We’re in Bend this week, spending time with N’s parents and enjoying the snow that fell the past few days. Since substantial winds accompanied the weather, it meant that in addition to watching the BBQ roll past the picture window, lift operations at Mt. Bachelor were substantially limited. So we broke out the phat cross country skis, picked up a Sno-Park permit, and headed up to Swampy Lakes Sno-Park.
Outdoor winter recreation is pretty well organized in Central Oregon. Different sno-parks cater to different user groups, including skiers, snowshoers, snow players, dog owners and snowmobiles. Skiers who want to take their dogs with them are relegated to the trails that sledders and snowshoers use, so we left the mutt behind with her sheltie-mini australian shepherd playmate in order to enjoy some dedicated xc trails.
At the crack of 10 am on a Friday there was nobody out, so we had first tracks on the trails, which was a beautiful sight. We headed first to the Swampy Lakes Shelter, which was well stacked with split wood, all set for a group of skiers to enjoy.
As it was early and we had more trail to break, we continued, and circled around the Flagline trail meeting two women trail breaking the other direction. Their generosity made the rest of the loop a bit quicker, though our last mile was slowed by the many groups of people coming the other direction. Apparently an alpine start in this part of the world is before noon. This is not a bad thing, as it let us sleep in a bit, and enjoy the tranquility before the hordes arrived.