Saturday, September 17, 2016

Hanging out in a Happy Place: Bend, OR

We're spending September in Bend, OR, one of our very favorite places. Crown Villa RV Resort, a swanky RV park at the south end of town, lowers their rates in September, making autumn the perfect time to visit this lovely town. The weather is starting to feel like fall, most of the tourists have moved on and there are fewer crowds at the most popular outdoor recreation sites.

One of our favorite places to walk or hike is along the Deschutes River. There are paved trails along the river through town and beautiful single track trails along the river further out of town that go through forests and lava flows. (Here's a detailed post about the Deschutes River Trail from our stay in 2013.)

Rafters approaching the little rapids at Big Eddy.
Note the lava flows along the opposite shore.
 
Scenes like this are commonplace along the Deschutes River.

Dillon Falls tumbles through a lava chute.

Enormous Ponderosa Pine.

Steelhead Falls is reached by a short hike through juniper and ponderosa studded ancient lava beds near the rural community of Crooked River Ranch, about 30 miles north of Bend.

The Deschutes River has cut a deep path through ancient lava beds.

Steelhead Falls is small but mighty.
Looked like good fishing all along this section of river..

On a week day we were the only hikers, and just a couple of fishermen...so peaceful!
 
I'm still babying my foot due to plantar fasciitis so all of our hikes have been short and easy. We did a nice 5 mile out and back on Soda Creek trail, which could be turned into a beautiful 12 mile loop when my foot finally heals.

Crystal clear Soda Creek crosses a meadow surrounded by pine forest.


South Sister looms above the forest.
 
Devils Lake is a turquoise beauty along the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway.

The whole family enjoying a Saturday paddle.

My search for easy, uncrowded hiking sites turned up Metolious Preserve. Managed by the Deschutes Land Trust, a group that works to conserve local wild lands, the Preserve was a peaceful place for an easy stroll among pines, over small streams constantly on the lookout for the deer and elk whose tracks we were following. A grouse surprised us by bursting from the scrub and patches of fall color popped against the green pines and golden grasses.

 



We met up with former fulltimers Pam and Vic who now live in Bend and shared a couple of meals and a wonderful afternoon kayaking on Elk Lake. They have a lovely home near the center of town, perfect for enjoying everything Bend has to offer.

Tasty picnic lunch with Pam and Vic.

Thanks Pam and Vic for sharing this fun afternoon with us!

We also had a fun meet up with Laurel and Eric who were in the area for the Sisters Folk Festival. Laurel writes the wonderful blog Raven and Chickadee, which caught my eye years ago for her beautiful writing style and incredible photography. We had a fun hike in Shevlin Park and a delicious Mediterranean lunch at Kebaba...next time perhaps I'll remember to take a photo!

We love this town and have all sorts of plans for our remaining two weeks, including a special visitor...stay tuned....!


25 comments:

  1. We had such a great time meeting up with you guys! Thanks for planning the wonderful hike and lunch at Kebaba. I was just getting ready to send you the one photo we took of the four of us....but of course, you are so great at keeping up on your blog that you've already posted! Love your photos and adventures in and around Bend. Enjoy your special visitor!

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    1. ;-) You know me...gotta write it while it's fresh or it isn't going to happen! I'm so glad we had this chance to meet up!

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  2. We love Bend, but have never been in September. Looks like we should plan to do that one of these years. Enjoy the rest of your stay, and hope your foot continues to improve.

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    1. I think Sept is the perfect month...decent weather and few tourists!

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  3. What a wonderful place to spend September. Looks perfect

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  4. Oh I'm so jealous! I'd love to spend a month in Bend, especially September! BUT...I will be there next weekend, helping my daughter move. She rented a house in nearby Redmond. If I have time, I'll give you a call while I'm in town. :)

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  5. Such a beautiful place. Bend has been on our radar for years and if all goes well with Joe's check-up in Feb., it might just become a reality next year. I am taking notes! Love the picture of Hans and the Ponderosa Pine and the beautiful fall colors.

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    1. We spent Sept 2013 in Bend and I wrote several posts...check them out!

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  6. How neat to meet up with Pam and Vic! Locals know all the secrets. And to see Laurel and Eric was extra nice. Good times happening for sure. The river is beautiful and I love the color of Devil's Lake. Good to see you can do a little hiking and enjoy the much cooler weather and fall colors sneaking in.

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    1. I hope you gys make it to Bend some day, you'll like it!

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    2. We are hoping to spend a month late next summer:) So keep sending out reports:)

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  7. Such a beautiful place, it's on our list for next year. Love the water cutting through the lava flow, nature is just amazing. So many intense colors on your hike. How fun to meet up with Laurel and Eric!

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    1. The variety of landscapes here is incredible! Lots of colors coming on at this time of year.

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  8. A whole month in the fall sounds great. We weren't ready to leave after two weeks and July was a bit warm. Hope that foot gets better.

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  9. If you haven't already hiked it you might check out Tumalo Falls. The trail that takes off above it takes you to some more smaller but still beautiful falls. It can be crowded on weekends up there so early on a weekday is better. If your foot is feeling better also Smith Rock is a great hike and workout. Happy camping, Rick and Jenn

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    1. YES! We have done the waterfall loop at Tumalo in 2013...love that hike! And Smith Rock is one of my favorites in Bend, we will definitely get up there before we leave.

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  10. We also hope this will be our happy place come middle of October. Hans said it will be cold by then :) But I sure would like to follow on your hike steps.

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  11. Beautiful pictures! Bend is really glorious in the fall. When we were going there, we went in June and the weather was always iffy, I think one year out of three it was great. Are you mountain biking any? I hope your foot improves, PF is just the pits. Looking forward to more reports from Bend.

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    1. The weather is iffy in Sept. too! We've had some cool days. We will do some biking before we leave.

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  12. Thanks for the tip on the lower rates in September around Bend. It looks like a great time to go. Although how is the water for those rafters? Cold?? Maybe not given the swimmers in that gorgeous colored Devil’s Lake. Or perhaps they are Canadians! Love the falls tumbling through the lava shoot and that huge ponderosa. Giving that one a hug would be super since they smell so fantastic. Sorry to hear your plantar fasciitis is still affecting your hiking but how terrific that you could find easy AND uncrowded ones that look wonderful. Love falls big, little or through lava shoots. How fantastic to see both Vic and Pam and Laurel and Eric. I’d love to catch up with them both. Haven’t heard from Vic and Pam for ages.

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