Farewell Bend

We awoke to a beautiful spring snow storm on our last day in Bend. Thinking about leaving Bend is difficult. We have made lots of friends and have been very happy here. Bend ranks at the top of the list of our favorite places and we are sad to be leaving. Bend has a cosmopolitan, outdoorsy vibe that really suits us. That being said, there are so many places to go, people to meet and things to do that it is time for us to move on. Here are some of the many things we will miss about Bend, Oregon:

The views of the surrounding mountains that we see every day - Some of our favorite peaks are Bachelor, Broken Top, The Three Sisters (Faith, Hope & Charity), Washington & Jefferson.

Happy hour with half priced appetizers and drinks - It seems as if every eating establishment in Bend has a happy hour. In North Carolina they have “Early Bird Specials” for the old folks. I much prefer “Happy Hour," it sounds so much more festive and young.

Flip-flops and tank tops when the temperature gets above forty-five degrees - We are not the ones dressed in flip-flops and tank tops at forty-five degrees, but a lot of people are. When we first arrived in Bend we would be in down jackets and wool socks; the locals were in their flip-flops and tank tops.

All the beautiful parks and open spaces in Bend - Within the city limits, there are seventy-one parks and over forty-eight miles of biking & walking trails.

The carwash - The Red Carpet Carwash is the absolute best. If you have junk in your car, they will take it all out, clean your car and put the junk back in. Windows are streak-free, tires are shiny and the car looks great all for twenty bucks.

The woman who dances on the corner with a cardboard guitar - She is advertising pizza and this woman really loves her job, she is always smiling dancing, waving and pointing to people in the passing cars. She makes us smile every time we see her.

The Mid-Week Women’s Group - The name sounds pretty boring, but this is not a boring group. It is a very diverse group of women who get together for coffee, hikes, snowshoeing, happy hour, book club, etc. I have grown very fond of this group of amazing women.

Nice and Easy Rides - Mary explored a lot of new bike trails with the Nice and Easy group. By the way, there is nothing “easy” about the Nice & Easy group

Miles and miles of bike trails — we have many favorites: Peterson Ridge Complex, Mrazek, Wanoga Complex and Phil’s Trail Complex to name a few. Phil’s Trail Complex even has trail art.

Rockin Daves’ Ruben - Rockin Daves’ is a tiny place owned by two guys named Dave. They make the best Ruben I have ever had. I love the sandwich and I love the atmosphere.

Traffic circles — when we arrived in Bend, we could not believe all the traffic circles, it seems like there is a traffic circle at half the intersections in town. Not having much experience with traffic circles, we were not real good at navigating them. That along with all the great artwork in the circles and not knowing where we were going made us somewhat of a hazard. We have learned to navigate the traffic circles and have come to appreciate their efficiency in keeping traffic moving.

The goat farm & horse ranch - I was fortunate enough to spend quite a bit of time at the goat farm and on the horse ranch. Working with the animals and their owners was great.

The area behind the RV Resort - Moxie and I start our day here with a couple of miles walk before breakfast. We watch the sunrise and check the surrounding mountains. Many evening we returned for another walk and to watch the sunset.

Lava rocks & lava caves - We never realized how interesting and beautiful lava rocks are.

Crystal clear lakes, pools, rivers and waterfalls — we visited many and wish we had found the time to visit more. Two favorite rivers are the McKenzie and the Metolius. Our favorite waterfalls include —Tumelo and the falls on the McKenzie & Deschutes Rivers.

CrownVilla RV Resort - This has become our home away from home. The staff and our neighbors have become our friends. As far as RV parks go, this one is top-notch.

Outdoor activities for every season — hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, mountain biking, skiing / snow boarding, road biking, etc. Everyone in Bend seems to enjoy outdoor activities and many of the community events revolve around outdoor activities. More than two million acres of public land are within an hour’s drive of Bend.

Trails, trails and more trails. There are more trails that we haven’t been on than what we have been on. Favorites include the Deschutes River Trail, The McKenzie River Trail & The Pacific Crest Trail through Central Oregon,

The “Be Nice - You Are In Bend” attitude - The people of Bend are so polite and considerate of one another. Everyone seems to be happy and no one has anything negative to say about Bend.

Sunshine and more sunshine - We could count on two hands all the days that we have not seen the sun during our year in Bend.

No sales tax (if a burger cost five dollars you pay five dollars for it not five dollars and seventy or eighty cents) and a smiling face to pump our gas (it is illegal to pump your own gas in Oregon).

The three smokestacks on the Bend REI - No matter where you are in Bend, you can always find REI. It has three tall smokestacks that can be seen throughout the town. Mary says the smokestacks make her feel like she has found her place in the world.
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Friends - of all the things we will miss, we will miss the friends we have made in Bend the most. People in Bend are friendly and welcoming and we have made some great friends here.

Our farewell to Bend is not a good-bye, it is a see-you-later. We have no doubts that we will return to Bend. There is so much more to explore here and so many things we want to do again. Bend suits us, I’m not sure we will find anywhere we like better or feel more as if we belong.

“ I am the chameleon animal. You can place me anyplace and I will survive, but I will not belong. I must tell you that I really do not belong anywhere.” - Jonas Vangay, Hmong refugee


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