News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Articles written by craig eisenbeis

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  • A window on enigmatic Cambodia

    Craig Eisenbeis|Updated May 19, 2020

    In our memorable virus-altered odyssey of Southeast Asia, Cambodia was a planned stop on the travel segment that preceded Holland America Cruise Line’s notorious cruise to nowhere aboard the cruise ship Westerdam. Since the cruise had been scheduled to conclude in Shanghai, China, we had no idea that, more than three weeks after arriving in Cambodia, we would gratefully return there as seagoing refugees, because it was the only country that would permit us to dock. For, as w... Full story

  • Social distancing on Jack Creek Trail

    Craig Eisenbeis|Updated May 5, 2020

    The coronavirus and social distancing have affected us all. Unlike downtown city dwellers, however, we have a lot more freedom to move about, without risking that dreaded human contact. My hiking buddy and I resolved not to let the current situation completely freeze us out of one of our favorite activities. Still, virus cautions have disrupted our usual routine. For example, carpooling is now out; so, more distant destinations with two vehicles are less attractive since we... Full story

  • Visiting Thailand before pandemic

    Craig Eisenbeis|Updated Apr 14, 2020

    Many readers expressed interest in my previous articles about our Southeast Asia “Ghost Ship” cruise to nowhere. Many, though, asked what the cruise was like before the stop in Hong Kong made people aboard our ship into international pariahs. It was wonderful! We saw, learned, and experienced things that can never be understood without the first-hand observation of international travel — travel that has since come to a worldwide standstill due to the COVID-19 pan... Full story

  • The Asian ‘ghost ship’ — Part 2

    Craig Eisenbeis|Updated Feb 25, 2020

    Editor’s note: Last week’s edition of The Nugget carried Part One of the story of a Sisters couple caught on board Holland America’s Westerdam on its “Ghost Ship” cruise in the South China Sea. Because of coronavirus fears, Westerdam’s Southeast Asian cruise was cancelled; but, for two weeks, no port would permit the ship to disembark passengers. Part One can be viewed at Nugget News. The coronavirus crisis forced Holland America to make some difficult, and very expensive,... Full story

  • On a ‘ghost ship’ in Asia amid coronavirus fears

    Craig Eisenbeis|Updated Feb 18, 2020

    Last month, when my wife, Kathi, and I embarked on a month-long trip to Asia, we had no idea that we were about to become part of an international news story. I’m referring, of course, to the strange saga of our cruise ship, Holland America’s Westerdam, variously labeled the “Ghost Ship,” “Flying Dutchman,” or “Pariah Ship” by various news media. Repeatedly denied entry into any port due to fears of the potentially deadly coronavirus, the ship made international n... Full story

  • Visit the Metolius Preserve for off-season hiking

    Craig Eisenbeis|Updated Nov 26, 2019

    The Deschutes Land Trust is the steward of several important sites in our region. While many people are familiar with the Land Trust’s role in preserving key ecological features in Central Oregon, it is easy to forget that Trust lands also provide some excellent recreational opportunities. At this time of the year, many hikers put their trail aspirations to rest or turn to other interests; but that needn’t be the case when there are fine trail options readily available at such... Full story

  • Christmas tree hunting in Sisters Country

    Craig Eisenbeis|Updated Nov 26, 2019

    Although we saw the first signs of Christmas creeping into our lives even before Halloween arrived, the Christmas season is now officially headed into full swing. And, for many of us, one of the first things that comes to mind is finding a Christmas tree. Oregon is, by far, the nation’s largest producer of commercial Christmas trees, nearly doubling the production of its nearest rival, North Carolina. Still, news stories currently circulating warn of a 2019 Christmas tree shortage and skyrocketing prices. Purportedly, s... Full story

  • Walking in Cow Pies?

