An Introduction to Mt Hood & Bend

This past weekend Nick, Violet, Oakley and I went on a short trip to Mt Hood and Bend to check out a little bit more of Oregon, take part in Central Oregon’s Beer Week & see Sigur Ros play at the Les Schwab Ampitheatre.

While in Mt. Hood we went to the Wildwood Recreation Site and went on the Cascade Streamwatch Trail–a stroller/wheelchair friendly paved path that has educational placards about the stream and the salmon that spawn in it. The trail is lush with great areas for picnicking and site seeing, and the serene sound of the flowing water adds to the trail’s charm.

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Driving through Mt Hood, the High Desert and down some Grand Canyon-esque cliffs into Bend, we were struck by how diverse the landscape is here and how quickly it changes. I loved watching the dense fog drift through the evergreen trees, and the landscape break up into grassy plains, then desert.

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Upon our arrival we set up shop at 10 Barrel for some great beer and a relaxing meal outside. I was pleasantly surprised by 10 Barrel’s sour beers–not normally my type of beer–but their ales are really what we came for.

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For our night in Bend, we stayed at The Oxford Hotel downtown. The staff is very friendly and helpful, the décor trendy and modern, and the rooms fantastically comfortable.

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Going to Les Schwab Ampitheatre for a show felt incredibly civilized. No long lines, nobody yelling or pushing or falling over drunk–just the type of venue that’s perfect to take your entire family to! Additionally, Sigur Ros’ sound engineer walked around the crowd and handed out earplugs to all the families with kids to ensure no little ones were negatively affected by the volume. I’d never experienced customer service like that from a band before.

One note for parents: Though the venue tickets said no strollers, they seemed to be allowing strollers in for parents with babies, but we saw some larger kids in strollers get turned away.

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The show was beautiful and fun–a delightful introduction to Bend! I was pleased with how easy it all was, from changing scenery in a few hours to taking a toddler to a chilly outdoor show. When you live in a place with long lines, confrontational people and un-kid-friendly streets, you forget that things can be different. (I don’t miss you this week San Francisco.)

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