Sunday, February 12, 2012

Snowshoeing in paradise

On Monday morning, we went snowshoeing with Wanderlust Tours at the base of Mount Bachelor. We figured since we didn't know how to snowshoe (or even how to put them on correctly), going with professionals would be best.

Plus, they take you off trail and into the woods — which is hard work since the snow isn't packed down, but super nice because it's free of snowmobiles, cross country skiers and other snowshoers. Perfect silence (save for our click-clacking snowshoes).

Our guide, Chase, is on the left, talking with one of the guys in our group. I think he was teaching us that we could eat certain lichens if you get lost in the woods. They actually didn't taste bad, they just felt like eating hair!

Here's Chase being annoyed by the kid. But I think he was showing us what a Ponderosa pine looked like.

We got near the end of our excursion and it opened up to this view of the Three Sisters mountains. It actually took our breath away, it was that beautiful (but we also didn't have much air up there at 6,400 feet, so perhaps that was part of it).

Looking back on our now-packed trail:

The shadows of the trees shaded us a bit, but here's a heavily doctored photo of me and John, taken graciously by Chase. Yep, we were sweaty and hot in that getup, even after we lost the winter coats and gloves.

There's a company that runs dogsled tours at Mount Bachelor, too. We could hear them barking, ready to go for a run, right before we started. It's expensive, I think, but how cool would that be? The other family in our group did it a couple days before and said it was incredible.

Just a cool photo. Chase was teaching us that the Three Sisters are actually called Faith, Hope and Charity (but what a mouthful that is!), and that Mount Bachelor used to be called Brother Jonathan in reference to their names. Then it was changed to Bachelor Butte (butte is a popular name out here around these volcanic areas, and is probably more accurate), but Chase said nobody wants to ski and snowboard on a butte. So they changed the name to Mount Bachelor, mostly for commercial purposes!

There's a pair of restaurants in town, English-type pubs, that go by the name Brother Jon's in reference to Mount Bachelor's old name. Anyway, there's your history lesson for the day.

After the trip, we ate some Vietnamese food and passed out for about 40 minutes, we were that worn out by snowshoeing. We took the hottest showers ever to soothe our sore muscles (snowshoeing does wonders for your thighs) before we ate at 10 Barrel Brewing Company for dinner. I think it's my new favorite place — their burger and mac and cheese were incredible, plus they had an awesome vanilla porter on nitro tap that hit the spot right before dessert, which was lemon custard for John and peanut butter mousse (but it was really more of a cheesecake consistency) for me.

Just another day in paradise.

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