Mt. Bachelor

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January 18-21, 2002, Mt. Bachelor, Oregon 

As a ski trip, this was not our most successful outing.  But we very much enjoyed sharing a condominium at the Sunriver Resort with friends David, Jeanne, and Nicolai Williamson.

We drove south from Seattle on Friday, and it took much longer than we'd anticipated. We left about 1:00 PM, but we didn't arrive in Sunriver until 9:00 that evening. The last couple hours in the dark on snow-covered roads were dicey, but we made it.

Saturday we went up the mountain.  Mt. Bachelor is a huge ski area, and we eagerly anticipated skiing there, but conditions prevented exploration.  Oregon had received so much new snow that any but the most well-groomed runs were deep and slow going.  Contributing to the difficulty was flat light that prevented us from seeing the snow conditions ahead. Extremely high winds at the top of the chairs added even more discomfort. Cameron and Nicolai especially struggled, so Amy and Jeanne kept them on the easiest slopes all day. Jan and David did manage to get away in the afternoon for several more adventurous runs.

Sunday we were disappointed to be turned back half-way up the mountain with news that winds were so high that the ski area was closed.  We later learned that it was not entirely closed, but only three to four runs were open, and winds even at the bottom were clocked at 90 mph!

So we spent the day exploring the resort, hiking to lunch at a nearby restaurant, shopping in the resort's mall (prices were surprisingly reasonable), enjoying the sun and snow, and treating ourselves to jigsaw puzzles, books, and hot chocolate inside by the fireplace.  It was a pleasant, cozy day.  Gezellig, as Jan would say.

Above left, Amy, Jan and Cameron. At right, David, Nicolai and Jeanne. While a blizzard raged on top of the mountain, we had beautiful weather below.

Above left, Cameron and Nicolai play in the snow. They started the snowperson that Jan and David finished (above right).  The men continued their work until the figure was obviously a snow woman.  During a subsequent afternoon walk around the resort, neighbors, presumably offended by the dubious artistic quality of the sculpted nude, knocked her down.

Some people made the best of the mountain's inaccessibility by cross country skiing or snow shoeing.

Unfortunately, our drive back home on Monday was hellacious.  About 1 1/2 hours into our trip , half-way up Santiam pass on Hwy 20, we were stopped because the pass was closed, with no idea how long that situation would last. So we turned around, adding hours to our journey, and drove north toward Mt. Hood to traverse the pass there.  We did make it over, but through the course of the day Jan had to change into and out of chains twice, and we were often plagued by blowing snow and anxious visions of  sleeping in the car overnight. In total, the trip took about 10 hours.

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