Saturday, January 21, 2017

First snowshoe of the year December 2015- kid free adventure

 We headed to Maxwell Butte last December 2015 with NO KIDS!
Gil had always hated snow adventures, particularly heading uphill but was in much better shape for this endeavor. We were with our friends, Monica and Sarah, and Monica and I are bent toward snowy challenges.
Maxwell Butte is one of my favorite places to snowshoe. It is somewhat close to Salem, somewhat groomed, but still feels natural in the trees and not a snowmobile destination.
I always try to remember to look up! So much of life is spent not remembering what might be above the trees!
The snow was lovely, fluffy, and good for walking in.
It was partly sunny and we got warm quickly climbing up the hill.
Since we did not have kids we were able to go up further than we have before, some to my husbands chagrin but he endured it without cursing so that is an improvement at least!
Monica was in her element and leading the way.
Sarah and Monica taking a break.
Gil held up the rear but mostly stayed with us. This was not a destination trip and we just enjoyed the trail.
We saw some folks with large backpacks heading up to the shelter for the night. I am not a fan of carrying weight on my back while snowshoeing, particularly uphill.
We were surrounded by snow covered trees and greatly enjoyed this rare day together without kids.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Snowshoeing Challenge around Clear Lake

 We had a huge amount of snow in Portland but decided to keep our rental cabin plan and headed to Clear Lake Resort on Sat of MLK weekend. We stopped at Santiam sledding hill.
 The day was sunny and beautiful. While Amy sledded on the hill and Gil and Analise played with skis, I took a walk around and up the hill.
 There was a nice view of Mt. Washington and Three Fingered Jack.
 I enjoyed the top of the hill and snowshoed back around to the sledding area.
 This is Hayrick Butte across the street near the Hoodoo ski area.
 Lunch, sledding, and my high walk did not last very long, and we were on our way to finish our trip to Clear Lake Resort.
 We unpacked and got cozy in our cabin. I took another walk before dinner while my family stayed cozy inside the cabin.
 I enjoyed seeing glimpses of Mt. Washington.
 The lake was beautiful. The next morning, we woke up and packed up to Tombstone Pass where I started questioning hiking with kids because 1/4 mile down the trail there was much whining and complaining. Oh well, at least Tombstone Pass was beautiful.
 We headed back to Clear Lake Resort and had lunch. After lunch I was invited to drive to Suttle Lake with our friends but decided I did not need to drive to circle a lake. I took my emergency supplies and started the hike circling Clear Lake on my own.
 Mt. Washington in the bright sunshine was so pretty. I was mesmerized by the view and failed to look at the map to see how far I was hiking.
 Our friends had warned me about the snow covered bridges. They weren't too scary today. I felt confident in my ability to circle this lake.
 Here is a bit snowier bridge but still quite safe to cross.
 On the other side of the lake I was in a winter wonderland of snow covered trees and lake views.
 The lake is a bit bigger than it looks from the dock and this is the easier, more hiked part of the lake.
 The snow was lovely.
 Here is the boat dock across the lake where I started my hike.
 I enjoyed the deep snow and sunshine.
 The lake was still quite snowy.
 I was making good progress and took a brief break.

 The snow was sparkling. The trees were dropping a little snow but I moved quickly to not get dumped on.
 The path continued to be pretty good but a little less traveled on this side of the lake.
 There was still some ice, but it was starting to melt.
 I continued my journey around the lake, enjoying the solitude.
 I made it to another corner. I saw the trail split and made a decision to continue straight thinking it was too early for another crossing.
 Unfortunately, that decision added a mile to my hike and a little bit of suffering!
 This side of the lake was very deceptive- I seemed to be close to the lodge and then walked a long way away from it before coming to a road crossing where I could continue around.
 The snow was deeper and trail harder to break.
I did get an incredible view of the Three Sisters. I returned in mostly darkness an hour and a half later than anticipated, 4 hours after I started hiking 6 pretty challenging miles. My family was worried but I assured them that I had missed a turn and felt accomplished with completing this challenge.

Clear Lake Cabin with a loft and epic sledding!

 After A LOT of snow in Portland with many missed school days, we headed to Clear Lake between Santiam and McKenzie Pass. Saturday we stopped at the Santiam sledding hill to enjoy some fun sledding.
 I went down a fast hill.
 We arrived at Clear Lake Resort in the afternoon and were SO EXCITED to see our rustic cabin had a loft big enough for two girls to sleep in! It also had generator hours so when the power went out at 10pm you should be asleep and you should not leave the loft sleeping area until the power came on at 7am. We left a light on so that we would know when it was time to get up and going.
 Mom brought us all to a trail at Tombstone Pass on Sunday morning.
 Analise was sledding,mom and I were snowshoeing and dad with just boots.[not oppressive boots]   
 It was beautiful. 
 A nice snowy mountain.
 Analise walked some to.
 Mom went on her own adventure around the lake on Sunday afternoon and I kept right on sledding!
 The sledding hill was very epic!
 Dad got a turn.
Dad is sledding.
 Some of the snow had melted on Monday morning when we headed back to the snow and ice in Portland. Analise's snowman was still standing when we got home!
The beautiful lake.