I’ve been told many good things about Bend, Oregon – they are true.
There’s a lot to do in and around Bend. While we were there we fished,canoed, hiked, ate and drank but most rewardingly perhaps wesat by the River, soaked in the sun and views and watched the world float by.
When we arrived it was overcast, cold and rainy – definitely notwhy we left Bainbridge! To stay out of the rain we decided to explorethe Lava River Cave. Itwas an underground walk more than anything, and dark. Three of us didmanage to crawl on our hands and knees to the furthest reaches of thecave but alas, to my daughter’s great dismay, we found no treasure.
After the cave we went to Lava Lands Visitor Centerhoping to drive up the Lave Butte (any bump on the earth aroundBend is called a butte).Unfortunately we arrived a bit late and could only walk around the lava field,the drive to the top would have to wait for another day.
Back at the house my fascination with the River started. While I lovedthe view of Mt Bachelor(formerly Bachelor Butte of course!) I found myself constantly mesmerizedby the River.
The next day we did two small hikes. The first was to a doublewaterfall, my first, named Paulina Creek Falls.
The waterfall was pretty; the mosquitoes were vicious. It alsoimportantly marked the first blue skies we’d seen in Oregon.
The trail itself was fun, winding it’s way through rocks with somenice views of Paulina Lake.
The next morning was still overcast and cold – oh but the River!
We decided that morning to check out the High Desert Museumwhich was interesting but I was grumpy because I wanted to be in themountains.
My family obliged and we drove up to Sparks Lakefrom which the views are stunning and the water flowing through the meadowis ripe with butterflies, toads, fish and endless opportunities forchasing nature. I took one of my favorite photos of my daughter here,back to the camera, scooping a small toad out of the water with blue skiesabove and the Sisters in the background – I love this photo.
Sparks Lake is a extremely shallow and excellent for fishing so I’mtold. I’d like to go back, camp along the shores and fish the dayaway.
Finally sun, finally sunsets.
The next day we canoed a short section of the Deschutes River. In mypaddling around the Island we’ve seen some great wildlife but never hasa flock of baby ducks, clearly agitating their mother, paddled right upalongside the canoe!
On the last day I fly-fished on the Fall River and landed two rainbow trout.Unfortunately our timing on this trip was a bit off. We met a coupleon the Obsidian Flow Trail who fished the day we explored the Cave and landed fishafter fish in the overcast and cool conditions. When I went it was hot __and__sunny and the fish, which I could see plain as day on the river bottom, wanted nothingto do with our flies. Among all the fisherman out on the River that day we were theonly ones landing anything.
It was a great trip. It was really fun to hang out with another family, eat home-cookedmeals together on the River, drink our share of beer, wine and vodka, watch the Tour coverageeach night and enjoy time together. I’d like to go back to the area – my only regretwas not seeing the Cascade Cycling Classic.Maybe next year.