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  1. #1
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    A couple snowy overnighters

    Did two out-and-backs with my 13-year-old son recently -- once to a 3-sided shelter and once to a fire watch tower. These were a combination of bike, hike and sled.

    We got a late start each time and navigated some in the dark. This added a fun, challenging element for my son. He is building a base of outdoor experiences that, I hope, will serve him well in the future.

    Both destinations were in the Oregon Cascades east of Oakridge. What a great way to start off the year!






  2. #2
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    Awesome pictures. I love that area. What a good bonding experience with your son.

  3. #3
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    A couple snowy overnighters

    The first set of pix were from the fire overlook trip. These are from the shelter trek.



  4. #4
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    If that is a huge wood pile I see, you probably kept plenty warm inside the 3 wall shelter.
    That fire watch tower looks interesting. Is that where you stayed? I'd like to do that.

    As an aside, I realized that I will be 62 years old when my son is a teenager. I bet I will still be heavily into biking. I hope he will be too so we can do things like this!

  5. #5
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    A couple snowy overnighters

    Yes, the ski patrol stocks lots of firewood in these shelters, which is great. The lookout tower was fantastic -- first time we had done that. Kinda luxurious for bikepacking standards (see pic below).

    I have a 4-year-old daughter who will no doubt be a big biker, too, so I look forward to many more years of this kind of fun! (I will be 64 when she turns 18!)


  6. #6
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    That lookout tower looks great and the stove exudes comfort. Can't beat those digs after a, no doubt hard trek, to get there.

    We must both be the same age, 50.

  7. #7
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    What a fantastic outing. It truly must have been a truly formative experience for you son. Living in Michigan, I had never seen those types of shelters. Are those common? Did you have to book them in advance?

  8. #8
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    A couple snowy overnighters

    These fire watch towers are fairly common throughout the West, mainly because there are so many thousands of acres of mountainous timberland out here.

    They are popular to rent, however, so you have to plan ahead or get lucky, like we did, and pounce on an opening once we heard that a friend could not use use his reservation.

    Seems like I remember Casey Greene or some other bikepacking contributor posting a lengthy blog about riding into fire lookouts. I'll find a link and post it.

  9. #9
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    A couple snowy overnighters

    Here it is, along with some great pictures:

    http://greenecasey.blogspot.com/2013...kouts.html?m=1

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    A couple snowy overnighters

    And, xycarp, while you might be jealous of our fire towers out here in the West, I am beginning to envy your fat biking opportunities in the Midwest.

    This is my first winter with a fat bike, and I am learning about the challenges of climbing and descending on all the various types of snow/ice/slush that form. The steep hills of the Cascades don't make it easy for staying upright on the bike. Some gentle, rolling hills and nice snowpack would be nice.

  11. #11
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    Nice rides

    The fire tower pic [almost] makes me miss living someplace without snow!
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  12. #12
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    A couple snowy overnighters

    Thanks, Vik! (BTW I've been forwarding your Delorme InReach review to friends to get their advice, as I am trying to decide between that, a Spot or whatever else is out there. Nice informative review.)

  13. #13
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    That lookout is a beaut. One of the most unique ones i've ever seen.
    Casey Greene - Cartographer - Adventure Cycling Association
    http://greenecasey.blogspot.com

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by eugenemtbing View Post
    And, xycarp, while you might be jealous of our fire towers out here in the West, I am beginning to envy your fat biking opportunities in the Midwest.

    This is my first winter with a fat bike, and I am learning about the challenges of climbing and descending on all the various types of snow/ice/slush that form. The steep hills of the Cascades don't make it easy for staying upright on the bike. Some gentle, rolling hills and nice snowpack would be nice.
    Rolling hills we have plenty of... lookouts, not so lucky. Inspired by your posts, I did a search to see if we might have some in Michigan (we actually have a ton of forest land here). Nope, not a one. Too bad, that does look like a great time.

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