All in a Day’s Work – 15 Hours in Bend, Oregon

Wakeup call. Yes, get out of bed. You won’t regret it later.

5:00 – 6:00am: Start working. Drink a preliminary cup of coffee. Put on your puffer jacket.

6:00 -7:30am: Go to Thump Coffee and work.

Then go back to the apartment to grab something and get ready for a meeting.

Watch the sun rise around you.

Watch the full moon sink behind the houses across the river.

Walk across crunchy frozen grass and shoot a picture.

8:30-12:30 - Go to work. Sit in a four hour meeting (and crush it because you are energized by clear air and pink sunrises). By the time you leave, you will have already done 6.5 hours of work and the afternoon will be yours.

Ride your No Bozos Cruiser bike to the meeting through big, blinding sun rays. Lock it to a pole outside so it can soak up some Vitamin D.

12:30-2:00pm At the end of your meeting, your client urges you to climb Mt. Tumalo. Smart people listen to their clients.

Wrap up your notes, tie up a a few loose ends, return some phone calls and then book over to Pine Mountain Sports and rent a pair of snowshoes. Then go home, find something cozy and wicking to wear, fill a thermos with piping hot Coconut Chai Black Tea, grab a packet of dried mangoes and drive 20 minutes to Dutchman Flat Sno-Park at the base of Mt. Bachelor.

2:00 – 3:30pm Strap on previously acquired snowshoes and start walking. Straight up.

You will get hot almost immediately.
Your cheeks will get rosy.
You will wonder at the capacity of these nifty clomp-clomp foot things to get you straight into the snowy wilderness.
You will absorb silence interrupted by occasionally whipping wind.

After 30 minutes, you’ll realize you are making progress.
Stop, look around. Realize that a view is threatening to reveal itself.
Admire the blue and yellow stained color of the sky.
Get summit fever.
You want that fucking vista.
Hike faster.

When you see Mt. Bachelor in full view stop and take a picture and suck your breath in a little bit because, really? An hour into a hike and you’re staring at this? Two hours ago you were sitting in a conference room? Seriously?

You are standing at 7700 feet.

You have just ascended 1350 feet over 1.5 miles. It was steep. You feel good.

It’s amazing and you know it.
Let yourself feel small.
Let yourself feel big.

3:00pm - When you get to the top, clomp around a bit and explore, because it’s a 360 degree view in all directions. Stop and put on the puffer jacket you stuffed into your day pack. Huddle against the ripping wind. Defy the ripping wind. Open your thermos and pour yourself a cup of tea. Eat a snack.

Jump up and down.
Put your arms in the air.
It’s hard not to.

3:15-3:45 Walk down carefully and enjoy the view as you go. You’ve seen no one. You haven’t spoken in over two hours. You are in love with a mountain and a packet of dried mangoes. You are in love with snow and pine trees and inky skies. And clients that order you to climb peaks for your afternoon break.

3:45-4:10 Drive back to town and kill a recovery drink while you’re at it. (Suddenly, you’re very hungry.) Get home, peel off sweaty layers, shower and add new soft ones.

4:30pm – 7:30pm Sit down at your computer and get to it. By the time you close the laptop, you’ve done almost 10 hours of work. And climbed a mountain.

You’re exhausted. And hungry. Walk a few blocks to 10 Barrel Brewery and kill a 10 Barrel Burger with an Apocalypse IPA.

When you get home you fall asleep right away and sleep from 9:00pm until 5:00am. A perfect eight hours. Then you’ll wake up and make a pre-dawn excursion out at Virginia Meissner Sno-Park. Or a jog around Drake Park. Or, hell, maybe you’ll climb Tumalo with someone special. Because how can you resist?

(I suppose technically if you count dinner and heading to bed at 9pm, this is more like 16 hours but you get the point. :)

17 Responses to “All in a Day’s Work – 15 Hours in Bend, Oregon”

  1. Noelle says:

    You’re fancy. And STILL an inspiration.

  2. doug la placa says:

    bravo. bravo. bravo.

  3. Kronda says:

    Way to squeeze the pulp out of life. Nicely done. :)

  4. RC says:

    When I was a kid we used to snowshoe up Tumalo and snowboard down. We did not wake up at 5am, however.


  5. snarkypants says:

    I sorta wished I’d had a faster means of getting down. Think that’s next :)

  6. wow! you lead an enviable life! Every part of that—from the pink sunrise to the giant burger—sounds amazing.

  7. Kevin says:


  8. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Heidi Swift, Freerange Idiot. Freerange Idiot said: What a mountain climbing cutey-pie : [...]

  9. Serena says:

    Faster means of getting down? Stick with me babe and put tele skis at the top of your wish list.

  10. snarkypants says:

    I was just saying that I wanted to learn to Tele!!

  11. Michael says:

    Lovely story, and great pics. I think the people of the world (who have a choice) that don’t live in great areas of nature are totally missing out.

    Even those of us with family and child commitments can still get out once a week and do great things in nature.

    I get my Powder Alert txt at 6am and start planning my day to include 2-3 hours on the mountain (Winter Park, CO).

  12. Patrick Lee says:

    Um, tele is the the way to go. Serena beat me to it, but it’ll put a burn in your quads and improve your alpine skiing balance. It’s good for cyclists and the two activities go together well in a training program. It’ll be easier for you to tele than a non-cyclist. Oh, and you have to be OK with falling often during the 20-outing learning curve. It opens up a whole world of green and easy blue runs at any ski resort! Free your heels and free your mind!

  13. Patrick Lee says:

    Ooops, forgot to mention. I love your photography, great piece.

  14. Guy says:

    Wow! Whole bunch of awesome!

  15. chris says:

    move to maine. date me.

  16. Matt says:

    Love the photos!

  17. Marlena says:

    Getting up at 5am is an amazing way to start the day – quiet and inspiring. Thanks for the blog Heidi – it’s awesome reading.