Now that Christmas break is officially here, it’s time to finally share what we did for our annual Thanksgiving trip!
If you’ll recall, since moving to Oregon, we haven’t been able to spend Thanksgiving with our families. After a pretty lame first Thanksgiving on our own, waaayyyy back in 2012, we decided we should take advantage of the time off of work/school and do a little exploring during Thanksgiving (bonus: you can get sweet deals on lodging during Thanksgiving because it’s the off season for most places in the PNW). For our first Thanksgiving extravaganza, we camped and hiked in the Redwoods (lesson learned: there is nothing to do when you are camping and it gets dark at 5 pm). In 2014, we went to Joseph, Oregon and fell in love with the Wallowa Mountains (the Oregon Alps, as they say). Last year, we stayed in a tiny house in Leavenworth, Washington, hiked through 17 miles of snow, and saw the coolest frozen lake.
Thanksgiving 2016 was a trip to Bend, Oregon, love of my life.
After signing up for a hilariously delightful town 5k in Leavenworth last year, I’ve determined running a Thanksgiving day race should be a tradition for the rest of our lives. So we signed up for the “I Like Pie” 10k in Bend, which featured a pie contest (my apple pie did not win), and free pie for all at the finish line. We even got a little celebrity sighting, as we started the race right next to pro athletes, Jesse Thomas and Lauren Fleshman. Obviously, we did not remain next to them for long…but I did run the fastest 10k of my life.
On Thanksgiving afternoon, we set out for a hike around Shevlin Park. I wish we could’ve stayed for a week because these trails would be perfect for running. I thought we were living in a runner’s dream world in Portland, but Bend seems mighty fine.
Because Bend is minutes from the mountains, we got to play in lots of beautiful snow. I got to snowshoe for the first time ever, and it was marvelous. (We rented our snowshoes at Powder House, and they were great!) We snowshoed through the dreamiest of snows up to the top of Tumalo Mountain, which, on a clear day, has incredible views of the Three Sisters.
By the time we got up to the top, it was a total whiteout. There were some crazies who hiked up to the top and skied down, completely blind. We watched them in amazement for the few seconds we could see them until they disappeared into what I’m hoping continued to be solid land on the side of a mountain, rather than the edge of the world, as I suspect.
We also hiked up to the top of Black Butte. Once again, on a clear day, you’d get great views of all the mountains. But the clouds rolled in as we started hiking, and as soon as we got to the top, snow started to fall (hello, magic). And we were some of the last hikers to get to see this crazy old cabin, which the forest service burned down a week or so later.
Here’s to another magical Thanksgiving!