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....!