Jan 4, 2015

A New Year Ski Tour

We headed to the Cascades over the new year to take advantage of a good weather window. 

Camping below Broken Top was incredible. 

Here are a few pics from our four day ski tour.

The recent storm & cold temps were great for the ski.

Kirk is using his new Hyperlite Mountain Gear pack.

The skiing was great until temps just over freezing caused this to happen.

Well worth the clumpy snow!

We are also using our new Hyperlite Mid.

The view from our tarp.

This mountain is constantly changing, much better than TV.

Looking back toward Mt. Bachelor.

Nov 8, 2014

Continental Divide Trail 2015

I've been writing more on my other blog lately...this winter I'm preparing for a northbound thru-hike of the Continental Divide Trail. This hike will complete my triple crown of long distance trails in the U.S. and, more importantly, give me the chance to disappear into the wilderness for about 5 months. Can't wait!

I hope to do a lot of boating this winter, but many of my trips will be on two feet...like last weekend in the Ochoco Mountains near Bend:

Check in at www.sherahikes.wordpress.com throughout the winter if you are interested in the hike, and follow me when I start from the Mexican border mid-April and start hiking to Canada!


Sep 4, 2014

Paddle Camping on Smith Reservoir

Kirk had paddled on Smith Reservoir (McKenzie River drainage) as a kid growing up in the Oregon valley, and had always wanted to return. A paddle-in-only camp lay at the far end of the lake, and upstream? Packrafting potential.

We left summer in Bend to come to a drizzly-to-downpour kind of day on the rainy side of the mountains. It was ok though, Kirk remembered the dry tops...I however, didn't bring any rain gear. I was caught up in the summer dream.

The reservoir is two miles long, which for a packraft seems like a long time. We talked of sails and other kinds of boats that travel more effeciently on lakes, but all in all it was a wonderful float and our arms got a workout!

There are acutally 17 campspots at the end of the lake, many up off the banks of the water since Smith Creek seasonally unleashes a torrent of water into the reservoir. We found a cozy spot, set up camp and got ready to explore the creek.

Now we couldn't find much info on Smith Creek, and water levels were much too low to boat anything on this trip, but scoping it out for the future was the main plan.

We crossed the river in our boats, stashed them in some trees and began picking our way up the mossy boulders.

It started to rain while we were exploring, and the drizzle turned into quite a downpour. Walking on wet mossy rocks is an entirely different sport than hopping along on dry riverbed rocks. Think ankle breakers.

We didn't make it too far when we had to dunk out of the rain, my windshirt just wasn't cutting it.

But at least we had a good view

This creek can PUMP! Look at all those trees. The size of the rocks and size of the wood in the drainage lead us to believe this is a waterway to hit around the 600, 1,000 cfs range. Anything bigger would be quite a challenge.

We were waiting out the rain a good hour when we both came to the realization that rain on this side of the mountains can last all day. So, we headed back to camp knowing we had a dry tent to duck into.

I found walking in the water was more stable, and we slowly inched our way back.

The rest of the day passed, lots more rain, lots of napping, reading and just being. The evening dried out a bit and we were able to enjoy a campfire until night drove us into our sleeping bags.

We will be back, oh yes, we will be back. Probably hitting this in June or July could put us at the right water flows to boat some of Smith Creek, we'll have to let you know how that goes in the future!

Aug 18, 2014

Scouting Trip - Linton Creek

When I met Kirk I discovered the beauty of walking up creeks. The more mountainous, the more interesting...sometimes. A few weekends ago we decided to go check out Linton Creek which runs into Linton Lake on the West side of Middle Sister. It surely was not packraftable, but I had hopes for the upper meadows...if we could get far enough there could be some amazing boating opportunities upstream. 

Meanwhile I am discovering the joys of mapping trip tracks on Google Earth. I have been using the Trimble Outdoors Navigator App to create tracks on some of our hiking/skiing/boating trips this year, but didn't think to export the tracks to Google Earth till now. Wow. 

This is an overview of the area.

We didn't bring boats, it was merely to be a backpacking/bushwack trip along the creek. 

The trail in was quite pleasent

I wanted to swim

But kept hiking

until we could spash around here

we were in for a CLIMB.

But we did see waterfalls!

And on top we encountered....


And bugs

We did find some relief back on the creek

 But camp was nothing to take a picture of.

This particular bushwack, while having a few shiny moments over the whole weekend, was something I won't repeat. Next time I'll try and reach these meadows

from the upper trails!