24 hours in Bend, OR

I have been working SO much lately. A normal month would give me blocks of up to six days off, but I’m picking up trips left and right to pay off my debt. On top of my work, I started fall term at school and my classes this semester are intense. Anybody else wouldn’t have time to sit down, but I schedule in some fun once in a while. Last weekend I flew into Redmond to see a friend and had roughly a day for her to show me around. I didn’t take a lot of pictures but I will share what I have! Bend (and the surrounding area) is SO gorgeous. Seeing the Three Sisters on the horizon is a view that should be in stock desktop backgrounds. I will absolutely be making another trip to explore more.

I flew into Redmond Friday afternoon after I had been working and my friend picked me up and took me downtown. She insists people in Bend do nothing but drink all night, and after this night I’m inclined to believe her. She took me to Velvet (http://www.velvetbend.com/) first, this very small but very rustic space with outdoorsy decorations and comfy couches. I ordered a Blue Velvet and I can honestly say it was the best drink I’ve ever had! It was, simply put, a blueberry lemonade vodka and I could drink those all day. Velvet actually sells the mix for this drink in 64 ounce Mason jars, and I regret not taking one home.

Next, she took me to Dogwood (http://www.thedogwoodcocktailcabin.com/), a bigger space with a vibe that’s hard to describe. It was dark, with table service and a disco show projected onto a bare wall. Also, somebody pulled a bunny out of his bag and set him on the couch next to me. Dogwood was a wild ride. I ordered a Thai One On and it was some coconut basil thing which, while interesting, had too many basil shreds in it for me to really enjoy. But I was happy to be there. That wasn’t the end of our night, but what story can I tell that tops a bunny hanging out with me in a bar?

The next morning we woke up early to drive to Terwilliger hot springs, which is about two hours east of Bend. The drive there was absolutely incredible. It was a grey, misty day, and I think gloom makes nature look so ethereal, and I can’t get enough of it.

Bend roadway

Bend roadway

The bushes changing colour were scattered within evergreens, or burnt soil, so they stood out in a remarkable way.

After that beautiful, beautiful drive, we turned our final corner… to a “Road Closed” sign. One of many forest fires burning here in the northwest is too close to the springs. We weren’t able to get there, but a firefighter recommended a place nearby called Deer Creek hot springs that we decided to check out.

Deschutes bridge

A pit stop on the way to Deer Creek.

We stopped where we thought the Deer Creek trail might start and walked around until we found the entrance. The firefighter had told us the hot springs was not even 1/4th of a mile in but we couldn’t find it initially. We hiked for maybe 10 minutes. Even without the springs, it was beautiful outside.

Deer Creek trail

It’s crazy nature can do this on its own!

At some point we figure we had probably gone farther than we should have and headed back. My friend mentioned she had seen something off the trail that didn’t look promising, but it must have been what we were searching for. We slid down a very steep dirt trail to where my friend was looking at what she had seen from above. It didn’t look like a spring.. but she turned around and there it was! The natural spring is very small and hidden in a cliff so it wasn’t visible from the normal trail. But we found it, and we had it to ourselves.

Deer Creek hot springs

Deer Creek hot springs. A literal hole-in-the-wall.

Deer Creek hot springs

The spring was right next to a very cold river. Nature is incredible.

It was a thrill finding this place. I felt like an accomplished treasure hunter. We had the hole to ourselves for quite a while, and it was a very cool experience!  If you want detailed instructions on how to get there… Don’t ask. 😉


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