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BEAUTIFUL & ADVENTUROUS CENTRAL OREGON

Yep!  I won 3 nights, 2 days, and 2 activities sponsored by the the Central Oregon Visitors Association, so I rolled it into a full week and took a vacation ... and took some great photos!

ON OVERVIEW TO GET STARTED:

Alaska Air zips into Portland  ...

Airplane view landing approach to Portland.  You'll feel like you're on the plane while watching this one!

A prop takes over @ PDX and you're in Redmond about 30 minutes later.

Alaska Air prop plane with Beavers signage

 

The aroma of Central Oregon is noticeable, but not easily described ... musk, pine, sage, volcanic rock?  And it was hot.  This is high desert country, and with a car, nearby Sisters, Black Butte, Metolius RiverBend, Sunriver, the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, and the McKenzie-Santiam Pass are all within easy reach.  

Central Oregon gives all the pretty views of the Cascade Mountain Range.  Evidence of many of the eruptive giants remains in the area.  Check out this guy just hanging out along highway 97.

Lava Butte is a giant cinder cone off Highway 97 not far from Sunriver.

Lava Butte is a giant cinder cone off Highway 97 not far from Sunriver.

With its own Marina, Brewery, Stables, Airport, village Bike Rentals, pools, Spa, and 30+ miles of paved trails, I easily chose a Sunriver Resort condo as my base.  

The Cove at Sunriver Oregon cabana lounge chairs umbrella

 

Selecting my 2 activities was a bit more difficult, but I opted for a guided kayaking experience with Lance on the Deschutes River and a cooking class with Chef Bette of The Well Traveled Fork in Bend.  After that, I filled in the gaps for a jam-packed ACTIVE TO DO list that took me to the Newberry National Monument (celebrating its 25th), Paulina Peak and Falls, Benham Falls,  Bend, Sisters, The McKenzie Pass, Dee Wright Observatory, and The Metolius River-Camp Sherman.

Kevin Flanigan, Casey Hard, and Lance Tamashiro, Manager @ Sunriver Marina & My Kayak Guide  

Kevin Flanigan, Casey Hard, and Lance Tamashiro, Manager @ Sunriver Marina & My Kayak Guide

 

Chef Bette of The Well Traveled Fork with her grown-from-seed pumpkin!

Chef Bette of The Well Traveled Fork with her grown-from-seed pumpkin!

Who knew that there would be so much to experience in Central Oregon?  It seemed that at each destination, the woods, the water, the mountains, the trees felt and smelled like they were part of only that particular place.  A few more miles?  Also different - another sense of place and peace - but nothing prepared me for driving in the middle of a lava flow towering over my car.  It came out of nowhere with a weather change along with it.  

And what about the sleepy Deschutes, where I'd kayaked next to soft marsh grasses, suddenly becoming a roaring and spitting class 6 rapids at Benham Falls, soft marsh grasses now high jagged rock walls?  

The Deschutes flows south to north through lava fields and into Bend.

Safe from the lookout, the roar below confirms the sleepy Deschutes has become a class 6 rapids below.

Or the unexpected white out at Paulina Peak Overlook magically dissipating to reveal the majesty of the Newberry Caldera with two lakes and an obsidian flow inside?  

The Big Obsidian Flow @ Paulina Peak Overlook

The Big Obsidian Flow @ Paulina Peak Overlook

The mountains - volcanoes and cinder cones everywhere - filling the skyline.  Fresh air.  The Metolius River, picturesque, almost untouched.   

An absolute favorite of mine. A step into nature without much of a human footprint. In case you're wondering, clear water, no trash.

And the creatures!  Osprey flying overhead carrying fish ... hawks, eagles, blue heron, swans, geese, beavers, deer!  All of this and I'd not even been to town.

My little friend, let's call him, Simpson, the Sunriver Marina Squirrel. Squirrels like me. And don't they like everybody?

Sunriver Buck.  Oh, those eyes!

This Big Blue Heron is shopping for dinner.

"Beauregard" The Suave and Secure with his friends.

Bend is fun.  Craft beer heaven.  The Deschutes Brewery tour and tasting room don't disappoint. My absolute go-to brew is their Black Butte Porter.  

Deschutes Brewery Tasting Room

Deschutes Brewery Tasting Room

There must be something the volcanic basalt does to the water here, because the coffee at Strictly Organic in the Old Mill District is as delicious as the beer.  And speaking of organic, the farm-to-table and sustainable consciousness in this area is a given.  Just take a look at my shots of the downtown Bend Farmer's Market.  Here's a teaser.

If only this were scratch and sniff!

If only this were scratch and sniff!


 

Wanna See More DETAIL & Read My Central Oregon Newsletter Diary?

 SUMMARY OF ACTIVITIES AND LINKS:

 


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Central Oregon Trip


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