out that every weekend is booked through the spring for the kids’ sports… life in the fast lane.

Saturday night, Dan and I got all our gear out and went to the Wanderlust Tour office by the south Fred Meyer. A local tour company started  by Dave & Aleta in 1993, its reputation is sterling.  We arrived early, of course, and then had to wait around for everyone else to check out gear and get their acts together.  Grr.   Note to self:  ask what time the bus leaves and arrive 10 minutes before.

7 of us loaded into the van and Jared gave us a little history tour as he drove to Mt. Bachelor.  Bend, Oregon has a pretty cool history.  I was so excited.  I hadn’t asked where the tour went because really, anywhere in our area is beautiful and would be a great tour, so it didn’t matter.  But when I found out we were going to Mt. Bachelor, I was thrilled.  Snowshoeing at night in this gorgeous forest was going to be fun.

And I was right – at least for one of us.  From the moment my boots hit the parking lot ice, I was oohing and ahhing over the stars.  Perfect night to be at 6300′ elevation.  It was clear, dark and very cold. Glad we had on multiple layers.

We strapped on the very fancy snowshoes, picked out a small headlamp, and we were off.  Our group included a lady from Brisbane, Australia, a couple from Portland, and two ladies  from Eugene who giggled a lot.  We’d all been quiet driving up to the mountain (including me, it’s a miracle), and we remained fairly quiet as we got the hang of the snowshoes, the hilly terrain, and our heartbeats.  I was breathing hard most of the trek and was very grateful for my  hard workouts and Jazzercise-strong thighs.

Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time  downhill skiing, nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking Mt. Bachelor and the days have been memorable, but this night was special.  I left my head lamp off most of the way because I wanted to experience the dark at its finest.  It was worth a few stumbles to explore in the pitch black.

We snowshoed for awhile, then would stop while Jared explained the night sky and answered our questions.  He and Dan took the lead, easily tromping along like billy goats on a picnic. The rest of us struggled to keep up.  Dan and was even more quiet than usual, but I incorrectly assumed he was happy and enjoying himself. We finished the 3 hour trek back at the van and had nummy hot chocolate with marshmallows.

As usual, I was wrong in guessing my darling husband’s mood… he was in agony! This strong, humble, quiet man is in need of a hip replacement and the snowshoeing was worse on his hip than hiking.  Agh, I felt so bad when I found out.

The picture below is right before we hopped in the van to come home.  He’s thinking “almost done” and I’m thinking “I could do this every day, why am I working so much”.  So one of us was being a great husband and the other one had the best time snowshoeing ever.  If you hadn’t read this missive, you’d still be able to tell who was who wouldn’t you?!


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