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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
Eric was not a fan of taking this picture as I’m sitting on the edge over some raging rapids.
Then back home over this beautiful mountain we went. The bear got into the car and fell asleep immediately.It 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!