Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Bend Happenings

Bend, OR is one of our favorite cities in the West. It's got an incredible amount of recreational opportunities both right in town and within 30 - 60 minutes of town. Though it's grown like crazy in the last 20 - 30 years and the traffic can be pretty heavy during rush periods, the city planners have done an excellent job of providing foot and bike paths to the city infrastructure.

Though it's situated in a high desert environment, the Deschutes River runs through town, 10,000+ foot peaks lie directly West of town and desert landscape spreads out to the East and even includes amazing rock formations. The entire area is covered in volcanic detritus from thousands of years of eruptions from as long ago as 300,000 years to as recently as 1,300 years ago.

Looking West from Pilot Butte the horizon is dominated by 10,000+ foot peaks.
From left to right: Mt Bachelor, Broken Top, and the Three Sisters.

Looking NW from Pilot Butte, Mt Jefferson is the pointy peak on the left and
you can just barely see Mt Hood right of center (that's a very long ways off).

Trumpeter Swans enjoying the Deschutes River.

We found an amazing deal for white water rafting on the Deschutes River: Seventh Mountain Resort offers a $25/per person deal on Tuesdays (possibly only in Sept after Labor Day). You check in at the Resort and they bus you to the start just a couple miles away. The day we went, there were five rafts full and we were told we'd get soaked! Of course, this was another adventure where cameras were not advised...though the Resort had a photographer snapping pics during the crazy part...for sale later, of course.

We had a nice gentle float for a while, where we got to know each other, learned the few skills we'd need from our guide, and admired the lovely scenery that we had biked past the other day. Soon we had a fun little Class 1 section to whet our appetite and ready us for the wild stuff. Then we romped through about 400 yards of Class 3 rapids! Scary fun!

Lucky for us, one of our fellow rafters was visiting her sister, who happened to be running along the river during our we got (free) photos! Thanks Jessica!

Hans and I are in the white hat and the khaki hat in the middle row.
In this photo we are entering the Class III section...

Riding the Class III roller coaster!

We've been a little disappointed with the recliners that came with our Montana; the quality was less than we'd hoped for and they did not swivel making it a bit uncomfortable for the person in the farthest chair to watch TV. The simplest alternative, La-z-Boy, doesn't make swivel wall-hugger chairs, so we were fortunate to try out John and Pam's Bradd and Hall chairs when we met them in San Diego last winter. Spending a month in Bend allowed us to order and receive new chairs...and we love them!

The old chairs were huge and and blocked access to the window, the overhead cupboards and the blinds.

Now we can really see out the window, swivel to watch TV, and reach everything that was
a struggle to access before...including the weird cabinet behind the right chair.
They are way more comfortable than the old chairs and,
the new fabric is more immune to cat claws than the old fabric.

It's not been all fun and games here though...our beloved Chevy truck got hit in the RV park! A new neighbor was trying to park his rig in the site next to ours and swung too wide and his trailer hit the back of our truck, then his bumper snagged our bumper and made things worse...for both vehicles.

The tail light and bumper have to be replaced and the left rear quarter panel is ever so slightly tweaked
so the whole panel will have to be clear coated.

Fortunately we are here for two more weeks which should be enough time to get this fixed and not delay our departure. This is definitely a case of "sh*t happens" and we are rolling with it. Hans parents arrive for a short visit in a few days and now we have a comfortable mini van to sight see in...putting mileage on someone else's vehicle!

And...this morning as I publish this post the electrical portion of our water heater isn't working, though the propane ignition is. Luckily the water heater still has one more year of warranty on it, so this should be an easy situation to fix.

And so it goes. If we had a stick house, we'd be dealing with this kind of stuff too. The best part these days is that we are retired so we have plenty of time to deal with any issues that come up! Life is good!


  1. Yup, it's always something, but why does it always seem to be that several things go wrong at the same time?
    We need new chairs, too, but unfortunately we don't have space for any that large. May just get new foam and have the old ones reupholstered.
    Those chairs from Bradd and Hall look really nice. What type of fabric are they covered with? We have a serious cat claw problem, too!

    1. The chairs are the Lambright Lazy Relaxor Lite model and they are quite narrow, much narrower than the chairs that came with the rig. I believe the fabric we ended up with is called Twine...but I couldn't tell you what kind of fabric it is. BUT, Bradd and Hall offers fabric samples by mail.

  2. Good job, guys...glad you got out on a water adventure once again! Class 3 is pretty fun :D

  3. Hi guys, looks like a fun ride on the water. Glad you got out there for some class 3, that's pretty good! Looks like Rosie likes the new chairs, so keep em :D

  4. Darn! They don't make bumpers like they use to.
    Box Canyon Mark

  5. Very exiting rafting! Try class 5 in the Grand Canyon sometime...

    Your chairs has a better fit for sure!

    Sorry about the truck...Hans

    Paula :-)

  6. Hey guys - the rafting looks like a blast. I'm glad you are back on the water.

    The chairs are better fit for sure and comfort a plus.

    Sorry about the truck - I'm sure the guy felt bad...

  7. Hey rafting looks so much fun!
    Chairs looks great too.

    I hear ya, about things happening around our house on the road, it just keep coming. And yes that is just part of our nomad life.

    Hope all gets fixed in due time.

  8. That sucks about your truck!! But yes, good think it happened now and at not at the end of your stay in Bend. Have fun with Hans's parents!

  9. We definitely will be spending some time in Bend. We said that years ago when we spent the night there on a motorcycle trip. Sounds like you two are having a great time.

    I love the white water rafting!! How neat that you got photos! We did our first rafting in NC. What fun!! We got soaked, too.

    LOVE your chairs! I can't believe how much more room you have. Hope your neck is better with TV watching, Lisa! Bradd and Hall don't make out chairs any more. I hope ours never need to be replaced. We stopped at Bradd and Hall while coming east and had new cushions made for the dinette. We went with the soft leather to match everything else. We left a set of the old cushions for them to work from, and then they shipped them here when they were made. They are SO much nicer with great new foam!

    Sorry to hear about the truck. Good you have time to get it fixed.

    Our electric part of the hot water went out, also!! The wires melted together. Anyway, John did some research, replaced a few parts and then found the wires. All is repaired and back working. He said to ask if you needed him to fly out and repair yours...haha!

  10. as they say caca occurs... but we continue to enjoy life...

  11. What a great deal you found for a fun day rafting. It is one of our favorite things to do.

    Never heard of the Bradd and Hall chairs but they sure look great. We just finally ordered the Strongback chairs you turned us onto. They were actually on back order most of the summer, so we are looking forward to finally receiving them when we visit my son in Omaha later this month.

    Bummer about the truck but love your attitude!