With the exception of 4 years at college, Bryan and I lived in Klamath our entire lives. Yet new friends would move to town and they had done WAY more Klamath fun stuff than we ever did! Somehow when you live in one place, you just ignore all the touristy stuff and end up staying in your own little routine. So with the move to Bend, we decided that we were going to be those new people in town and make a conscious effort to explore our new town. So I looked up about a million websites (click on the beige links in this blog), bought a book called Bend, Overall (I highly recommend for anyone living in or visiting Bend!), and sought recommendations from my new co-workers. Here's our first 10 list so far:
#1: 4th of July pet parade--TONS OF KIDS!! And pets of all kinds....the only rule was no cats or rabbits. We saw tiny dogs, huge dogs, tiny-dogs-who-thought-they-were-huge-dogs, sheep, cows, chickens, snakes, and hundreds of kids on bikes! Maybe next year, we'll decide to be in the parade ourselves!
#2: Pine Nursery Park Trail--our first exploration into the hundreds of trails and paths that are in Bend. We walked/ran/strollered on the paved path, saw a fishing pond (noted for future fun stuff!), learned about lava rocks, and played on a school playground. We also discovered a gigantic softball park....and mom had a bit of high school nostalgia of her "good ole days".....
#3: Regal movie theater--$1 movies! Bryan and the kids have enjoyed numerous summer movies for the fabulous deal of one dollar! This particular theater has two showings a week with specific G-rated movies, then has two new movies the following week. Kaela was particularly excited to watch the American Girl movie since she has read many of the books.
#4: Deschutes Public Library--Bend library has multiple branches, one of which is only a few streets away. Each kid was excited to get their own library card, then the children's librarian made necklaces to hold the cards. Maezie got to attend the preschool pajama party and had a great time! Graeson loves finding Star Wars books (which gives Mom and Dad a whole new galactic vocabulary!) And Kaela has had her nose in about 5 books a week!
#5: Deschutes River trail--the Deschutes River flows right through the middle of Bend. And there are hundreds of different trails ranging from easy strolling to more difficult hiking. Bend parks and recreation keeps all the trails very well maintained. We have been taking family walks in the evening....there is nothing better than a cool evening walk/hike and hearing the sounds of the river and breathing the moist river air! Oh and of course collecting sticks, pine cones, and rocks.
#6: Pilot Butte--this is one of the landmarks of Bend itself, a 480 foot butte right in the middle of town. At the top is of course a spectacular view of Bend, as well as the ability to see dozens of the Cascade Mountains. Some very wise person created a plaque at the top which is a 360-degree map of all the surrounding mountains, buttes, volcanoes, and rocks. Obviously they were not aware of Mt Graeson!
#7: Madras county fair--our first experience with a different fair other than the Tulelake Fair. Let's just say, it wasn't the best investment in entertainment money from the parents' perspective--only a few rides, mediocre food, and run-of-the-mill exhibits. But we got bracelets so the kids could go on unlimited rides and they had a blast!
#8: PS Ogden scenic lookout--walking on a bridge over a 300 foot canyon. It truly can't be explained in words, but my mommy-radar was on high alert and it was all I could do to let the kids take a look! The sign in the parking lot said "Many dogs have died here! Put your dog back in the vehicle!" (Yes, it had a guard rail and fence. But still!)
#9: LaPine State Park camping--ok, I have to admit, this was already scheduled long before we moved to Bend. But our annual camping with the Patterson family just happened to be in the Bend area! Last year's camping at this park was in the snow, so we thought we'd try August this time and it was much better! And our drive home was only 30 minutes! (Oops, I didn't take any actual pictures! But many videos to come later...)
#10: Old Mill trail--yet another branch of the Deschutes river trail, but this one goes past one of the busiest sections of town. We happened to go on a night when a major country music star was performing in the outdoor amphitheatre, and people had their lawn chairs set up for miles! The Old Mill District has tons of shopping and restaurants, and a lot of people! There are many ways to float down the river--tubing, kayaks, stand up paddle boards--some people even anchored their water tube in the middle of the river and were eating a pizza listening to the concert!
All of our Klamath-ites say that Bend is a great area.....we wholeheartedly agree! We'd love to show you around our new town!