Monday, May 4, 2009

Biking In Sunriver, OR

April 30: Several meals had been planned the previous day, and by noon our car was packed, the bikes secured on the rack, and we headed out to meet our friends and venture toward Central Oregon. They had invited us to join them at a timeshare for several days. How fortunate were we?

What a gorgeous day as we drove southeast on highway 58, a beautiful sunny 68 degrees as we hugged the shoreline of the fresh and luring blue-green waters of Dexter Lake. (click on photos to enlarge)

Diamond Peak Wilderness ushered us upward toward a 4000 feet elevation. Piles of snow along the highway, 55 degrees, and a continuing climb to 5000 feet, found us finally plateauing and reaching Crescent and our turnoff at route 97. A casual drive, a few stops along the way, and within several hours we arrived at our destination.

Unload, unpack and settle into a beautiful 3 bedroom townhouse amidst the birch and pines, and in due course we began preparing our first evening's dinner, a tri-tip on the grill, sauteed mushrooms, fresh garden salad, and of course a paired bottle of red wine. Smilingly, we're in for an evening of enjoyment.

May 1-2: We readied and layered, helmets, rain gear, camera, gloves... I think it's time to roll. But wait, who is taking a picture of whom?

Sunriver is a beautiful spot built in the high desert at approximately 4200 feet elevation. The natural surrounding of lush meadows and grasses, birch and pine trees, the fresh scent that fills the air...

miles and miles of winding trails and bike paths, a sanctuary for wildlife... all amidst the 3300 acres which flank the Deschutes River and Deschutes National Forest. Since this was off-season, we basically had everything to ourselves and that suited us. What's not to enjoy?

At each turn Osprey flew and circled overhead fishing for food; Red-winged Blackbirds puffed their colors; and the other end of the wood ducks made us chuckle...

as Canadian geese watched over their brood.

How special is this? A Cinnamon Teal (Anas cyanoptera), the first I had ever seen, tucked against the river's edge, posing, perhaps simply waiting to have his picture taken?

The day was stunningly quiet, a stillness, yet so alive, as we paused to inhale and receive those special moments... a flow and gift of God and nature as it lay before us, all freely offered.

And is he not the cutest little greens keeper you've ever seen? We watched, he looked, but glanced away, for he knew he was being admired and not to be bothered. Was he not now the master of the golf course?

May 3: While riding yesterday, we discovered the Trout House Restaurant and Marina. Shall we treat our friends to breakfast this morning since this...

greeted us from our bedroom window? It would be a pleasure, and it was, as we sat at our table overlooking the river, watching the birds and beautiful orchestration of movement outdoors.

Following the fine breakfast the rest of the day might lend itself to reading and further relaxation and conversation among friends, for tomorrow we depart.

May 4: A gray overcast sky and occasional showers accompanied us on our southern journey toward Crescent, west onto Crescent Cutoff Road and homeward bound. As one enters the Deschutes National Forest, amazing is the volcanic monument which towers skyward along the highway. (sorry I didn't get a photo of that one)

Charred tree stumps remain among the handsome Ponderosa pines, and occasional patches of snow lie quietly upon the forest's surface. 37 degrees registers as we skirt the expansive and beautiful Odell Lake and begin a gradual ascent. A fleeting veil of fog reminds us of our 5000 foot elevation, but within minutes we begin a continual descent toward Oakridge. 3000 feet and 48 degrees.

Rain, home at last, and that is always a comforting feeling. Unpacked, everything put away, and now we reminisce about our adventure with wonderful friends and share that with you.