We finally reached Oregon on July 13. After leaving Boise, we spent most of our drive meandering through a fairly ugly desert, stopping only in Burns, OR (a small town full of Trump flags) to eat at picnic tables.
We made good time and arrived in Bend about two hours before check-in, so we stopped at Ben & Jerry’s for an ice cream treat. James had chocolate dripping down to his toes.
Then we headed to our very nice home, close to the Old Mill District. Bend is an interesting place. It is a large town/small city of about 80k people, in the middle of nowhere central Oregon, but it feels very urban. For example, there are large sculptures on nearly every roundabout in town and modern architecture is prevalent. It is a mecca for outdoor activities ranging from mountain biking, hiking, and rafting in the warm months to skiing on Mount Bachelor in the cold months. It is near many other prominent volcanic peaks, including the Three Sisters, Mount Washington, and Mount Jefferson.
We spent our first full day in Bend taking it easy. I took the children to Larkspur Park in the morning, where we met several other mothers with children. Everyone seemed approachable and kind and very happy to be living in Bend. I visited a local grocery store called Market of Choice, which was very nice, and we spent some time driving around looking at various neighborhoods in Bend for if/when we return.
The next day was spent tubing on the (chilly) Deschutes River, which runs through Bend. It was so fun! There is a section with rapids, so James and I hopped out while the others went down it a few times. Evie and Jack said they loved it, even though they were in tears every time.
After the rapids, we enjoyed feeding the ducks crackers and laughing as entire “caravans” started following us.
When it was time to depart the river, we tried to make our way out but the river bottom was so mucky that Jim and I nearly lost our shoes. We had to take them off and, even then, the muck went up to our knees with every step.
We picked up dinner at Chomp Chomp, a Japanese-PacNW fusion restaurant. It was so delicious, especially the short ribs.
On our third day, we drove to Mount Bachelor and took the chair lift up to the top. The views were beautiful and the children enjoyed playing in the snow.
During nap time, Jim took Evie and Jack to hike around Tumalo Creek for a few hours.
We ended the day with an Oregon berry cobbler. Yum yum.
Tomorrow we drive to Seaside, OR, where we will be staying until August 21. It will be nice to slow down for several weeks, and we are all looking forward to my mother joining us there in a few days.