Trip to Bend, Oregon

After a wonderful school-free week in Leavenworth we packed up the old Subaru and headed south to Bend, Oregon! Bend has been on our list for a while, especially hearing from so many friends how much they love the town. Bend is known for its mountain biking trails and easy access to the outdoors. It’s located almost in the dead center of the state, just on the east edge of the Willamette National Forest.

We really didn’t know what to expect from our trip or Bend. The city reminded us so much of a flatter, more friendly Seattle, but mixed with a little bit of Minneapolis and midwest lake culture.

The Deschutes River runs right through the middle of the city and provided a lovely lazy river type afternoon activity for us to beat the heat. We rented kayaks and had a blast exploring.

Ohhh the food in Bend. Our good friend Lauren absolutely adores Bend and she sent us so many of her favorite spots. Her recommendations left nothing to be desired and we ate SO well.

We had expected this to be a very active trip for us. Our first night away Ben got sick and we weren’t sure if it was a stomach bug or something he had eaten. Whatever it was zapped his energy for the duration of the trip and he just didn’t have much stamina, making it tricky to walk or bike very far. {Now that we’ve all gotten the stomach bug, we know that’s what it was….}

Alex got out for a long 34-mile ride and I took Brooks on two really lovely runs by the river.

As a family, we went out and biked a fun trail together. It was a nice mix of some rolling hills and a great introduction to biking over rocks. Ben really pushed through and did awesome, despite lacking a ton of energy. Alex used the tow strap to pull him up the trail and then he really sent it on his own back down. Hannah was the absolute best cheerleader!

We also hit the pump track one day – I had never biked a pump track before and it was quite fun!

Our biggest adventure for the trip was heading to Crater Lake National Park. It was incredible. Crater Lake is nearly 2,000 feet deep and is the site of a collapsed volcano.

The lake itself is so incredibly blue. It is breathtaking.

We had hoped to do some hiking nearby, but it was still so snow-covered that almost no trails were open yet. So, we drove around about 1/4 of the rim drive, got some great views and visited the gift shop and then headed back to Bend.

Mount Bachelor is a hop, skip and a jump away from Bend. We made a quick trip over there for lunch one day.

It was so fun to take the kids on a scenic summer chair lift ride. We couldn’t believe how much snow there still was at Mt. Bachelor.

The views of all of the volcanoes were magnificent!

Another big highlight for our trip was our visit to the High Desert Museum. It was so well done.

The raptor show was incredible. We saw hawks, turkey vultures and falcons free flying – literally right over our heads. They were so close we had to duck or they would have flown into us. Ben and Hannah were so mesmerized – Hannah especially loved it.

We really enjoyed hanging out in Bend. It was fun to be able to walk and bike to a wide variety of restaurants and cafes and just to explore a new city. The best part was just being together as a family and having a new adventure.