I took the family up to Bend, Oregon for our annual all-American family vacation funfest. We seem to have an affinity or the Beaver State, having been to Ashland 2 years ago. What can we say? The call of the beautiful trees, lack of sales tax, and not having to get out of your car to pump gas is too powerful.
Bend is a splendid city, with a river running through it much like our own fair town, but making much more public use of it than we are ever likely to see. Though it is cliche to say it, the town does have a friendly, laid-back attitude that makes for a great vacation spot. Especially if you are into drinking awesome beer.
Being “vacation Dad” took precedence for the visit, so I didn’t take time to enter any of the local breweries but I did enjoy some of the local brews. Of course I have been a fan of Deschutes Brewing Company’s Mirror Pond Pale Ale ever since Stickie ordered up a pitcher for us that took us to our last SOL pub trivia victory. But I was able to also sample some 10 Barrel Brewing pale as well.
I am also a man who loves window shopping, and Downtown Bend is a great location for that. We also took a side trip to Sisters which has a population of 1000 and seems to have about 1000 mom-and-pop stores on the main drag. While we were there we devoured a sampler platter at Slick’s Que that was fresh out of the smoker. Mmmmm meat. Also baked beans with pineapple.
What I remember most about Bend will probably be Drake Park. This riverfront park winds along the Deschutes River and showcases Mirror Pond, which is formed by a dam upriver. The beautiful grass and great view of the lazy river (and of some bizzonkers riverfront mansions) made me jealous for a similar riverfront gathering spot in Sactown. But alas, such a thing will probably never be, or if it does be, it will probably happen in West Sac.
A 7 hour drive from here (if you do it straight through), Bend is a great destination if you love… pretty much anything at all.
Here are some photos from the trip.