shredventures: experiencing “free refills” at elk lake resorts last day

a&e, oregon, photo essay, shredventures, travel

For all the times I’v ridden in a car on Cascade Lakes HWY, one would think I’d seen all there is to see… Not so.

Beginning the days adventure at Wanoga, with a final destination of lunch at Elk Lake Lodge for there last day of winter operations, I reluctantly boarded my sled. The sport of snowmobiling had never much been on my radar prior to this afternoons’ excursion. Ignition engaged and throttle revved, the adventure began. I quickly realized I was atop a cross between a motorcycle and a riding lawn mower on steroids. Perhaps the most obvious over sight, realized when I had a chance to sit in the drivers seat, was the lack of power steering.

Crossing north under the HWY and circumnavigating a quadrant of Tumalo Butte with Bachelor to the south, it was suddenly obvious we were on the HWY, the potion blocked off in the winter, accept to snowmobiles. Traveling across what once was paved of red cinders (circa the olden days) and what currently resembled a fluffy blanket of clouds, the snow enveloped 95% of my field of view. Where once I had paddled on water ways, now snow, where once I had walked among the grassland, shrubs, and pine, now snow, and where once jagged cliff edges lept into the horizon and threatened to rip the sky, now gentle slopes of white colored all. Perhaps most impressive, the complete disappearance of Hosmer below the winter cover.

Growing up in my neighborhood, middle daughter to a lower-middle class blue collar family, appreciating winter meant praying for a snow so one might miss school. One rarely saw enough to constitute a trip down a hill on a cookie sheet and didn’t dare imagine ever making it to Hood for an actual ski trip. Hood, though a stones throw from Portland, for folks in my neighborhood was our of reach in terms of distance and class.

Sitting behind my driver, nearing the end of our total 47 mile jaunt, I felt like a severely jostled rag doll. Though I found it increasingly difficult to hold on, behind my full face helmet, the little girl inside from my old neighborhood snuck out, and I beamed with the tier of a truly epic day. I remember now why I named my winter show, opening April 9th (this Wednesday), 7pm, at The Plankery “free refills”. I found yet another way that our Central Oregon seasonal snow cache fills me up. Please attend the opening and share with the crowd what fills you up in the winter…

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