2 Days in Bend

 

Oh did we have quite the fun Friday and Saturday in Bend.  I’ve been over to the Bend area quite a number of times. Last year I was out that way often for climbing at Smith Rock so needless to say despite having been over there often, I haven’t explored much.  I didn’t even make it to Smith this time as I’m not really climbing right now for a variety of reasons so no one had to suffer through me trying to figure out how to shoehorn that into the trip, which made for quite a relaxing time.

We left early on Friday because we wanted to camp at Skull Hollow and it’s first come first serve and well, there wasn’t a reason for us to wait around Portland so over the mountain we went.  Skull Hollow has turned into one of our favorite camping spots although I will say this time was the least dramatic time we’ve been there and boy was that a nice change! It’s in the high desert and the space is quite open, there’s no light pollution so the stars are amazing, and you always get to hear coyotes at night. We are not light weight campers, we car camp and we bring many of the comforts of home and we don’t apologize for it!

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At Crux. Playing. The Sisters, Broken Top, and Mt. Bachelor are in the background

After a quick camp set up we were off!  We went over to Crux brewery, which is by far one of my favourite breweries not only for their excellent beer, but also because they have a huge lawn with some lawn games set up and you can bring a blanket or chairs and just chill. They have good food there, but even more importantly is that they have a couple of food trucks and the El Sancho truck makes some of the most legit street tacos ever. The tongue taco is to die for! DSC00287 DSC00289 DSC00290

Then we were back to the campground for the evening. It was windy. Soooooooo windy! But we managed to batten down the hatches and had no tent blowing away issues, which we were honestly a bit concerned about.  As noted before, the stars were amazing, but the wind was cold and the daylight was lengthy so we retired after looking at the stars for just a bit.

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The setting sun

Morning found us with quite a conundrum, the gas stove was not working. Luckily we hadn’t used up all our firewood the night before (we nearly did and decided eh, we’ll save a few for a small fire in the morning). So, Eric saved us all and made bacon and eggs over the fire. The bear and I hung out and enjoyed the morning.

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Morning sunshine
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There’s a bear in that tree!

Then we were off for the main event of the weekend, which was checking out the Lava River caves in the Newberry Volcanic National Monument. I was pretty excited because my parents got us the National Parks annual pass and I thought I would get to use it earlier this year at Glacier, but it was off season so no need to pay so this was going to be the first use. However, it was the 25th anniversary so it was free. No real complaints, but I just laughed and noted that with all our plans to go to parks this year it would be hilarious if we hit them all on special days and didn’t need to pay at all.

Indie was a bit nervous, as was I, when we first went into the cave, but he warmed up quite quickly. He even was on board for and enjoyed turning out all the lights to be in the total darkness. He noted several times that this was his favorite part of the day.

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Then because the boys humor me, we did another unplanned hike along the Deschutes to and it was AMAZING!!! I haven’t spent much time by the Deschutes and this particular section of it was so beautiful!DSC00426

Eric was not a fan of taking this picture as I’m sitting on the edge over some raging rapids.

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Indie was also not pleased with the heights and I picked him up for a picture. This is not him smiling, he’s yelling “AAAAAAHHHHH!”DSC00475

Then back home over this beautiful mountain we went. The bear got into the car and fell asleep immediately.DSC00483It was an amazing weekend and we had so much fun. It was then off to Dallas for me today and I don’t get home until July 3. I’m meeting my mom in San Fransisco this weekend for the Grateful Dead show. This means that I won’t see the little bear until the end of July because my mom is traveling up to Portland to pick him up and take him to stay with them for a month. So we had many snuggles this morning before I left. Eric and I are going to enjoy some adventures on our own for the month of July!

 

Memorial Day Weekending

20150524_201601We did some serious car camping over Memorial Day weekend. It was a blast.  At first we were planning to do Crater Lake and some really rustic camping and then we were like, you know, perhaps we start out the season with some really easy camping? And so we did. We bought a giant tent for the three of us (we will soon be upgrading to camping cots as well). And we lived in relative luxury considering it was either raining or moist mist all weekend. But that did not deter us! In true Lindsay fashion, I brought my nice camera, but failed to charge it appropriately, so you get cell phone pictures.

A couple of weeks ago we met up with some folks to go to Abiqua Falls and we met them at Camp Dakota, which we then determined would be the perfect place to do some Memorial Day camping. They not only offer camping but also many activities, such as disc golf, zip lining, obstacle courses, rock walls, paintball, etc. So, it’s kind of like summer camp and you can buy pizza there, which they’ll deliver to your tent along with your fire wood. Easy peasy camping times. Also, it’s kind of not in the consciousness of Portlanders since it’s not in the Gorge and not on Mount Hood and not on the coast by Cannon Beach or Seaside or Astoria so that meant a nice nice break from the Portlanders (which sometimes, you just need a break from, I like a  more basic type of folk sometimes and I wasn’t in the mood to spend the weekend with tiny cut off shorts and tank tops).

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Geared up for zip lining

The bear really wanted to zip line so he and I did. Eric isn’t a fan of heights so he stayed on the ground as the designated photographer. Indie was SOOOO stoked about the zip line, until he got to the top of the first ladder of the first platform and the reality of the situation sunk in. We did tandem so he was always with me and he had such a good time on the zipping part, but he was not at all into being on the tree platforms. We played a game and thought of an animal that lives in the forest and climbs up trees and glides from tree to tree. So, then we were just little northern flying squirrels going from tree to tree and it was all pretty smooth sailing from there on out. We were with another group of kids who were just the sweetest kids in the world and kept cheering Indie on and telling him how brave he was and when they saw him later in the day they gave him so many cheers again. Super awesome kids

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newts!

Overall, I think Indie’s favorite thing was the little pond with the fake alligator heads and more importantly many, many little newts who I have never seen just swimming around in ponds like this before (but we saw again while fishing at Horning’s Hideout on Monday).  And we saw many tadpoles.

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We were also close to Silver Falls State Park so we hopped over there for an afternoon. We only saw the South Falls and Lower South Falls so we’ll definitely be going back to do the whole hike with the ten waterfalls

 

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South Falls
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Lower South Falls
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Indie in a tree!