Posted by: kdeversblog | September 27, 2011

Bend in the Road

First, a bit of history about Bend, Oregon.  During the westward movement across the United States, folks came to the Deschutes River and there was a bend in the river. It was a perfect place to stop and rest before moving on across the country. Some of these travelers thought it was such a nice place that they decided to stay, and this lovely place became the city of Bend.

In August our family took our first trip to Bend. My daughter Elli and I rode in my car while Fran and her husband, Josh and their little dog Trixi rode in theirs. We drove south to Salem and then east to Bend. The drive took us through rural towns, orchards, past lakes and mountains, and then into the high desert of central Oregon.

We stayed at the Shilo Inn and had a kitchenette, patio, and fireplace(we didn’t use that).

We would gather at our patio and plan our events for the day. Josh had his computer and that helped us learn what was available in the area.The Deschutes River ran right outside our back door. One morning I saw a deer walking along the high cliffs on the other side of the river.

There was so much to do – we went tubing in the river and we went for walks and hikes. Sometimes we could take Trixi, when it wasn’t so rough. I was amazed at how the tone of the Deschutes river changed. It was calm and gentle through the town – perfect for tubing lazily, and eating watermelon – then become more active with lots of little rapids.

We went on a hike that was pretty challenging for me, up to Three Sisters. It was really hot but the trail went right along the river and it was spectacular. We stopped often to take photos, drink water, and enjoy the scenery. We weren’t able to go all the way up to the top but hopefully next time we can do that. We did see patches of snow at the higher elevation. At one of the larger waterfalls we stopped to wash our feet and cool off. The water was FREEZING!

The first night we were there, we went to a live outdoor show of Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. I have listened to him in Minnesota, North Dakota, California, Texas, and now Portland. This was his only show in Oregon this year and he will be retiring soon so it was a very special event. Unfortunately, the show will not be broadcast because it was part of their Summer Love Tour.

We sat in chairs on the lawn and we got there early  so we had a great spot. It was so hot that Elli and I had our umbrellas to give some shade. After the sun set it cooled off comfortably. I love to hear Garrison’s stories and it was fun to see the band, the people who do sound effects, and the wonderful Heather Masse who sang along with him.

Several times Garrison walked through the crowd talking and singing. During intermission he invited us to sing along with him and that was incredible. It felt so good to open my mouth and let the music pour out of me. There is something thrilling and joyous about singing with a large group of people. Sharing music brings us together, despite our differences.

This was an evening and a weekend I don’t ever want to forget.

Here’s a slide show with a few more photos of our trip around the Bend.

If you would like to check out the Prairie Home Companion website, click on this link.

Here is a link to Heather Masse’s home page. She was delightful and has a gorgeous voice.

I highly recommend the Shilo Inn in Bend. Everything was clean and comfy and the staff was very helpful.

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