Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Bend Birthday Backpacking Bonanza!

So the two day workweek flew by... I had lots of stuff to finish up and take care of before I could get out of there, so I was busy busy busy.

Thursday Andy and I went to Chipotes for dinner, yum. And we ran into Steve on our way out, so that was super fun. I love that I've been in Oregon long enough to "run into" people. That's always super cool!! Andy and I had a really good conversation, I enjoy spending time with him.

Wednesday and Thursday night work Andy (a different Andy) helped me with my rowing technique on the rowing machines. He is an excellent rower and used to be on his college rowing team, so he gave me a lot of good pointers. Definitely helped my workouts overall!!

Then Friday I did some food shopping for backpacking and went to REI to get my backpack and sleeping bag rental and a few last minute layering things, then I came home and started packing and organizing and whatnot. Vin came home from work around 4ish, so we packed up and headed out for Bend!! We stopped north of Salem for food and gas, and Vin decided it would be a good idea to teach me how to drive stick on the dark mountainous road late at night. YIKES. LUCKILY, I have had Patrick as an amazing teacher in the past, so I've had sooooooome experience, but not a whole lot. But actually I was completely fine driving until we had to stop, then I got kind of flustered because there were so many people around and couldn't get going again. By that time Vin was more awake so he took over. Patrick will be the first to tell you that I'm great at driving stick until I get flustered, then it's nearly impossible for me to get into 1st. Grrr. Oh well. I will master it some day. :-) Friday we spent some time hanging out with my family friends and packing up our backpacks and then went to bed.

Saturday morning it was up and at'em at 8:00 AM!! We had a good breakfast and loaded up the car and got out of there, heading up to the mountains by about 10 or so. We started our birthday backpacking bonanza at about 11:45, and it was snowing by about 12:30. We had a quick lunch at 1 and kept going, then realized we were a lot further along than we thought but that we had missed a turn 1.4 miles in (we were wondering how it was almost 2 and we hadn't made it 1.4 miles). We were about 7/10 of a mile off of the path, and it was snowing really heavy, and we were already on the backup GPS batteries. So Vin, being the wise and more experienced one, told me that my birthday bonanza was not going to get to go on. It was too risky to not be in the right place, have our tracks possibly be covered, etc. About 5 minutes after we turned around, we ran into a party of 5 that was going to summit Middle Sister (we were just going up to base camp). They had 2 GPSs and tons of maps, and they're like "we just don't have any brains!". I laughed and the one guy was like "that's right, you should laugh at us. Be glad your boy is the smart one who is turning around". But they headed on, and we encountered 5 other people along the way in parties of 1 and 2 who were headed up too. We did find the right route on our way back down, so we pointed some people in that direction so they wouldn't be lost too (8 / 10 of the other people had already missed the turn though). That's the danger in hiking in the snow though, you can follow tracks and they may or may not be the right ones. Once one party screws up (and Vin and I were not the first, we were following other tracks) it's easy for other to as well. So we went back down to the trailhead, set up camp there, and then drove to a lookout about 15 minutes away, hiked up to it, and tried to watch the sunset. No sunset = sad. But oh well. We went back to camp, made some dinner (Vin's a decent camping chef) and then Vin made me go to bed at like 8 PM on my birthday! But it was cold and for some reason he was tired (seriously no idea why) so too bad for me. I was still soooooo happy that I got to go backpacking though, I really wanted to do it and it was awesome overall, even though it wasn't an ideal situation. It snowed 12 inches all in all that day and night, so we were actually probably smart that we came down. Sunday morning we had breakfast at a crazy little place in Sisters (the town near Three Sisters) and then headed back home and took a nap. (not home, but to my dad's friend's house). Then we got up and did some shopping at the outlet mall, mountain shops, etc. and had dinner at the Deschutes Brewery, a little pub in town. It was decent and Vin loved the beer, though it was not my favorite. It was decent. Then we saw Hitch -- GREAT MOVIE!! Super funny, and we both enjoyed it a lot. Highly recommended for BOTH genders.

Monday morning we got up and packed up the car, had some breakfast, chit chatted, etc. We decided to go to Smith Rock State Park (actually we decided that Sunday) so we headed up that way. CLOUDY. Boo. It was cold and crabby and some members of our party (not mentioning any names) were tired and crabby so we decided just to do a little hiking and then head home. It was muddy and slippery, so I actually wasn't all that unhappy that we went home. Up near Portland though, it was BEAUTIFUL!!! 60 degrees and sunny in FEBRUARY! You can't ask for more than that! So we stopped along the way at Timberline Lodge near Mt. Hood and took some pictures, since Vin took them I'm sure they'll turn out beautifully. He really is talented. It would have been a PERFECT day for the PCG, but we were smelly and gross so we went to Vin's, unloaded, and then I went home and checked emailed and showered and whatnot. We grabbed Qdoba for dinner and he worked on his Myth TV while I read the Mountaineering book he gave me for my birthday. It was pretty cool to read while he was there, because I asked him a lot of questions and it was a pretty cool discussion. Definitely lots of good discussion this weekend, there were certainly highs and lows but it was great overall! I can't wait to get back out backpacking, hiking, snowshoeing, etc. :-) Three cheers for birthday bonanzas for many years to come!

1 comment:

Pidat said...

woo hoo for the practice car, and one of my best students of stick shift.