McKenzie Pass

February 14, 1993

Leading cross-country trips can become an adventure in itself as anyone who has led one will agree. My trip was going to be no more than an easy drive up to the base of Odell Butte and ski on some very easy, rolling terrain. As luck would have it, my work required me to be in the Bend area the Tuesday before my scheduled XC trip. I took advantage of this by checking out the area I planned on taking the group skiing on Sunday. No place to park, was what I found. The highway map shows what is termed a “chain-up area”: I found a 4-ft. wall of solid snow and ice. No parking here and no skiing. Onto Plan “B”. Let’s go ski up Odell Butte, surely they will have opened the access service road leading to the summit. There is a very large communications complex on top that needs service. Another 4-ft. wall of snow and ice! Plan “C”. What Plan “C”? OK … take out the maps and start looking for another place to ski. The long and the short is we ended up driving to Sisters and skiing from the east gate to Windy Point on well-churned snow, thanks to all the noisy, smelly, smoke belching snowmobiles. Don’t get me wrong, I like snowmobiles … in Michigan. Blue sky, white snow, mild temperatures and a breath-taking vista was our reward for the long drive. Many of us stopped in Sisters for hot spicy Mexican food before heading back to Eugene. Skiing with me and my new wife, the former Lynn Farmer, were good friends Michelle & Ken Blackwell, and new friends Mari Baldwin, Marilyn Kerins, Ed Lichtenstein and Grant Wiegert. I found it fun and rewarding to once again lead a trip for the Obsidians. Jerry Crosby, trip leader.

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