September in Bend, OR is absolutely delightful; the summer tourists depart following Labor Day, the nights are cool and crisp and there are still many events going on every weekend. We've enjoyed Oktoberfest celebrations, the annual Roots Revival Festival, and some very good live music at the local McMenamins Old St Francis School
The special visitor I alluded to in my last post was my daughter Chantal, who drove over from Roseburg to spend five nights with us. We loved showing her some of our favorite sights in the area.
It's impossible to drive through central Oregon on highway 97 without noticing the abundance of volcanic activity that shaped the current terrain. Newberry National Volcanic Monument
, just south of Bend, is a great place to learn about the forces that created this unique landscape.
|Chantal shows off a beautiful piece of obsidian on the Big Obsidian Flow, one of the highlights of a tour of |
Newberry National Volcanic Monument.
|Love the iridescent shine on a chunk of obsidian!|
|There's an excellent view of the Newberry Caldera from the top of Paulina Peak.|
The 17 square mile caldera contains the Big Obsidian Flow seen here.
|Mother and daughter framed by the fabulous Newberry Caldera.|
Newberry volcano spreads some 1,200 square miles across central Oregon and is still seismically and geothermally active. Numerous cinder cones and vents dot the landscape, one of which is Lava Butte just south of Bend and home of the Lava Lands Visitor Center. You can drive to the top of the butte and take in expansive views of the area as well as hike an interpretive trail through the 7,000 year old lava flow.
|A cloud mimics steam rising from Lava Butte.|
|Views of the Cascade Mountains from the lava trail.|
Another favorite place to explore near Bend is Smith Rock State Park
. (Here's a link to my post about Smith Rock
from our visit in 2013.) The scenery is stunning, the hiking can be as easy or as hard as you desire, and it's great fun to watch the rock climbers too.
|Even on a week day morning there were climbers on this rock face...|
|Fascinating to watch!|
|Words are not necessary...|
|Here we have completed the easy trail along Crooked River and are about to head up over Misery Ridge.|
Notice the pillar of rock above Chantal's left shoulder, that's Monkey Face.
|There happens to be a bunch of climbers on Monkey Face on this day!|
|As we hike around the back of Monkey Face we got to see a climber rappelling down.|
|A group of climbers scale Monkey Face while we enjoy the amazing views atop Misery Ridge.|
|The trail down the other side of Misery Ridge.|
One of many breweries we visited during our month in central Oregon, Wild Ride Brewing was an easy stop in Redmond on our way home from Smith Rock.
We bid Chantal good bye and spent our final week in Bend exploring new-to-us places. Bessie Butte
and Boyd Cave
are just two of many trails accessed from China Hat Rd, just a few miles south of Crown Villa RV Resort.
|Boyd Cave is a lava tube cave.|
|View of Horse Butte and the Three Sisters from the high desert south of Bend.|
We spent one day mountain biking along the Deschutes River from one of the many trails accessed off Century Drive.
|Biking along the Deschutes River.|
One cool day we headed east on highway 20 to the Oregon Badlands
, high desert filled with ancient junipers and lava mounds. Our destination was Flatiron Rock, an easy hike to an interesting lava flow.
|Magnificent old junipers dot the landscape.|
|Flatiron rock is actually a quarter mile long lava moat jutting out of the surrounding desert.|
Though I have no photos, I want to mention a few really tasty meals and venues we've enjoyed in Bend.
The Sparrow Bakery
located in the Old Iron Works Art District on Scott Street serves up delicious baked goods; the Ocean Roll is highly recommended. Also worth a look are the unique art shops in this plaza.
restaurant was recommended to us by locals and did not disappoint. Fresh and inventive pizza, pasta and salad's are served up in a sweet rustic country-style setting. It's popular so there could be a line and a wait on busy days.
Thanks to a tip from locals we also visited the Broom Closet at McMenamin's Old St Francis School
. This cool speakeasy is hidden away in the new Art House hotel building on the McMenamin's property, half the fun is finding this bar! We also discovered a secret room on the first floor of this building...