    Craig Eisenbeis|Updated Nov 5, 2019

    Since we’re in that “shoulder season” for hiking in our area, when the white “termination dust” is calling an end to mountain access and friendly hiking weather, the typical hiker is thinking about hiking alternatives. For more than a few residents of Sisters Country, those “alternatives” often include forays to warmer and sunnier destinations to the south. One of the most popular such destinations is Arizona; and, for many locals, Sedona is the go-to goal for off-season hi... Full story

  • High Desert Museum wildlife curator to speak in Sisters

    Craig Eisenbeis|Updated Sep 11, 2019

    Jon Nelson, from the High Desert Museum, will be the speaker at a presentation next week sponsored by the Sisters Trails Alliance (STA). Nelson is the Curator of Wildlife at the iconic Central Oregon museum. As such, he will be talking about the animal residents of the museum. The talk is the latest in the Bjarne Holm Speaker Series sponsored by STA. The STA series focuses on local outdoor recreation and natural resource issues. Nelson is looking forward to his upcoming date... Full story

  • ‘No Name’ Lake restrictions imposed

    Craig Eisenbeis|Updated Sep 11, 2019

    The recent kerfuffle involving newly imposed camping restrictions at so-called “No Name Lake” on the eastern slopes of Broken Top is yet another example of impact resulting from irresponsible user abuse in local wilderness areas. The new restrictions impose a quarter-mile setback for wilderness campers using the area. Such campsite setbacks are not uncommon at other wilderness lakes. Jean Nelson-Dean, public affairs officer for the Deschutes National Forest said, “Pe... Full story

  • FS responds to objections over wilderness permits

    Craig Eisenbeis|Updated Apr 23, 2019

    It’s looking more and more like 2019 will be the last year that the public will have free and unfettered access to local wilderness areas. Two years ago, prompted by the perception that wilderness areas were being too heavily used, the Forest Service began the bureaucratic process of restricting trail use in the three wilderness areas in Sisters Country: the Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, and Three Sisters wilderness areas. Referred to as the Central Cascades Wilderness Strategies Project, the proposed change was announced i... Full story

  • Native bird rescues are subject of next STA talk

    Craig Eisenbeis|Updated Feb 12, 2019

    Elise Wolf, a professional in wild bird rehabilitation, will be the speaker at a presentation sponsored by the Sisters Trails Alliance (STA) Thursday, February 21, in the Sisters Camp Sherman Fire Station Community Hall. Wolf is the director of Native Bird Care of Sisters, an avian rescue center right here in the Sisters area. Her topic will be "Sisters' Extraordinary Birds: Up Close & Personal." The talk is the latest in the Bjarne Holm Speakers Series sponsored by STA. The STA series focuses on local outdoor recreation and... Full story

  • Sisters trail boosters win new grants

    Craig Eisenbeis|Updated Jan 22, 2019

    It's official. Two grants have been approved for key Sisters-area trailhead upgrades. The first grant was awarded to the Deschutes National Forest, Sisters Ranger District, and is a Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grant for a permanent vault toilet at the Whychus Overlook Trailhead. The Sisters Trails Alliance (STA) has been instrumental in developing and maintaining this trail, and has been paying for a porta-potty at the site for the last three years. The grant is from... Full story

  • Local efforts help Guatemalan kids

    Craig Eisenbeis|Updated Dec 31, 2018

    The recent deaths of U.S.-bound Guatemalan children, while in U.S. custody, have thrust the plight of such children and their families into the spotlight. Even before these deaths, however, a local woman learned of a mission to support these poverty-stricken children in Guatemala. She didn't just wish she could do something to help, she actually went to Guatemala to learn more about it first-hand and put her concern into action. Susan Sandberg, a member of Sisters Community... Full story

  • FS wilderness restrictions are too severe

    Craig Eisenbeis|Updated Dec 4, 2018

    "No significant impact" or "negligible" is the repetitive mantra of the Forest Service in their perfunctory "analysis" of their draconian measures limiting access to virtually all of our local wilderness. Poised for adoption in 2020, these restrictions may not have significant impact from their point of view; but they sure as heck have plenty of impact on me. Like many Sisters-area residents, the fact of my living here is not an accident; and access to our wonderful... Full story

  • On the trail of movie history in Sedona

    Craig Eisenbeis|Updated Nov 6, 2018

    Right now, it's kind of a "shoulder" season for hiking in our area, when the high mountains may not be the best choice and other possibilities come to mind. For more than a few residents of Sisters Country, however, those "other possibilities" might include giving some thought to warmer and sunnier climes to the south. One of the most popular southern destinations is Arizona; and, as far as my wife and I are concerned, there is no better place than Sedona. So, each year I... Full story

  • STA helps establish snowshoe trail

    Craig Eisenbeis|Updated Oct 31, 2018

    In spite of the increasing popularity of snowshoeing in Central Oregon, the Sisters area has never had a dedicated snowshoe trail. Until now. The Peak View Snowshoe Trail is now official and connects the Upper Three Creek SnoPark with the Jefferson View Shelter. In a cooperative project, the Sisters Trails Alliance (STA), the Central Oregon Nordic Club (CONC), and the Deschutes National Forest have collaborated to bring this new trail into existence within the boundaries of... Full story

