Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Other Side Of The Mountains

It was a frosty morning in Portland when we left on Thursday morning to head east over the Cascades, but once we got to Sunriver it was a new level of frosty, down below zero most nights and not much higher the rest of the time. Beautiful, though - clear and blue, with the ice crystals that formed overnight on the treetops dusting down in a rain of glittering sparks throughout the day. Mom and I went on a walk with Daisy the dog on Friday afternoon while everyone else was out watching football. We walked on the road that loops past and over the canal off the Deschutes River, which itself loops back and forth across the flat high desert. Daisy bounded off through the drifts, body-surfing in the powder. The skiing was probably amazing on Mt Bachelor this weekend.

Sunriver itself is not a place I'm familiar with, although I did get over there once the spring before I left for France. And Mom reminded me that we went there once when we lived in Ashland, where we learned to cross-country ski. Other than that I never really went farther east than Breitenbush, mostly, although Bend is only about 3 hours away from Portland. It was nice crunching around in the snow, though, and I wouldn't mind visiting more often in the winter.

Yesterday we visited a great thrift store where I finally found a dress black Ralph Lauren skirt that I can wear for work and a pair of Eddie Bauer fleece-lined boots, plus a nice scarf and two bowls for the kitchen, all for under 40 dollars. John scored with a merino wool sweater and another in cashmere for half that. If it weren't 3 hours away I would shop at that thrift store every week. Then we went to the craft fair at the Sunriver Resort, and took a short walk along the path by the golf course, where Daisy tore around madly some more, enjoying the snow.

Mom had prepared Thanksgiving dinner, with ham that John had smoked himself, and a grilled ling cod that they caught off the coast at Gold Beach, plus green beans and rice salad and carrots and homemade cranberry mustard. Friday I put in about 6 hours of freelance work in the morning, and then baked two desserts after Mom and I got back from our walk. One turned out very oddly - that was the experimental recipe I'd had in mind, and reminded me of why I don't bake more often. Too much measuring. The other turned out well, though. More freelance work that evening while Kate and Ben and Morgan taught Mom how to play Texas Hold'em, and Leah chatted to her boyfriend on Skype. After a late lunch at a local restaurant on Saturday, we were content to graze on leftovers last night, and had just enough to make sack lunches for our respective drives home to Carpenterville (Mom and John), Corvallis (Morgan), and Portland.

The roads were much less icy on the drive back, and it was a quicker drive. It got warmer as we went west, and by the time we came over the crest of the mountains it was up above freezing again, though I was glad enough to turn the heat on in the house before I unpacked, and I don't have my bedroom window cracked open as I generally do, to get the fresh air. It's a little too fresh out there right now. Though perhaps I should go out and enjoy the clear cold skies while they're here - the weather will change tomorrow, and instead of sun we'll be back to rain for the foreseeable future. But I'm grateful for the good weather over Thanksgiving, and the chance to share it with my family again. Now if only Ian and Corey and Vanessa could have been there ...

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