The high lakes of the Cascades mountain range just west of Bend are amazing on their own. They become brilliant when a full moon climbs in the night sky to crest Mt. Bachelor and illuminates the lakes rendering any artificial light unnecessary. The added value of a great guide to fill us in on the history of the area made this a trip great for both locals and travelers.
Full moons happen every 30 days on average, giving Bend 3 or 4 full moons throughout the summer. During these full moon fazes there are 2 or 3 days on either side of the full moon when the moon sheds enough light to illuminate your path as you paddle along. Wanderlust Tours capitalizes on this window by offering a Full Moon Canoe Tour, the sister trip to their very popular Starlight Canoe Tour. On July 27th we visited Sparks Lake which sits just off the west slopes of Mt. Bachelor.
The night started with a fun and relaxing paddle from the boat launch to the south end of Sparks Lake. Our timing was perfect, no doubt the work of a veteran guide as we sailed into the south end of the lake just when the moonlight was beginning to shine over the top of Mt. Bachelor. At one moment it looked as if Mt. Bachelor was going to erupt in another fiery dance as the moon sat on the peak. We quickly paddled to the shore where we made a fire, enjoyed hot cocoa and desert as the real magic started to unfold. First the stars started to fade and then before we knew it we had a perfect mirror image of Mt. Bachelor reflecting off of Sparks Lake. We were all found speechless and lost in the shear beauty of the moment.
For me it was a blatant reminder of how lucky I am to call Bend home. For others who were visiting I can safely say their is a return visit to Bend on the calendar in the near future!
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