  • Saying goodbye to Uncle Bob

    Craig Eisenbeis|Updated Oct 16, 2018

    When my wife's charming, but eccentrically goofball, Uncle Bob suddenly hit me with a very serious request, believe me, I paid attention. "When I die," he suddenly said one day, "I want you to promise to scatter my ashes at the top of Black Butte." Naturally, I assured him that I would. That was several years ago, and I had no idea what his poignant request would eventually entail. The Uncle Bob in this case is World War II pilot and longtime Black Butte Ranch resident Bob... Full story

  • Clear Lake, the perfect fall hike

    Craig Eisenbeis|Updated Oct 2, 2018

    Unless a fall trip to New England is on your agenda, your best bet for viewing the brilliant leaf colors of autumn is a visit to Clear Lake. This is always my favorite local fall hike. Heck, it's everyone's favorite fall hike around here, and long-range weather forecasts suggest that there are still more excellent fall hiking opportunities to be enjoyed in the days ahead. Just over Santiam Pass and only about a half-hour away, Clear Lake's fall leaves create a Cascade... Full story

  • What's going on with the Jefferson Lake Trail?

    Craig Eisenbeis|Updated Sep 25, 2018

    Over the last few years, I've heard multiple conflicting stories about the status of the Jefferson Lake Trail in the far northern extremity of Deschutes National Forest. This trail closely parallels the out-of-sight Jefferson Creek, which forms the southern boundary of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. The trail lapsed into disuse in the wake of the B & B Fire, which mercilessly ravaged the area in 2003. Subsequently, more hearsay reported that the trail had so much downed... Full story

  • Search and rescue team to conduct 'show and tell' in Sisters

    Craig Eisenbeis|Updated Sep 11, 2018

    Russ Petersen from Deschutes County Search and Rescue (DSAR) will head up a presentation scheduled for next week as part of the Sisters Trails Alliance (STA) speaker series on local outdoor recreation and natural resource issues. Four years ago, the series was launched by the late Bjarne Holm, for whom STA posthumously named the series in 2016. Since its inception, the purpose of STA's series has been to enhance outdoor public recreation opportunities in the Sisters area and... Full story

  • An excellent hike up Scott Mountain

    Craig Eisenbeis|Updated Aug 28, 2018

    In the continuing search for forest that is still green, we once again headed to the west side of the Cascades, through the Milli Fire-ravaged east side of McKenzie Pass to the Scott Mountain Trailhead. This destination is occasionally overlooked but offers great views of the western aspects of the Three Sisters. As it turned out, even with our perpetually smokey skies, the view was superb. The trailhead for Scott Mountain takes off from the McKenzie Highway just a few miles... Full story

  • Climbing Four In One Cone

    Craig Eisenbeis|Updated Jul 17, 2018

    "Green, green, it's green they say on the far side of the hill...." Go ahead, sing along if you want; it's true! If you can bear to drive past yet more miles and miles of charred forest, it is green just over the hill - specifically, just over McKenzie Pass. So, that's where this week's hike takes us. I've hiked on by the spur trail leading to Four In One Cone a number of times; but I've always been on my way to somewhere else, and there just didn't seem to be time to take... Full story

  • Whychus Creek Trail system suffering user abuse

    Craig Eisenbeis|Updated Jul 10, 2018

    I was disheartened to learn from Gary Guttormsen that various portions of the relatively new Whychus Creek Trail system are already suffering from user abuse. Guttormsen is the trails coordinator for the Sisters Trails Alliance (STA) and spends a great deal of his time volunteering to help keep the local trail systems in top shape. Foremost among his concerns were horrendous amounts of trailside dog poop and outright vandalism. So, in order to assess the situation first-hand,... Full story

  • Most Milli-damaged trails remain open

    Craig Eisenbeis|Updated Jun 26, 2018

    In the wake of last year's 24,000-acre Milli Fire, the good news is that almost all trails within the burn perimeter are open for use. The bad news? Well, that's pretty obvious: more forest destruction has been added to our ever-growing local inventory of thousands of burned and blackened acres in Sisters Country. The Forest Service is working hard to clear trails of debris and fallen trees. In the meantime, even trails that have not been fully cleared are still passable,... Full story

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