- David Sword
- The author, at center, and friends on Beast Mode day.
The Intel: You don't have to be a fitness freak or pro athlete to be successful. Driven by the love of recreation and having Type 1 Fun, the only "rule" is there are no rules. Fuel up your sportsmobile the night before to prepare for the day ahead. There are numerous, even unlimited, ways to accomplish a Beast Mode day, but the following is a favorite. Century Drive is your pathway to adventure for the day, and you will start at Sparks Lake for some water time before heading back toward town and parking at Greengate for some fat-tire fun, then heading downstream for a hard-rock finish at Meadow Camp.
Gear: A kayak, SUP, drift boat or a rubber ducky will get you on the water, and Tumalo Creek Canoe and Kayak can get you floating. Several bike shops in town rent hardtail or full-suspension mountain bikes for your dirty pleasures, or you can spruce up your own whip for phase two of the big day. Hit up Mountain Supply or Gear Fix for rock shoes, chalk bag and bouldering pads so you are all geared up for the final block of your Beast Mode day.
This Perfect Day:
Get started on the water: Paddle, float, repeat. Take a lap or four in the crystal clear, alpine waters and keep your eyes out for a pair of sandhill cranes who call Sparks Lake home. Early mornings can be chilly, so put on a fleece and warm hat. Yes, it's a ways out, but the surroundings are world class and well worth the drive. Drink water and eat what you can, because your next task is nutrition needy.
Take it to the dirt: Rub on some Zealios Chamois Butt'r and get ready to shred. From Green Gate parking spot, head up Storm King and ascend the Funner trail to Wanoga Sno-Park, then rip back on Tiddlywinks trail. The fast and flowy trail should be enough to keep you rolling toward the remainder of your day. Bendites are blessed with opportunities here, and with nearly 400 miles of single-track dirt available, you can pick and choose the best trail for your personal journey.
Hit the bricks: Now that your legs are a bit wobbly, stretch out your fingers for rock climbing. Park the rig at Meadow Picnic area just below Widgi Creek Golf Course. Briefly walk downstream and look to your left. Hitting the edgy and pocketed rock here has been a locals' pastime for decades. Borrow or buy the "Central Oregon Bouldering" guidebook by Jason Chinchen to help you decide where to begin.
Bonus: Add some extra-curricular awesome-sauce to your big day with an early morning yoga sesh, casting a fly-rod to rising trout, taking a trail run along the Deschutes River trail, mowing the lawn, or catching a Beast Mode sunset pint at Crux Fermentation Project...because that's how we roll here in the high desert.