Spent the weekend in Bend which is a 3.5 hour drive east from Corvallis in Central Oregon. Bend is often described as an outdoor lover's paradise and it is easy to see why. It is set right by the Deschutes River with Mount Bachelor close by. There are all kinds of outdoor activities to get into such as hiking, snowsports, climbing, fishing, stand-up paddle boarding, mountain biking etc. etc. Bend also has 17 or so breweries which makes it an ideal spot for beer lovers.
- Check out this site for all things Beery-Bendy http://beermebend.com/
If you like getting outdoors (like I do) and like craft beer (like I do), you will fall head over heels in love with Bend (like I have). The vibe of the town is laid back, friendly and fresh. People are always up for a chat, the topics usually being about beer, the snow, where you are from ('Oh you're from Australia! I've always wanted to go there!') and just about how freaking good it is to be in Bend and Oregon.
I was fortunate enough to make a friend who had just moved to Bend from Corvallis and we got to hang out and see some of Bend's best bits.
We started off with some delicious Thai food at Thailandia located in the food cart courtyard. This courtyard is surrounded by a number of food carts of varying cuisines (Thai, Mexican, Hawaiian, burgers) and had outdoor heaters, heated seats and most importantly a small bar with 16 local beers on tap. After lunch we headed to the Deschutes River and hiked the Lava Island trail with Onycha's dog Lucifer (who loved every minute). The trail was absolutely stunning - the colours contrasted perfectly against each other, blues of the sky and water, greens of the water and trees, reds, yellows and oranges of the shrubs. For the most of the first half we could walk on what would normally be the river but was dry due to no recent snow melt from the mountain. Parts of the river bed were covered in ice which made some gorgeous shapes which looked more like some's art project than a random piece of nature. We were also able to cross to the lava 'island' and clamber about like little kids exploring. On the return trip we walked on a higher level and got a different view of the river.
After the hike we went to 10 Barrel for a beer and relax in the sun. While we were here, a 'Cyclepub' turned up. A Cyclepub is a big bike-cart that holds about 15 people or so. The group cycles between pubs and bars around town and in between can drink their BYO's - genius!
Later on we went to the Naked Winery and tasted a whole bunch of wine, red and rose wines. It was so nice to finally drink some decent wine! It was also a good kick start to the night. For dinner we headed to Crux (another brewery, surprise surprise) which had excellent food and excellent beer. I know Rhosie and Julian would have loved it (and might be a bit jealous of me hehe). Next stop was a house party which was actually in a mansion. The guys there were a bit crazy already by the time we arrived so it was super rowdy and fun! We all then headed down town to a bar (can't remember the name) to drink more beer and dance. It was awesome fun! The night was rounded off with a visit to the dumpling street cart. Well, yum! I had a pad thai and a four cheeses pizza dumpling and my gosh they were epic.
The following day we went to Mt Bachelor for another day of snowboarding. The conditions weren't as good as the previous week as the visibility was poor and it was pretty windy. It was still warm enough though and the sky cleared by the end of the day. The snow cover was better than the previous week so that made up for it!
I got the bus back to Corvallis with Andres, Eric and Pontus and we ended up having dinner at American Dream Pizza which was pretty yummy. Despite the big day and weekend for most of us, we were in a pretty silly mood and stuffed around for a bit like annoying college kids. A great end to another fun weekend in Oregon.