Bend, OR: A Little Mountain Oasis in the High Desert
Austin and I finally got organized on the first morning and headed out to see some of the local sights. We cruised around in town a bit, checking out the newly renovated Old Mill district, which used to be a saw mill I think. Next up was a drive roughly 20mins out of town to Mount Bachelor. We tried to finagle a free ride up the lift for a better view but no luck. We were both too cheap to pay the $16 fare. There are several excellent skiing mountains within 30 mins or so of Bend. We made our way back to the house to change and collect more people so we could all head north to Steel Head Falls. What an awesome place! It's a state park I believe that doesn't require you to park and you're free to what you want (except build fires.) A short hike is all it took to get to the falls. We spent about three hours there jumping into the cold mountain water that felt oh-so-good after baking in the summer sun. We lunched there too and had an all-around great time. I was sad to leave =(
As you may have guessed, I didn't just stay for one day. There was so much more to see in Bend and the following day was Austin's birthday, so it hasn't a hard sell to keep me there. After another huge breakfast, Michaela, Austin and I went to the Deschutes Brewery (the real one, not the imposter one in Portland) for lunch. Perfect timing! I only made it through 3/4 of a pint before I was too full to move. It was good though, and I wish I hadn't had been so full so I could have tried a few more things. As we stood up, the three of us unanimously agreed to go home and take a nap. So we did.
About an hour later, Austin woke me up and he, Adam and myself loaded in the car and shipped out to the Arnold Ice Cave. Michaela never woke up, so that's why she didn't come. The cave was about a 20 minute drive East of town. Bend has a ton of caves in the surrounding area, but Adam liked this one and so we went. It turned out to be excellent! It required some decent contorting at times, especially in one section where you had to crawl on your stomach to squeeze through a little corridor. The rooms after that point were a treat to see. They were lined with ice crystals and when your lights shined on them, it made the ceiling and walls of the cave look like they were covered in silver. Yes, it was pretty cold down there, even though the outside temperature was in the 90s. After the first big room, the cave continued back via way of lava tube. It went on for maybe a mile before eventually being sealed off by an old cave-in. After we had our fill, we made our way back to the surface, and not too soon either because my lights were starting to die.
We headed home to change because we were all going to church followed by Austin's B-Day dinner at a really good mexican restaurant. We tried to get him to wear a giant sombrero the whole time, but he was complaining that his neck hurt from the cliff jumping. After dinner, we all went back home to play Super Smash Brothers on N64. We had also learned that Fievel was in fact a sequel to another movie called An American Tail, which got even better reviews than Fievel Goes West, so we looked it up online, connected the computer to the TV and settled in for another great movie. HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, I've never seen a worse movie. It was soooooooo bad!!! I couldn't believe it. We didn't actually finish it either. We made it half-way through.
After that debacle, everyone got ready for bed, except me who stayed up to about 3am updating this blog. A perfect choice of activity considering I had to ride the next day. Oh well.