Friday, July 5, 2013

Bend, OR

July 4-5, 2013

We drove from Crater Lake to Bend, Oregon this morning. We took a detour to the Newberry National Volcano Monument in the Deschutes National Forest. We got tickets to drive up Lava Butte. It is a cinder cone located just south of Bend, Oregon. The cinder cone at elevation 5020 feet is capped by a crater that is 60 feet deep beneath its south rim and 160 feet deep from the summit on its north side. Geologists date the volcanic activity to almost 7,000 years ago.

I believe this mountain is Mount Thielson to the south, just north of Crater Lake 
I believe this mountain is the Three Sisters to the north. 
The butte was used as a forest service lookout station in 1928 

The view from Lava Butte looking north toward Bend with the brown hill to the left called Pilot Butte where the city will set off the 4th of July fireworks that night! 
Lava fields 

Ground squirrel at Lava Butte who has very curious even with Chance in the car! 
We once again wished we could do the Lava River Caves here but it was too hot to leave Chance in the car.
We ate lunch at Pine Tavern, established in 1936 and was a great depiction of the character of Bend. 
There are 2 huge pine trees growing in the middle of the restaurant 
The patio was packed on this gorgeous day on Mirror Pond 
We took Chance for a walk. A pet parade had just finished that morning for the 4th of July so there were kids, dogs and fun activities all over.
Mirror Pond 

There were some gorgeous houses on Mirror Pond & the Deschutes River. We lusted after how they can simply get home from work and drop their kayak in straight from their own backyard. One day, one day…
Chance got a real feel and taste for Mirror Pond & the Deschutes River. 

I got to say it was really hot for the 4th. I can’t blame her for getting in for a swim.
We walked down to Drake Park which to the hub of activity for the 4th of July.
You know it’s a bike friendly town, when the Bend Park & Recreation has valet bike parking roped off. 
It’s no wonder they call this place an outdoor lovers paradise. 250 days of sunshine, but they get snow unlike Seattle.
We then went over to the Old St. Francis School to check into our hotel room. McMenamin’s developed the old Catholic school into a great downtown 19 room hotel, tiled salt-water Turkish bath, restaurant-pub, bar, movie theater and smoking lounge. And it was pet friendly! I love it! 
The old classroom hallway 
Cool reuse of the existing water fountain in the school hallway 
Nearby St Francis Catholic Church. 
The school was abandoned after it became too big and outgrew its small downtown block property. The McMenamin brothers are excellent developers who find the right properties to buy and refurbish the existing building for another use.
Our hotel room, a converted classroom 

Each hotel room was plumbed with its own bath 

It’s these cool kinds of architecture reuse projects that get me excited. I loved learning all the history behind the old building. There were stories everywhere from students, teachers, and priests over the years from their time there.  I love the new use which works so well in a city like Bend.
Since it was so hot and we wanted to get Chance plenty of exercise before the loud fireworks tonight, we took her to the Old Mill Dog Park. The Old Mill District was completed refurbished into a great trendy location with a great mix of retail and living. The renovated old paper mill building with 3 smokestacks is now the REI. We stopped at REI because well we just couldn’t resist.
Just upstream from the Old Mill Dog Park was the Riverbend Park where countless people were blowing up their inflatables to float down the Deschutes River.
It took some coaxing but she did finally get all the way in for a swim. 

Jackie was so hot she actually liked that she needed to wade in to coax her into the deep portions and try to get another timid nearby dog in on the mix too.
Back at McMenamin’s we decided to try letting Chance join us at the patio bar for a mid afternoon snack and ale sampler. In the basement of the old Catholic school, they brew their own beer. Oh if the nuns could see the place now! The Terminator Stout was my favorite. 
We went for another walk along the Deschutes River Trail 
We passed by Bend Brewing Company and Deschutes and no matter how much begging I couldn’t convince Joe to sneak Chance back into the hotel and leave her in the room alone while we grabbed some more beers. Not going to Deschutes Brewery was a big disappointment from our brief time in Bend.
We did go and enjoy the Turkish style baths at the McMenamin’s hotel/pub/theater though. 

Chance actually laid down on the sidewalk while we watched the fireworks! 
Funny thing, the City of Bend seems to have a reputation for setting Pilot Butte State Park on fire every year on the 4th of July. We watched the fireworks from about a mile away in downtown on Greenwood Ave directly due west of the hill. There was a long pause shortly after the fireworks began. I knew it couldn’t be over but we weren’t gonna wait forever for the grand finale. We started walking up the street to a slightly higher elevation and looked back to the launch point. Yep, there was a fire. They finally did set a few more fireworks off once the fire was out but it wasn’t the greatest firework show. Apparently I read later that the Fire Department had prohibited the use of their big fireworks thus the lackluster show.
The next morning we went to breakfast at Chow. It was a popular spot on July 5th
After 4 nights of camping, this was a great change of pace. 
Coffee, which I hadn’t had in days with camping and a Bloody Mary for Joe was the perfect beginning to breakfast on the Chow patio. Check out all the different kinds of homemade sauces! 
Then the pancakes, biscuits & sausage gravy and potatoes came….oh soooo good! 
We love vacation!
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