’s wishing you all a happy new years. I hope yours was enjoyable as ours, but somehow I doubt it.

Saturday I worked at Bike Friday and then came home and got us all packed up and ready for a trip to the snow. Grandma showed up because she was going to hang out with Sierra while we were gone. I was supposed to work late at the Hampton, but as luck would have it, the other girl thought she had to work and so we both showed up at the same time and I resolved to go home and sleep. We got up early and headed out, getting some coffee and tea and hot water before taking off. We had some organic vegan cinammon rolls from Sundance (which I might add, though they were smaller and lacked the cream cheese, rivalled Sweet Life‘s) and eventually made it to our hotel (it helps to have an employee discount!).

We were supposed to hook up with our friends Jamie and Chris at REI but it turns out Ted got them lost on a shortcut. Chris and Ted were to go to Mt. Bachelor for skiing and snowboarding while Jamie, with her gimpy arm, was to go snowshoeing with us. She didn’t have shoes so we needed to pick some up for her. Unfortunately, they didn’t open until 11. So we had to wait. Eventually, we got in there, got our stuff and took off for the snow. We hooked up with Jamie and had a great little hike from the Dutchman’s Flat Sno-Park. The sun was out, the sky was clear, the scenery was gorgeous and the snow was great. It was so nice out, we were shedding jackets! Then we hooked up with the boys and went back to the hotel, just as the sun was disappearing.

Then we went to the local McMenamins (an old Catholic schoolhouse) for some beer and pizza and fries. Then we bummed about Bend trying to find somewhere cool to go to ring in the new year. We were going to go to the obvious hot spot in Bend, the Grove, but the $10 charge turned everyone off. We ended up at some dive bar with a good juke box. Then we went tiredly home and all fell asleep after watching some of “Everest: Beyond the Limit” which we were all in awe of.

We woke up in the morning, had some breakfast (free at the Hampton!), got some more stuff and REI and left our companions on Bend while we travelled home. We were to be back by 6PM and we wanted to get some more snowshoeing in. So off we went, eventually stopping off just below Hoodoo at the Ray Benson Sno-Park. The undulating trail had deep snow, was more forested than the previous day’s trail, and went down to the Pacific Crest Trail— the very thing that originally brought me to Oregon over 10 years ago. It was so exciting, even the drizzly rain couldn’t spoil our moods. Christina kept a blistering pace and so we were pretty much wiped out and had to sing silly songs just to stay awake, but we made it at last.

To commemorate the moments we had this new years, check out Jamie’s pictures as well as our own personal new years greetings (click the pictures to play the video):

from Christina:

from Walter:

I have other video but I need to edit it, so you’ll have to wait on that. also might add just how cool snowshoes are. We’re definately hooked. Though Ted warned us vehemently against them (“Just wait until you have to go downhill. Give me skis instead.”) we absolutely loved it. Snowshoes are like the mountain bike of ski sports– they go over anything. You could use them to get deep into the backcountry and up on mountains that would be perfect for skiing or snowboarding. Just hang your gear off your backpack and hike in. The innovative Atlas shoes (complete with a woman’s specific design) we have certainly makes things easier relative to those old-school net designs like we see Bike Friday owner Vic Gedris demonstrating here.

Speaking of bikes and snowshoes, I might add that snowshoeing is great cross training for cyclists, and can get you burning up to 1000 calories per hour which is not only greater than cycling, running, or walking, it’s even greater than swimming. Watch out, though, you’ll be using muscles you probably haven’t been using much. Christina had a horribly sore hip. I wasn’t sore but totally wiped out. Bring lots of food. You’ll need it.

Anyways, we’re planning on heading out again soon, so if you want to come along, let us know. We bought shoes for Sierra, too, though she hasn’t tried them. We figure she’ll like it for a while and then get sick of it. I plan on having the sled on my backpack so I can pull her when that time comes. Should be a real blast. We’re thinking we’ll hike into some snow shelter or fire lookout and spend the night. I can’t wait. It’s raining here and all we can think about is snow.