Sunday, October 27, 2013

Llao Rock - Crater Lake National Park

Today was one of those rare but amazing days when I had NO work and NO plans.  This morning I grabbed my skis and headed for Crater Lake National Park, hoping to get some turns.  I knew areas of the park had received substantial snow in late September, but I wasn't sure how much or whether any had stuck around.  Nevertheless, I would make the drive and scope it out... and worst case I would 'settle' for a hike. 

After about an hour's drive from my house, I passed the south entrance of the park at 10:30 am. For the moment it was a beautiful, sunny day. However, I would soon be reminded of how quickly the weather can change in the PNW.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Hunt for White October

College football is back, there's a chill in the air, leaves are fading to hues of orange, yellow, and red, and (most importantly) snow has returned to the high peaks of the Cascade Mountains.  Fall is finally here.

I happened to be in Bend last weekend to see my parents who were visiting from Virginia.  As I was packing last Thursday, I remembered the not-so-ancient proverb, "You're going anyway.  Might as well bring your skis."  Having read a few earlier trip reports from around the northwest, it was a no-brainer.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Siskiyou Crest Mountain Bike Trail

Mount Shasta and the balds of the Siskiyou Crest from Dutchman Peak
The Siskiyou Crest Mountain Bike Trail (which is really more of a dirt road than a trail), winds 15 miles along the ridge from the Mount Ashland parking lot (6,600') to Dutchman Peak (7,415'), making for a strenuous 30-mile out-and-back ride with over 4,000 feet of total elevation gain.  Or, if you miss a turn because you're not paying attention (as was the case for us last weekend), it can easily turn into 34+ mile out-and-back with over 4,300' in elevation gain.

The views are well worth the effort.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Life Well Lived

"Dogs' lives are too short... Their only fault, really."   - Agnes Sligh Turnbull

Somewhere in the Nevada desert - 2012
It's great to have a companion when you venture into the wilderness, but human buddies can be complicated. Many adventures have been cancelled because people have jobs, families, and other obligations. Planning an outing with other people requires coordination and compromise.  Humans are... well, human.

Dog buddies, on the other hand, have no such problems, and that's why we love them. They're ready for an adventure at a moment's notice. They'll let you choose which path to take, and follow you faithfully. They completely trust you. They are simple. To a dog, you are the only obligation.