Families who play together stay together. Is that a phrase? Regardless, it's true for our Wanderlust Tours family. Twice a year we close our doors and embark on a wilderness journey together. This past week we made our way through Sisters (by way of Sisters Bakery for delicious donuts) and out to Whychus Creek Trail Head. With our cameras, snacks, and naturalist spirit, we headed out into the wilderness to explore and learn.
As we hiked the trail to the waterfall, we were reminded of the fires that had come through the area. Though it is currently green and lush, there is no mistaking the long-lasting effect of fires past. Stumps and branches were charred and fallen, and on a grey day, things seemed pretty bleak. However, a closer look revealed new growth popping up all over. Life and death coexisting and making great habitats for the woodland creatures. We continued hiking through the quiet forest, breathing in the fresh air. The end of the trail (about 2 miles) dropped us at the top of the huge waterfall. The Whychus Creek Waterfall is totally stunning. You do have to hike (slide?) down a few hundred feet to get to the bottom, but it's definitely worth it.
We continued to follow the river past the waterfall and up through the forest. The small path took us to more waterfalls, over fallen trees, into gullies, and up to ridges. A word to the wise: wear waterproof shoes or sandals. Crossing the river at one point required some in our party to remove their tennis shoes... and the water was COLD!! The view from the top of our final ridge was spectacular. We even had a mini snowball fight! There were just a few small patches of snow on the ridge. At the top we ate lunch and listened to the wind in the trees before playing a game of "lava" and using the fallen trees as bridges. It's okay if you're jealous.
After hiking back to the van we realized that we'd gone about 6.5 miles total. Happy hearts and tired feet led us back into Bend and straight to Bend Brewing Company for an early dinner. Most of our group indulged in the Volkssekt - the "Champagne of the North." It pairs well with the fish and chips. I don't know if that's actually true, but that's what I had and I loved every single bite. We finished the night with games like golf (the card game) and drinks from our friends at The Oregon Mead and Cider Company.
Thanks for letting us close the office for a bit! We had a great time but we missed you!!!