24 July 2018

Adventures in Bend

For the record, I love the area around Bend.  Like really really love it.  I could totally spend several (spring/summer/fall) months there.

We stayed about 20 minutes north of Bend at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond -- just far enough away from all the tourist-trappings of Bend to be totally and completely relaxing.

I didn't have the energy for any hikes, which was seriously disappointing because there are millions of trails.  But we did get out for three beautiful motorcycle rides and did our best to tap into the local brewery scene.  (See what I did there?)

The first motorcycle adventure was to the west - out through the "North Conway of Oregon", Sisters, and deep into the Willamette National Forest.   Since we were riding the gnarly (well beyond my riding ability) McKenzie Pass, I occupied the Princess Seat on Doug's bike and served as the family videographer.

I captured some awesome video of all the twists and turns, but haven't had a good enough internet connection to upload any of it.  In the meantime, here are some photos.

Oregon's Mount Washington (with lava flow in the foreground!)

Two of the three Sisters.

Of course, no MC adventure would be complete without a stop at a local brewery.  This one was Three Creeks Brewing in Sisters.

You know what's awesome about the Princess Seat:  I get to drink beer!!!

A few days later, we headed east to the Ochoco National Forest.  This time, I proudly occupied my own bike for what is my longest ride so far.  Since I was driving, there is neither video nor pictures, which is a shame because we went from high desert to lush forest, through mountain gaps and along a gorgeous lake.  Guess I need to get myself one of those helmet-cams.  😆

(As a side note - you know what's awesome about wearing the Garmin while on a mc?  It thinks you actually pedaled the whole way .... like on a real bicycle.  After uploading this track, I "earned" the "Century Ride" badge in my Garmin account!)

We stopped at Ochoco Brewing on the way back to town, where the lightweight among us (me) enjoyed just 3 sips of their IPA before passing it over to the heartier, more experienced rider among us (Doug). 

You know what's not awesome about riding my own bike?  No beer for me!
By the third day, I was ready to tackle some mountain roads myself, so I convinced Doug to ride to Mt. Bachelor with me.  There was some yucky traffic in Bend, but once we got out of the city, it was all big sweeping mountain curves with plenty of passing lanes.  As if I needed another reason to be hooked on MC adventures, this was the final straw.  Again, no great video or pictures because I was busy driving. 

If you click on that Garmin map and scroll to the bottom, you'll see my heart rate over time.  I can only assume that all the spikes represent the times some asshole driver tried to kill me.  (Mom, don't look at that .... in fact, forget you even read it, driving a motorcycle is completely safe!!)

This ride also incorporated a stop at a brewery.  This time it was Cascade Lakes Brewing in Bend, where we had to re-create the photo we took on their patio in September 2007.  Again, I enjoyed just 3 sips of my IPA before handing it over to Doug (at least we don't let it go to waste!!). 

You didn't really think I was going to put the 2007 photo next to
the 2018 photo, so you could all comment about how we've both aged, did you? 
For those of you who have known me a long time, you know how obsessed I used to be with mountain biking. Nothing put a smile on my face like some swoopy singletrack.  Alas, since my oncologist tried to kill me with chemo, I just don't have enough energy to get out here on a mountain bike.  The motorcycle adventures are helping to fill that void, though.  Hopefully I'll be back on the (non-motorized) mountain bike soon, but until then, I'll just be exploring all the swoopy highways. 

While in Bend, we also made sure the pups had adequate adventure time, including swimming in the Deschutes River and getting petted by the locals at Good Life Brewing and Wild Ride Brewing.

Dog Park on the Deschutes River

Good Life Brewing

Begging for food truck snacks at Wild Ride Brewing

So, all in all, Oregon was good to us and we are looking forward to going back when we head south again.  Next up - Washington State.