“I am not running down that cliff!” I shouted down to Jeff my snowshoe guide, as I emerged out of the Deschutes National Forest onto the top of the awfully big… snowdrift.
Unbidden, visions of my flailing body tumbling headlong downhill until the inevitable face-plant brake in the snow flashed through my mind.
I could just barely make out Jeff’s snickering at the bottom of the precipice. Okay, it was really just a hill, but the rambling effervescent white view from the top was intimidating.
“You won’t get hurt,” he said. “There’s over a foot of powdery snow on the ground. Turn slightly sideways and come down at your own speed.”
Sure enough, he was right. Once I started out, it was not as scary as I’d imagined. Suddenly I was sprinting down the fluffy knoll, plowing through knee-deep snow, laughing the whole way.
Just a few days before, I had been in Portland, Oregon at a business meeting. I’d thought to myself, “As long as I’m here, why not check out what else there is to do and see in this state?” I grabbed my laptop, and it did not take me long to make my decision. Bend, a former mill town, sounded very appealing – an inviting mountain town that has it all, from outdoor activities, unique craft-beer microbreweries, and Roman bath-style public spas, to the cosmopolitan appeal of gastronomically-acclaimed restaurants, a diverse but compact downtown shopping area, and luxurious boutique hotels. The list of winter activities was astounding, including ice skating, alpine, and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, sledding, tubing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, spelunking, and snowmobiling.
They say if you can walk, you can snowshoe, but since this was my first attempt at snowshoeing, I’d contacted Wanderlust Tours, an outfit that offers several types of snowshoe tours in the area. Unfortunately, they did not have any tours running for the time I was to be in Bend, but they called me back the next day to say they would have one of their guides take me on a one-hour tour at Mt. Bachelor, a dormant volcano that is now the sixth largest ski resort in the United States.
Continue reading about my snowshoeing adventure in Bend in WaveJourney.
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