This week marks the first official day of winter 2018, but Bend fanatics have been celebrating the snow-dusted great outdoors for weeks.
With ample white stuff in the mountains (nearly 100 inches at Mt. Bachelor since Oct. 1!) now’s a great time to head outside and savor the shivery flirtation between Mother Nature and Old Man Winter.
Few things make your heart sing like the euphoric union of those two crazy kids. The moon on the breast of new fallen snow really does take your breath away, and stars twinkle brighter above a soft bed of glittering powder. The sight of mountain peaks capped in white is guaranteed to leave you gasping, while every pulse-pounding winter adventure makes your heart thud harder in your ears.
(Sidenote: This is what happens when a romance author writes your travel blog).
With all that out of the way, here are four ways to play matchmaker between Mother Nature and Old Man Winter in Bend.
Get your heart pounding
For the ultimate union between Mother Nature and Old Man Winter, look no further than the slopes of Mt. Bachelor.
From skiing to snowboarding to telemarking, you’ll find 4,300 acres of lift-accessible terrain guaranteed to get your blood pumping. Mt. Bachelor also boasts the longest groomed Nordic season in North America, often extending into June.
Take the whole family to the Snowblast Tubing Park for an unforgettable sledding experience, or try the once-in-a-lifetime adventure of booking a sled dog ride. You can even take your own pup for some snow play at the Mt. Bachelor dog park so Fido isn’t left out of the action.
Come on, baby, light your fire
Few things are more romantic than a crackling fire, so bring Mother Nature and Old Man Winter together in style by scheduling a Bonfire on the Snow outing with Wanderlust Tours.
Guests will snowshoe through the sparkling forest to a warm, glowing bonfire crackling in an amphitheater hand-carved in the snow. Get that warm-and-fuzzy feeling when you sip cocoa laced with hazelnut espresso vodka and share snacks and stories around the fire.
The price includes a knowledgeable naturalist guide, plus all gear and transportation. You provide the legwork, and maybe a sprinkle of cupid dust for the happy couple.
Find that dizzy-in-love feeling
You know that lightheaded wobbly feeling you get when you first fall in love? Your toes curl, your fingertips tingle, and your belly feels like someone filled you with pop rocks and warm butterscotch.
Get that same feeling (or pretty darned close) by taking a twirl around an ice rink. Plenty of spots around Central Oregon offer ice skating options, from the open air rink at Seventh Mountain Resort to the family favorite ice rink at Sunriver Resort to Bend’s icy gem The Pavilion (the only NHL-sized rink in Central Oregon).
All the rinks offer open skating, along with rentals, tummy-warming snacks and beverages, and a chance to twirl yourself silly under the stars.
How about some heavy breathing?
When you’re ready turbo-charge your heartrate, few things do the trick like pumping the pedals of a mountain bike.
The beauty of Bend in wintertime is that you can spend all day shredding the slopes at Mt. Bachelor and still find dry bike trails back at lower elevations near Bend. If the snow’s still calling your name, give fat biking a try on the snowy trail of your choice.
You can rent both regular mountain bikes and fat bikes from several shops in town, or get a guided adventure from the folks at Cog Wild.
Go here to read up on local trails and make sure you’re pedaling where you’re supposed to be. Remember never to bike on muddy trails, since it ruins the ride for the next bikers.
Last but not least, be sure to congratulate Mother Nature and Old Man Winter on their happy union. Isn’t love beautiful?