We did it!
It was with mixed emotions that we loaded up the car last week and made the drive to Portland,OR to drop off our one and only to begin her freshman year at Portland State University.
There was excitement in the air as we made 3 trips up 4 flights of stairs – and 7 flights in the parking garage. Everyone, including us, were laughing and enjoying these moments together. We met the roommate and took in the place Miss Herbivore is going to call home for the next 9 months.
After a brief, teary moment and hugs all around Mr. Fantastic and I were on our first adventure in our new chapter.
Some fantastic black bean soup, guacamole and a couple of beers
We headed out of Portland towards the Mt Hood Scenic Byway and our ultimate destination Bend, OR. I wanted to spend some time hiking and not go directly home to our newly empty home. We made an impromptu stop at Two Brothers Mexican Restaurant in Sandy, OR. We sat on their back deck reminiscing and plotting our future.
After leaving Sandy, we were greeted with the spectacular Mt Hood – known as Wy’east to the native Multnomah people. At 11,245 feet it is Oregon’s highest point and the 4th highest in the Cascade Mountain Range. After another 2+ hours of sweeping landscapes we arrived in Bend.
Bend is a well situated town. Set in the high desert with mountains all around and a river running through it. It is full of western mountain town and uber-hip vibes. It did take several days for it to grow on me – I chalked that up to all the mixed emotions swirling around. I definitely want to go back. We barely scratched the surface on the outdoor activities.
Our VRBO was located in the Old Mill District and walkable to everything in town that we wanted to do. Friday, I put in about 6 miles on the Deschutes River Trail. This is a lovely in town trail that runs along the river. There are miles of in town trails. We could get to just about anywhere we wanted to on foot – shopping areas, outfitters, parks, the whitewater park and many neighborhoods.
I was trying to soak in the beauty and the great vibe of the town but my heart wasn’t in it. But, as the hours passed, I began to realize that our life is NOW and that we better get on making the most of it. We are proud of Miss Herbivore and she’s going to do awesome and her life is NOW as well. It was the beginning of my letting go.
Highlights from the weekend included some decent food and beer, a hike in the Newberry Volcanic National Monument – we saw a bear (and LOTS of bear activity)! I can’t wait to go back and do some more hiking and maybe some snowboarding!
Some of the stand-outs for me in Bend were:
- Sun River Brewing Company
- Deschutes Brewery
- Whitewater Tap House
- Jackson’s Corner
- Newport Avenue Market
- Mt. Bachelor
- Downtown Bend
- Deschutes National Forest