Most people take a vacation in wintertime to get away from snow and cold. After all, isn’t the purpose of a vacation to go somewhere different and experience something new?
I’m a fan of winter vacations to warm environments. Check out my January cruise and my December trip to Hawaii or Mexico. I’m a summer lover so the best vacation involves summer weather.
Except when it doesn’t.
Because a vacation to a cold climate is better than no vacation at all. That’s my theory, and after the wonderful week spent at Eagle Crest in Redmond, Oregon where the top temperature was 52 degrees, my theory has been validated.
Why Eagle Crest
When you’ve been waking up to gray skies for six weeks and the rain is drowning you, this is a pretty nice view.
Every morning, I opened the blinds while my coffee brewed to stare out at the golf course. One morning, it was snowing. I tried to capture that on video, but the lighting wasn’t right. One morning, there were two deer sleeping on the green.
I would have loved to sit out on the deck and really enjoy the beauty. But with the exception of the first morning, there was thick frost on the ground and my coffee would have frozen over before I could finish drinking it.
So, I enjoyed the high desert landscape from inside my comfortable condo. Because that’s the reason we bought a timeshare at Eagle Crest back in the 90s.
Two years ago when we visited during this same time of year, it snowed every day. We walked the paved paths bundled in snow gear. Our unit was on the other side of the road where the herd of deer hung out beneath the trees in the rough and grazed along the fairway.
This year, we saw the deer huddled together a dozen yards from the walking path when we did the back loop on our last morning at the resort.
The beauty of Central Oregon is different from what we have on the west side of the mountain, but it’s not any less magnificent.
A New Experience
One place we’ve never visited in all our years of travel to the Redmond area is Smith Rock State Park. If you see the vast amounts of parking they have there and even the way the cars line the road in winter, you’ll understand why we avoided it during summertime visits.
This year, my husband wanted to “check it out.” I knew there were hiking trails but we didn’t go prepared for a long hike.
That meant we didn’t climb to the top of the 3,200-foot ridge that overlooks the Crooked River. We saw the Misery Ridge Trail and a few people hiking up it. There were a number of climbers scaling various faces of the rocks and my husband found watching them fascinating.
We parked near the viewpoint at the northeast side of Smith Rock and hiked down to the river on the Homestead Trail. It wasn’t more than a goat path in a few areas, and it was steep enough I was glad we weren’t trying to go back up it later.
Even though it was sunny (and the sky makes you think it would be warm), it was only 42 degrees out. As we walked along the River Trail so we could see a few of the climbing walls, the wind picked up making me wish for a heavier coat.
It was lovely. I’m so glad we took an afternoon out of our vacation to experience something new.
Resting in the “Same Old”
Some people wonder why we go to “the same old place” for vacation all the time.
For me, it’s comforting to know what you’re getting when you visit a resort for a week. I know the trails are paved and I’ll be able to walk them daily regardless of weather. Of course, I know the annual rain fall amount is so low (and the number of blue sky days is incredibly HIGH) , so I’m guaranteed a no-gray stay.
We’re used to the amenities. When we drive to a resort, we save so much on groceries because I plan the menu in advance, shop in advance (ideally) and we carry it all in and fill the refrigerator, freezer and cupboards.
This trip, I forgot most of the things from our indoor freezer, so we had to make a couple trips to the grocery store to replace those. This is what happens when I “help” my husband pack the cooler for a trip. Next time, I’ll leave him to it.
Maybe. If I remember.
What is your idea of a perfect winter vacation? If you live somewhere sunny, would you travel to the snow?