Friday, January 22, 2016

Travels in Oregon

We've finally just arrived back in Ohio after a whirlwind of travel from east coast to west coast. There were good times, there were bad times, and it's nice to be back home and get back to our routine.

I have a couple posts I'm working on about our travels, so they'll come a little out of order as I complete them. Today I'll write about our most recent trip to Oregon.

A couple years ago my grandparents moved into a retirement home/assisted living facility. Since then, my parents have been spending most of their time in my grandparents' old house in Bend, Oregon. My brother and aunt now live in the area as well, so it's easy to visit most of my family all in one place. Phew! So nice.

I grew up in the Portland area, visiting my grandparents in Bend throughout the year. Portland and Bend (both in Oregon, for those of you not in the know) are very different places. Portland is a metropolitan area, whereas Bend has more of a resort town feel. Separated by the Cascade mountain range, Portland's weather is mild and rainier while Bend's weather is dry and sunnier with more snow in the winter.

Ted and I flew into Portland because we wanted to see a concert at the Arlene Schnitzer concert hall. Gregory Alan Isakov played with the Oregon symphony orchestra, and it was magical. *heart eyes emoji*  

Before the show, we walked around Portland in the cold rain, stopping at Powell's for some book browsing and Koji Osakaya for a sushi dinner. We recommend both to anyone visiting the city.

bathroom graffiti at Powell's

The next morning we were off to Bend! Halfway between Portland and Bend you pass Detroit Lake and can stop in the small town of Detroit for a bite to eat. This time we ate at the Cedars, but I'd have to say I prefer the other restaurant in town: the Korner Post. Our waitress was very nice, though, and when the fryer flame went out halfway through the preparation of our meal, she literally ran to the convenience store to buy a new lighter. Good thing we were the only customers at the time since she was the only waitress/hostess at the time.

Detroit Dam is just down the road...

Besides these down-home restaurants along the way, one of my favorite things about Bend is that almost every gas station has a drive-thru coffee shack set up nearby. You can get a latte and a muffin, and sometimes even a breakfast burrito, and you don't even have to get our of your car (you can stay in your car while you gas up, too, since Oregon is one of the two states where you don't pump your own gas). 

While in Bend, we had lunch with my grandparents, watched football and ate several delicious meals with my aunt, skied a half day at Mt. Bachelor, and went out to eat at a couple of our favorite Bend/Redmond restaurants (eating is a big part of any family visit, you know?).

Mt. Bachelor

Dad and me on Canyon run for a warm-up

Brother, me, and Dad taking a break at the base

This is what you get when you say, "Ok now guys, goggles down; serious-face photo."

That's the Three Sisters and Broken Top on the horizon

I wanted to take some video and more photos of us on the slopes, but after taking the series above, I dropped and accidentally buried my phone in the snow. With ski gloves and freezing temps, it was a little hard to get all the snow off the lens and screen, so I pretty much kept my phone in my pocket after that.

We stuck to Outback and Northwest Express chairs because
the other side of the mountain was a little windy.
Each of those runs off Northwest Express can easily take 20 minutes from top to bottom.

Northwest chairlift - last run of the day

View from the top of Northwest Express:  Sparks Lake and the Three Sisters

A little cold and windy at the top of the chairlift

In addition to skiing, I got a morning walk in with my mom and aunt. There are nice, wide paths along the canals that get a lot of use from locals. My aunt's dogs had a great time, though they had to stay on leash most of the time due to the thin ice covering the canal. Nobody wants to have to rescue a large, wet dog from freezing cold canal water.

Mom and Aunt, with Roxy and Cole

Roxy got a little too intimate with the
goose poop on the trail and had to have
a snow scrub mid-walk.

When not enjoying the outdoors, we visited with my grandpa and took my grandma to the High Desert Museum

The museum is pretty cool, although better during the warmer months since there are several exhibits outside. We especially enjoyed the birds of prey exhibit with bald eagles, a golden eagle, several different owls, and lots of information.

Ted's wingspan is "Golden Eagle" while mine is more like "Turkey Vulture"

Ted also did a weather report for my grandma:

He's standing on his knees because he was just a little too tall for the kids' weather station.

It was a full trip, packed into one week, and we're really glad we went. Now that we're back in Ohio we have one weekend to get ready for the Spring semester, and the college students should be returning any day now! 


  1. Enjoyed these highlights. I know there are many reasons I would like Oregon... and that was before I even knew the state has full service gas and drive through coffee shacks!

    1. Thanks, Caroline! (Btw this is Mackenzie - not sure why my phone has me tagged as Ted...)
      Maybe someday you and Paul and the kids can meet Ted and me in Oregon for a family vacation! There's plenty of room between my parents' and my aunt's houses.