The Road Less Travelled – by snowshoe

I think it’s funny that snowshoes are looked down on these days – it used to be a huge novelty and a great way to get outside in the peaceful winter forest.  Now most people downhill or do cross country Nordic skiing.  Yes, it gets you there faster, but it’s not the quiet break that I need.


All the paper trail maps were taken, so I took a picture just in case.  I’ve snowshoed here for years, but better safe than sorry. Easy to get turned around.  I took the orange toure to the more difficult, and wound back around to the Meissner shelter.


Pretty well beaten down after our 50″ fell, unfortunately, it was also really loud because the ice had formed on top. But really, how can you complain about anything when you’re out here alone?!  Literally, the road less travelled because everyone else is zipping around the big trails on nordic skis.


The new warming hut, built by incredible volunteers, with a woodstove inside.  It was only 14 degrees, so I didn’t stay long – quick snack, lots of water.  Met 3 very nice ladies from Wyoming and Canada.  You can barely glimpse the view to the south – but it stretches out to the west, too, with the door facing it now.  The hut used to face east, which was great for keeping the wind out, but really, the view is to the west. And no, I didn’t take a picture!


Beyond happy me.  It’s Wednesday and I brought a whole car load of Nordic girls for practice and then went for a walk on my own.  Paradise.


If my snowshoes could talk, the stories they would tell! Bought in January 2000 in Durango, Colorado, they have been all over on trails and in Bend during snow storms.  They are MSR’s, the type the Colorado ski rescue group used to use.  Not sexy like the sleek new ones, but I’ve never gotten stuck anywhere and nothing has broken off.  I love where they take me and how I have a different outlook every time I come back.  Perfect day!




A little more hiking!

family-wychus-creekWe all lucked out and had Veteran’s Day free for a little exploring near the 3 Creeks area outside Sisters, Oregon. Normally I would volunteer or we’d take part in a celebration of some type honoring our veterans, but this year I needed to be in the TREES.  Desperately needed the green for my soul.  We let the teens sleep in, so that started us out right.

This new overlook had a beautiful view of the 3 Sisters mountains and  Wychus creek was just over the edge.  Always nice to have it a little overcast so we can hike hard and not overheat, but this trail was only a mile loop, so we didn’t have to worry about that.


New trailhead signs and one says that the trail is difficult, so I wasn’t sure how Dan’s new hip would do…. but it wasn’t difficult for anyone!  Even a toddler could run it, it’s made so a wheelchair could be pushed on it, it’s really a very easy trail.  Interesting sign.


We went further up Road 16, and saw the devastation from the wildfire again.  We’ve cut down our Christmas tree in this area before, but we won’t be doing so this year.  Hard to see, but we know the forest needs the fire and watching it all regrow will be a cool process.


This view of 3 Creeks lake took my breath away.  Of course, then we had to hike around the lake to see it up close.  There was an old trail, so it was fairly easy.  The Tam McArthur Rim hike up there on the flat part of the mountains was calling me, but we didn’t come prepared to hike in the snow, so it will have to wait until next July. This area will get so much snow, the road won’t be passable until about that time of year.


The trail went up the side of the mountain for awhile, and we did more off trail exploring to try to see a better view up top, but couldn’t get a clear view of the 3 Sisters.



Yes, we threw snowballs into the lake!  They didn’t melt quickly because the water was so cold, so we were able to throw rocks at them, too.  Yes, I’m over 12, but will never stop hiking and throwing rocks.  To be outside like this, it really does nurture my soul.  I’m happy with my career, in love with my spouse, and adore my children – but this, these mountains, trees, and lakes,  I NEED them.  Lucky me, we live here, so we can enjoy it.



Hiking outside Sisters, Oregon


I got a wild hair yesterday morning and texted a friend to see if she wanted to play hooky with me – so we could go see these gorgeous mountains up close!  Thank you, Nora, for being willing to get outside!

These are 2 of the 3 Sisters, past an old burn. We could have still hiked up there to the snow line, but we were on a mission to find Peterson Ridge. Really, how hard could it be?!


It was harder than we thought.  There was a small brown sign along 16, which we found on our way back down the road. The trail markers above, however, were great.  Easy to find and read.  But who names a trail Hello Kitty? There must be a good story, but I cannot find it online anywhere.


The first view point – Mt. Jefferson tucked behind Black Butte and the pine trees.  Which smelled amazing.  It was almost 70 degrees, so the high desert smell was strong. Look at that blue sky! We live here!



We hiked for almost 3 hours and were so happy the whole time. Just heaven to be out in the trees on a perfect fall day.  Sisters is only 30 minutes from Bend, so we had plenty of time to chat.


View of the sunset on a roundabout heading home.  I love fall in Central Oregon!