Cornucopia Ride Report 2-19 thru 25-08 as viewed by Fred
We left early Tuesday morning from multiple sites and all but one couple arrived before 4pm. That couple lost a trailer wheel near La Grande about an hour and 40 minutes before Cornucopia. We offered to pick them up but never heard from them. The 5.5 miles into the lodge was on a groomed trail that had over 500 sleds over it the day before on their poker run but was still in pretty good shape. We had a nice dinner and discussed the coming day in the lodge.
Nine riders on Wednesday, in full sunshine with temperatures near freezing, on snow that we could go most any where without getting stuck, went to Sugarloaf Mountain and played a little on Table Top where Darrell managed to roll over and his sled went down hill and was stopped abruptly by a tree. His sled had a sad look the rest of the week After recovering him, we went cross country to the Look Out Tower, had a substantial sack lunch then, went out to the Hell's Canyon Overlook. The views all day were spectacular. We did a loop trip expecting to return on a groomed trail but found that had not been groomed in quite a while. It did have tracks on it and we made some lucky choices at several “T's”, returning home at dark, just in time for dinner, on empty, with 113 miles. We had another great dinner and discussed the day in the lodge. Cris spent the day reading her book and walking around the lodge.
On Thursday nine of us left the lodge at 9am in full sunshine and took a cross country route through the trees to the Table Top Mountain area. We played using the buddy system. Elwood climbed up to the cornices on his new “Doo” with ease and dropped over long drops in the open bowls. We had another substantial lunch at noon. Linda didn’t feel comfortable playing in the big bowls and wanted to go back. We convinced her that she could get to the top without risk and be able to see the spectacular views. She had a couple of thrills getting off the ridge but successfully made it to the area we were at the previous day. We split into the buddy system and Kelly put on a display of climbing and jumping while Fred and DeAnn went exploring. When we got back to the group, a fog had set in and visibility was less than 10 feet. Fortunately we were near “Darrell’s tree" and were able to gather by radio using it as a reference. We ended up going cross country in a heavy fog using Fred’s GPS for direction but attempting to follow some old tracks. Linda had difficulty climbing a hill in the fog and that point became another GPS reference point. After several hours of exploring in the fog we dropped down on the groomed road next to a pile of wood that all remembered and everyone was glad to see. We headed for the lodge but Fred took a short cut that didn’t go back to the trail and was 20 minutes late to another great dinner. This day had 57 miles. Fred reviewed the days GPS route on the computer.
The next day we had the usual gourmet breakfast. However, the weather was overcast and snowing lightly. Elwood and Rebecca left us to go on a motor cycle trip. Linda and Darrell decided to go to town. Five of us attempted to ride the trails on the West side but it was mostly road riding. DeAnn, Kelly, and Trina decided to go back after 25 miles on the road. They found a few play areas on the way home to explore while Pete and Fred explored the groomed trails, got turned around in a play area and back tracked several miles. Pete practiced his side hill turning in a meadow and we returned home at dark with 112 miles to find everyone in the lounge napping or reading. We had another great dinner, discussed the day in the lounge and those in Kelly’s cabin went home to play Uno.
With new way points on his GPS, Fred, in light snow, but low visibility, on 6 inches of new snow attempted to go back to “Linda’s hill” with the remaining five riders. At times the visibility was good and we were able to climb and play on the cross country route to “Linda’s hill”. We stopped for lunch in sunshine but before we finished the fog came back and we had to follow our tracks from the prior day out again without being able to play on the hills. After getting back on the groomed road we were able to see and play on the way back to the lodge, returning with 54 miles.
We didn’t have time to explore all the areas there and I’d recommend another visit to this area. Our accommodations and meals were great and the hosts very accommodating.