Nordic Skiing

 

Elk Lake in Winter, Bend OR

I got a late start on my sunset ski out to Elk Lake this weekend and didn’t leave the parking lot from Dutchman until 6 p.m. My pack was heavy and kept throwing me off balance, and once the wind kicked back up and clouds closed in, I considered turning around more than once.

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Paulina Lake in Winter, Bend OR

Travel to the lost world of Paulina Lake Lodge, just 45 minutes from Bend and you will feel transported to a wintry haven, far from the traffic lights and noise that can at times feel claustrophobic to so many of us who made the move to Bend for a life of serenity.

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Cross Country Ski with Your Dog or With Drink in Hand, Bend OR

Night Skiing

Not all of us have the luxury of flexible jobs that allow us to ditch the desk for an afternoon ski. But, because our sno-parks are so close to town, getting out on the trails at night has developed into quite the phenomenon in Central Oregon. On any given evening, you’re likely to run into at least a few other skiers, if not a whole group, like the gang of WebSkis skaters that usually goes up on Tuesday nights.

Over the last few months, I’ve had the chance to get out there with a bunch of friends at night to bask in the light of the full moon or celebrate a few birthday parties. We’ve often ended up at the Nordeen Shelter, which is about two miles from Swampy Sno-Park. Thanks to volunteers, most shelters have a well-stocked supply of firewood that skiers are welcome to burn for warmth. If it’s your first time organizing a group-hut excursion, try picking a destination that isn’t too far out – in case you lose energy or have a few too many rounds by the fire. The Meissner Shelter is also a safe bet and offers views both to the north and south.

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