Monday, May 23, 2011

May 23 - Sightseeing in Bend

It was 40 C, cool when we woke up but it warmed up quickly so it appeared to be a reasonable day for hiking.

We drove to Tumalo Falls which was at a higher elevation and it quickly got cooler.


We hiked to the top of the falls and were going to continue on the trail up the river but the snow on the ground got thicker and thicker and covered enough of the ground that it was hard to find the trail. It also started to snow hard little pellets. Exit stage left.



We went to pick up information at the Visitors’ Centre.  The GPS was a little off so we had to walk through this outdoor mall to reach it. They sure do like their outdoor stuff here. Sporting goods stores everywhere. We picked up lots of brochures, as this area is beautiful, the landscape is made to incorporate the features of nature and it is all very aesthetically done, plus the do love tourism so there are hiking, biking, running trails with canoeing, kayaking, skiing, boarding, shopping, food and wine tours and other sports like golfing.

Driving around Bend, you can see why it is one of the most expensive places to live in Oregon. All kinds of very large houses but they all blend into the natural setting. It is quite beautiful. They have also embraced the  traffic roundabout as opposed to traffic lights. Thye certainly keep the traffic flowing,

It was approaching noon so we had lunch by the Deschutes river at Lava Island which is an enormous lava flow from one of the local volcanoes.


We then followed a trail down the river for a few kilometers and then headed back to the CRV.


The horizon is dominated by the enormous cone of Mt. Bachelor. We decided to drive up (and I do mean up) the scenic highway to see how close we could get. The poor CRV had to downshift to climb the road.


The road ended at the mount Bachelor ski resort. It didn’t seem to be open today but they were still grooming. Someone said it is usually open until the end of June. Lift tickets were about $70.


From the view of the parking lot you can see they still have a lot of snow.


The highway continues past the resort in the summer. The tourist brochures said it normally opens next weekend. The rest of the highway is the white patch in this picture. It still seems to be buried in about 6 feet of snow so we turned around and went back to the campsite and warmer weather.


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