By STEELE HAUGEN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
We’ve had a beautiful string of fall days here in Central Oregon and lots of people are wanting to be outside.
“We’re just up here skiing, sledding and having fun,” Bend Resident Jay Dicharry said while enjoying Mt. Bachelor before the season opens.
Local sno-parks have been busy, meaning parking lots are packed.
“Playing in the snow,” young Maddox said at Wanoga Sno-Park. “Playing in the snow,” echoed Malia, a recent Oregon resident.
“Alaskan Huskies,” Bend resident Dave Bush said at Wanoga. “We are going to run 16 dogs in two, eight dog teams. We’re training for a couple hundred mile races this morning.”
More people enjoying the snow means more cars, which means fewer parking spots at some of the areas most popular sno-parks.
Kevin Larkin, the Bend Fort Rock District Manager at Deschutes National Forest expects winter recreation to carry over from what they saw in the spring.
“We had excessive use of sno-parks,” Larkin said. “We had folks parking out on highways and just a lot of traffic and we expect that it will be the case again this winter as opportunities for other forms of recreation have been fairly limited.”
The Oregon Department of Transportation recently issued a warning to not park along Century Drive near Mt. Bachelor.
It could result in a citation.
“Last weekend like half a mile of cars, which probably is treacherous and not smart, so I understand why ODOT is doing that,” Bend resident Kathy Woodford said.
To park in a sno-park, you’ll need a permit.
“Enforcement is a real consideration with sno-parks, but really I would appeal to our better nature,” Larkin said. “That permit expense goes directly to those folks who take care of those sno-parks.”
He suggests if areas are full, find another place.
“Kapka Butte Sno-park is nearby, Edison Sno-park is nearby,” Larkin said. “Those are much larger parking lots.”