January 1, 2024 and there is NO SNOW in Bend!!! The scheduled "show-and-go" ski outing was scrapped of necessity and hikes were substituted. A few club members began the New Year with a hike on the Riley Ranch trails. It was a clear and cool winter day walking along the Deschutes river through the Ponderosa pines. A wonderful alternative to skiing as we wait for more snow . Another group of 14 folks headed to Otter Bench, hoping for trails that weren't muddy.
And they got that; but as they approached the trailhead with clear views of Smith Rock, they desc-
ended into a fog bank. No matter! Everyone mingled and converged into small social groups to welcome the New Year; and ate lunch standing up!