For a week we watched the weather forecast for the Cascades. Every day it was the same … rain. We had plans to meet a friend at Crescent Lake Resort for lunch, chatting, and hopefully, a nice walk. I wasn’t excited about the prospect of rain, but it did mean the roads would be clear. And, when it comes to lunch and chatting, we can easily cope with some rain. What we found was completely different… we found Sun!! And while the total lack of snow in the middle of January was rather alarming, I’m okay with a bit of sun shine on my face.
But let me back up a tad … every year we meet my college friend up at Willamette Pass some time during the winter or early spring. Or goals are simple — to enjoy lunch together, catch up, and get in a nice walk or perhaps some snow shoeing. In the past, we have always had our rendez-vous at Odell Lake Lodge, a place we have been enjoying for many, many years. This year we tried something different, Crescent Lake Resort which is only about 10 minutes further east from Odell.
In many respects, Crescent Lake Resort is a lot like Odell Lake Lodge — there is a restaurant and cabins with views of a lake. At Crescent Lake Resort you can rent a lot of different types of toys — Seadoos, kayaks, and various types of boats in the summer, and snow mobiles in the winter. Located beside the resort is a large campground, including a few yurts. With a good layer of snow, I suspect that Odell Lake Lodge is more suited for cross country skiing and snow shoeing, while Crescent Lake Resort is geared more toward the snowmobile crowd.
Before our day trip, my experience at the Resort was very limited and we weren’t exactly sure what to expect.To prepare, I searched the web and my hiking books for winter walking or snow shoeing opportunities, and beyond Fawn Lake Trail (which I’d love to do some spring or summer day), I came up empty handed. I figured we would wing it when we got up there and wasn’t disappointed. After a simple inquiry at the restaurant, I learned about an easy walking path to Simax Beach. In all the wide trail was just over a mile out. The wind coming off the lake was bitingly cold, but the walk was enjoyable. North Simax Beach is wide and sandy, with a lot of picnic tables and a few out-houses. I suspect it is pretty busy in the summer, but we had it to ourselves.
After our walk we enjoyed a tasty lunch at the Resort. We snagged our window-side table at just the right time as the restaurant filled up when the football game came on. Best of all, as we ate the sun came out and everything turned a beautiful blue.