Days 47-48: Exploring, sometimes finding.
It's been a busy couple of days in Oregon and I've only got a few minutes so this will have to be quick. Since my last report blogger Max Hearthshorne from GoNomad.com and I have been wining, dining and occasionally skiing around Bend and Mt. Bachelor.
Thursday night's dinner was at The Loft, a private wine club owned by Drew Bledsoe.
The "wine list" there involves walking into a room and picking out what you want.
Food service was from Zydeco restaurant and my steelhead was superb.
Access to Mt. Bachelor is via 19 miles of excellent, easy road from Bend. The mountain dominates the skyline for much of the drive.
Max and I skied around together on Friday morning, and bumped into Nancy from Five Ten and Nate from Away.com to join them for a few runs. Before we hooked up, however, I decided to hike to the mountain's true summit and drop into the Pinnacles.
The windswept ridgeline revealed a layer of blue ice scoured by the wind into a paving stone-like surface.
That, however, wasn't my problem. My problem was a binding pre-release right on the headwall. I obviously hadn't clicked in properly and it chose to leave the train on my first turn. I was the only one dumb enough to be skiing the firm sastrugi out there so I had to hike up about 50 feet to retrieve that ski. I was surprised, though, that the Pinnacles weren't as steep as I'd expected them to be. While massive, Bachelor lacks any terrain that will truly leave your knees quaking. It is, however, an exceptional family mountain.
After meeting up with Andy from Mt. Bachelor for lunch at Pine Marten we took a few more runs, including one last one from the summit before Max and I headed back to Bend.
We left early in order to make a 3:30 appointment for a private tour of the Deschutes Brewery.
You've got to love the restroom in the employee break room:
which is really "Shifties":
We met up with Schubwa and his girlfriend for a few more pints at the Deschutes Brewpub downtown before dinner at 10 Below with Andy and his wife, by far the finest meal I've had since we've been here.
Today I didn't get a lot of skiing in, but Summit was closed and a storm's rolling in. After a breakfast with Andy at Chow in town I got a couple of laps in before Max and I went dog sledding.
I did, however, have one more on-hill objective: the Cinder Cone.
I didn't have high expectations. In fact, I expected the snow on the Cone to be downright miserable. I was thus pleasantly surprised to find soft, lightly tracked, reasonably dry loose snow on the north aspect of the Cone, arguably the best stuff I've found in the past three days.
Max and I grabbed a couple of bikes from the Oxford Hotel and explored the Old Mill district in Bend later on this afternoon. In a short while we'll be off for an Italian dinner tonight to wrap this visit up.
A full feature on Bachelor will follow in our magazine.
If you're heading here next week you should be in for a treat, as the forecast is calling for more than several feet of snow in the next seven days.