December 31, 2012.
We camped at La Pine State Park last night, well…we stayed in a cabin anyways. A luxurious way to bring in the New Year. Today, we stretched our legs at Fort Rock State Park. I’d been here a few times before, mostly in the winter, so it was nothing new. But I enjoyed showing Aaron around a new place. Although he’d grown up in Oregon, this was his first trip to Fort Rock.
There was a little snow on the ground but nothing that boots and gaiters couldn’t handle.
We hiked up to views across the Central Oregon high desert, reaching off into the distance beneath a ceiling of gray clouds. Sagebrush dotted the white snowfields. We followed the trail for a bit and then scrambled around the snow-covered rocks to find the best outcrops. The sun tried really hard to burst through the clouds but it did not succeed.
We circled around the inside of the stony fortress and wandered onto a shelf covered in animal bones. Remains of owl pellets were scattered across the rocks. We poked around, finding tiny vertebrae, skulls, femurs and more. I felt like I was preparing a lab for my biology students.
Upon completing the circle, we returned to the lot where our car sat alone. It’s not a terribly well known place, and I like it that way. We drove back to our little cabin to settle in for the evening with a hearty dinner and a bottle of bubbly cider to celebrate the coming of 2013!
Photos from this hike and the rest of the camping trip can be found here.