After the chaotic whirlwind that was Fall Staff, my team and I arrived back in Boise and drove to Portland, OR for a quick two-night stay. Our second round of Portland was not too eventful, but we did work a cool touch-a-truck event where Mr. Peanut got to ride off into the sky via a cherry picker. We also headed back to Rogue Brewing Co. – which was featured in my last blog about Portland – with Jackie, Alex and Jacob. I was sad to find out Rogue no longer carries my favorite beer from the road, the Rosie, but I still managed to enjoy the great company on my last night in town.
The next morning we rode out for Bend, OR – a small, touristy town that you’ve probably never heard of if you’re not from the Northwest. I had never heard of it either, but I immediately knew I would love it upon arrival. Our hotel was right on the edge of downtown – which meant we were walking distance from pretty much everything – and also offered us access to a full-service gym (which was necessary after the eating bender we all had at Fall Staff).
My first day in Bend was spent trekking across town on foot to purchase a new iPhone. I haven’t written about this yet, but on this job pretty much all of my technology has failed me. I have been laptop-less since my Mac decided to die for good in Albuquerque months ago (if not for Elise’s giving soul and willingness to share hers, this blog would’ve died long ago) and my iPhone was so low on storage that it hardly functioned. I decided to at least solve one of these, and finally got a beautiful new iPhone 7+. After my trek to Verizon, I returned downtown, settled into a cozy coffee shop called Bluebird Cafe, and spent the rest of the day writing blogs.
Due to our previously stated fall staff eating bender, Conner, Elise and I decided to be super active during our week in Bend. We first hiked the lava tubes, which are underground tunnels formed by lava. You literally climb down through a big gaping hole, and once you get to the bottom it’s pitch black and at least 20 degrees colder. As we walked through the dark with only my headlamp (yes, I did for some reason pack a headlamp for this job and I’m glad I found a reason to use it) we told scary stories and Elise managed to only fall one time in the dark.
The next day, our hiking continued as we took on the 7,779 foot Tumalo Mountain. Despite being that tall, the hike wasn’t too bad and it offered great views of the surrounding Three Sisters Mountains at the top. The mountain was already covered in snow – my first time seeing snow this year – and we were all soaked by the time the hike was over. In addition to our hikes, Downtown Bend is situated right on the Deschutes river and I also went for a run along its scenic path nearly every morning during our stay.
Aside from all of the beautiful scenery in the area, Bend also had a great food scene and a seemingly endless amount of breweries. Whenever we get to a new town I usually look up places I want to try and make a list, but I would’ve needed at least a month to complete my list for Bend. However, my favorite place we tried was Deschutes Brewery where I had a Mirror Pond Pale Ale and a turkey and brie sandwich – they were both delicious. We also tried several other amazing restaurants throughout the week including Sisters Coffee Company, Orchid Thai and Bonta Gelato. If you ever find yourself in Bend hit me up for a whole bunch of food/drink recommendations!
Although there were clearly a lot of reasons to love Bend, my very favorite part of the week was when we visited an assisted living home. We had Mr. Peanut walk from room to room to say hi to residents and give them peanuts. One lady danced with Mr. Peanut and another refused to let go of his hand for several minutes. It was crazy to me how just a simple visit seemed to make such a big difference, but we were constantly told how much our visit meant, and the home was suddenly more alive with crowds gathering and laughter all around. It was without a doubt the most rewarding work day we’ve had yet.
You’d think it would be the big cities I visit that have tons to do, but Bend had everything I could want and more: good eats, prime hammocking spots and more places to explore than I could in a lifetime. There’s a lot to love in Bend (this is especially true for Conner who met the love of his life/the one that got away here) and it made me especially happy to be back on the west coast (best coast) with my homenuts.
Thanks for being part of my Peanut Gallery, cashew soon!