We've absolutely loved our time in Bend, September is just beautiful in central Oregon! But it's time to move on and we're currently spending a couple of days visiting Chantal and James for the last time in 2016 before pushing south for the winter.
What a beautiful and interesting area! We will head that way ourselves next summer. Hope you are nearby on your way south so we can get together.ReplyDelete
You guys would enjoy Bend I think!Delete
We still don't know exactly how we are heading south...we'll be in touch if we pass your way!
Ahh...Smith Rock. One of my favorite places! You saw a lot over your month stay. I'm very excited that my daughter is now living in Central Oregon....I'll be visiting often!ReplyDelete
P.S. Sorry I didn't connect with you guys when I was there last weekend....too much going on with moving my daughter and getting caught up with my brother. I have a feeling we'll meet in Bend again sometime! :)
I figured you were busy with family stuff! Youa re very fortunate to be have your daughter in central OR, Bend is so awesome!Delete
A great recap of your activities in Bend... I could see you guys ending up there "Post Wheels."ReplyDelete
Box Canyon Mark
I would love to live in Bend...it is on our radar for future options...just not too sure about the winters.Delete
How wonderful to have your daughter come and spend time with you hiking around. Lots of recent blogs have been touting how wonderful September is where they are. I've for sure added Bend to my list. I hope I have enough Septembers left to get to them all.ReplyDelete
There is so much to see and do in central OR, I hope you make it out here some day!Delete
Hello, I'm visiting you from Linda's blog. I have friends who live in Bend, but I've never visited. Your photos show spectacular scenery and lots to do. (I think I'd pass on the climbing though!)ReplyDelete
Thanks for reading Barb! There is a ton of things to do here...I'll pass on the climbing too!Delete
So glad you enjoyed your time and that we had a chance to see you. Safe travels and hope to see you along the road!ReplyDelete
It was great seeing you two as well!Delete
Great blog(S) on such a great destination. We really need to spend more time in Bend, only a drive by this year as we had to us.make up time. There is a fun little winery north of town I can recommend, and thanks for all your recommendations for the rest of us.ReplyDelete
Bend really is worth a month!Delete
Great photos -love seeing the climbers.ReplyDelete
Beautiful shot of the obsidian flow. It is said to draw negativity away so it must have been a really happy hike :-)) I could live in your wordless pic. Always fun to watch the climbers, great catch of the rappelling. We're looking forward to time in Central OR next year - it is really beautiful!ReplyDelete
Ooooh, didn't know about the powers of an obsidian flow, interesting! Central OR is a great place to explore.Delete
I am so excited to visit Bend!! You have done a great job giving us lots to explore. Love the photos of Monkey Face. How nice of the climbers to come out that day for your photos:) What a nice treat to have Chantal visit and join you for some hiking and brewery hopping:) Enjoy your time in OR with Chantal for visit 2:)ReplyDelete
You guys will certainly enjoy this area, there is so much to do and outdoor adventure in every direction!Delete
We may be going to Bend in a few days if the weather holds out...ReplyDelete
Pam and Vic mentioned you might be headed that way, sorry to have just missed you!Delete
Looks like a very fun visit with Chantal. Great photo of her with the obsidian! You guys certainly had a wonderful time in Bend filled with all kinds of adventures. :-)) Enjoy your travels south!ReplyDelete
It was so nice to spend some of her vacation time together!Delete
We also stopped at Wild Ride after hiking at Smith Rock and found some really good beer.ReplyDelete
We could see living in Bend, too, but not in the winter!
Bend os so awesome...I wish the winters weren't so darn cold for so darn long!Delete
I can't wait for our turn to enjoy Bend although it will be less than a week :( I will definitely go to that bakery and for sure we will also go to your suggested restaurant.ReplyDelete
Im crossing my fingers for no rain so we can follow your hikes.
Actually you'll be fortunate if there is some rain before you hike...the trails are VERY dusty in Bend. I wrote a lot of posts during our stay in Sept. 2013 you might want to look there as well for some hikes...Delete