Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

This year for Thanksgiving Emily and I once again split a vacation house rental in Sunriver with friends.  We ended up getting the same one I visited in 2007 for my first Sunriver Trip with Kristen Splinter, the Jackelope Lodge.  This place is crazy cheap at around $110 a night split between Danielle, Scott, Jason, Jenn, Emily and I (but it sleeps about 12 too..).  It has a dock in the back into the little Deschutes waterway through Sunriver and a hot tub on the back porch that was the perfect size for the 6 of us.  

After a long drive through the Dalles and then Rte 97 to avoid snow in the Prius we all met up at the lodge on Wednesday night around 10:30pm and kicked off the weekend with rounds of bourbon, beer and baileys in the hot tub.  Emily and I took a bedroom downstairs across from Scott and Danielle and Jason and Jen took a bed upstairs.  We were disappointed to find the ice machine not working, no wi-fi for sports and no tv reception but looking back it was probably a good thing to disconnect from the world for a few days.

On Thanksgiving we basically spent the whole day relaxing inside with a hot fire and casually preparing our dinner.  Jason got the peanut oil up to temp outside in the yard and it took us about an hour to deep fry the various birds.  ~40min for the 14lb turkey, 20 for the duck, 15 for the chicken and about 4 for the cornish game hen.  Deep frying Emily’s Thanksgiving egg rolls only took about 60 seconds for them all to float to the surface.  

Jason cut up the giblets into some corn bred dressing Jen had made and Danielle made some crazy good garlic mashed potatoes and baked root vegetables.  Jen also made sweet potatoes, Danielle made her green bean casserole, we had my mom’s harvard beets, cranberry sauce, duck sauce Hawaiian rolls and a great mushroom sauce by Danielle.  Yes, all this and and homemade marionberry cream pie Emily had picked up for just 6 of us!  I ended up taking a plate of legs from each bird and had to use a separate plate to hold all my sides and to the amazement of no one I of course polished it all off.  The rest of the night was spent watching movies and relaxing with very full friends.

On Friday Em and I left the house around 10am for a 2hr backcountry ski descent of Tumalo which seems to have become a Thanksgiving tradition for us.  The area had just received the first big snowstorm of the year so we thankfully found ourselves skiing relatively soft powder at the top of Tumalo which became a little heavier near the base in the warmer temperatures.  We had trouble finding a parking spot at first on the busy weekend but once we did it took us no time at all to follow a wide skin track all the way to the summit.

On top we were rewarded with great views of the Sisters and Broken top under a beautiful white blanket of snow and could see clearly all the way south over Mt. Bachelor towards the lightning rod shape of Mt. Thielsen.  We had debated going to Bachelor but knew we wouldn’t want to get up early and with only 2-3 lifts open found their $60 opening day ticket price a bit absurd.  Instead we had fresh tracks down through the trees of Tumalo for free with much needed exercise after our meal the night before.   

We stopped at a ski shop and bike shop on the way back to the house and tried to get a hold of Hartz who was hosting guests over the weekend but they were out at Smith Rock and we missed them.  Jason, Scott, Danielle and Jenn went off on a hike that they had to turn back on because of a flooded stream crossing that wasn’t safe so we beat them back to the house where I was dismayed to find the meat locked in Jason’s car.  After some frantic texts I found a way into his Jeep and had a generous portion of meat that a racoon/bear had also gnawed on the night before when it had broken into the cooler on the porch.  Not sure why but I definitely had a much bigger night on Friday than the two previous nights.  

On Saturday I was a bit slow to rise and did my best to gather myself together with some breakfast of bacon wrapped eggs by Jenn before we headed downtown to watch the annual Civil War game between the OSU Beavers and U of O Ducks.  We had planned to watch it at the McMenemins Theater but the place was packed with older people it seemed with no room so we headed off to Brother Jon’s Public House instead.  We had a great server and a couple rounds of drinks (I had hot chocolate mint toddy’s) but unfortunately the Beavers were playing like shit so we left at half time to meet up with Tim and Lindsay at their friend Brad’s house a few blocks away (Same Brad as Tam Rim overnight a year ago).  Brad’s girlfriend Stacey was working the bar at Bachelor so we didn’t get to see her but it was good to see him and Winston the dog again.  

Hartz finally got a hold of me after the game and we all headed back to McMenamins to get a drink with him, Jenni, Anna, John, Heather and Grady.  It was good to catch up with Hartz after so long having not seen him.  He and Jenni are awesome and I wish they lived closer to us.  They both seem to be struggling for work but that’s the opposite side of the coin for living in what I would call the heaven of outdoor sports cities.   By 6pm it was time for us to head back to our hot tub while they headed into the soaking pools there.  

Saturday night Tim and Lindsay joined us for the night and Emily provided everyone with a wine tasting of our selection of possible wines for our wedding.  I think we all chose a good red and wine but I can’t remember now what they were!!  We had a relaxing night again with friends before heading to bed.  On Sunday we spent the morning cleaning up the house for a few hours before taking off around 11am for the long trip home.  Em and I saw a deer while heading out of Sunriver and were able to pick up our Fusion passes at SkiBowl on the beautiful drive home via Warm Springs and Government Camp.  It was a great long weekend with friends and we of course look forward to it again next year.

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