We tried not to like Bend, Oregon. The 80,000 person town nestled at the base of Mt. Bachelor is like one of those gorgeous, intelligent, perfectly caring people who you want to hate, but in the end you just can’t help but love them.
One of my friends with whom I shared a tent for a month in Colorado, KG (check out this awesome lady here), is training as a professional runner in Bend. She opened her home to us for a couple glorious days. Her roommate recommended a twelve mile loop hike to Green Lake, which sits between Broken Top Peak and the South Sister Peak. Tyler sat in the glacial melt lake for at least four seconds before shivering and shaking back to the snow covered shore. A couple hours later, both of us would be mimicking the moves of Frankenstein as we crossed roaring creeks so cold that our bones hurt immediately.
That evening we went to Cruxe Fermentation Project (a brewery, in layman non-hipster terms).
The bar felt like a fairgrounds, complete with an adjacent field for playing corn hole and a permanent taco stand. The converted warehouse looked out over a sun setting upon four volcanoes and green fields.
By evening the next day, after biking around town in unusually high temperatures (95+), KG, her friend, Tyler and I “aqua jogged” in the river that meanders through town. The term aqua jog is a loose description of the flailing arms and legs that had intended to propel us against the current, but in the end decided to tread water back to the put in.
Bend’s plethora of coffee shops, breweries, and places to fill up a growler of kombucha (fermented mushroom juice) may make it seem like a woodsy San Francisco, but after riding along and through the rivers and seeing how easy it is to get into wilderness it’s easy to see why this town continues to attract new residents.