Sunday, September 14, 2014

9-13-2014 Crater Lake to Bend, OR

We left Crater Lake early, planning to stop at any overlooks again on our way out of the park.  We did stop at a couple, but it was even smokier than the morning before, so we really couldn't see anything.  Pictures we took from that aren't even worth posting.

We made it to Bend in the early afternoon and walked around downtown to see what was going on.

This is Drake Park, which runs along Mirror Pond.  That is what they call the portion of the Deschutes River that runs
through town.  It is dammed, and so you can rent tubes, kayaks, and stand up paddleboards on this section.  It is a lovely
park with riverwalk, just blocks from downtown.

We rode our bikes up to First Street Rapids Park.  This is the view there, and there are hike/bike trails accessible here.

We couldn't find any restaurant deals in Bend, so we decided to try one of the breweries because they usually serve good
food.  We saw that Bend Brewing Co. indeed had a nice menu (with vegetarian, gluten-free fare for Cara), AND they were
going to have live music that night, so it seemed like a no-brainer to go there.  The setup for bands wasn't the greatest, but
we had the best seat in the house.  The band, Butterfly Breakdown (from Portland), was great!  Harmonies like Indigo Girls,
but bluesier.  They played a fantastic rendition of Zombie by The Cranberries, which we enjoyed.  We got one of their CDs,
though, and their own music is much better!
So, Bend isn't a huge town.  Their little downtown area is nice, though there is not a ton of nightlife.  We realized, a little late, that it's really just a launching point for all the outdoor stuff nearby.  So, next time we need to give ourselves more time just south of Bend to check out things like Newberry Crater National Monument, the Lava Caves, and Sunriver.  Then, of course, there are the beautiful mountains to the west to explore...

The Old Mill District had been mentioned to us (by our boat tour guide at Crater Lake) as a cool area of Bend, but we drove by, and it's just a big outdoor shopping area - BORING!  We bypassed that for downtown.  However, as we were leaving the next morning Cara saw a sign for the "Mill Quarter", which seemed nice, and we think now that's what the ranger was talking about.  Again, next time...

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