It was a blue-sky day…again. I felt like doing something different today so instead of skiing I drove east, into the high desert. There was more snow than I’d expected so no mountain biking on the pumice soil roads and trails for a while yet. I had Rio and the neighbor’s dog, Radcliff, for company. About 15 miles west of Bend there are a number of hiking trails in various parts of the Bad Lands Wilderness Study Area. I went to the trailhead off Dodd Road. Few people even know this area exists, other than the locals who live on mini ranchettes with their blooded horses.
There was a day-old track through the snow but a mile from the trailhead we left all remnants of humans behind and had a lovely two-hour trek through the desert. I am particularly fond of this tract of land because it burned some time ago leaving behind the charred skeletons of many old juniper trees. These make for some great photography, especially when the sky is crispy blue and the late afternoon shadows add depth and character to these spectacular sculptures of Mother Nature.