Bend is nostalgic for me.  I’ve been going there since I was a kid.  Skiing in the winter and playing in the summer.  I remember going white water rafting, biking and exploring caves in Central Oregon.  My first real sense of adventure (way different culture than where I grew up).  I lived there right after college and worked in a ski shop, began my yoga practice and learned to rock climb.  My heart is singing thinking about it.  The smell of pine, sage and juniper “smells like Bend” to me.

Bend has been going off for years.  Growing, expanding, changing.  Not everyone likes the “new Bend.”  I can still feel the goodness of the “old Bend” with the greatness of the new.

The new Whitewater Park is packed with bodies of all ages and sizes, lots of laughing, cheering and fun.  There is no intimidating “scene.”  The best surfer on the wave was helping others get on the wave (will this ever happen for surfer in the ocean?).   Kayakers, body-boarders, floaters, rafters, party-boats, SUP’s are all floating down the river and hitting the whitewater park.  There is a shuttle that runs every 15 minutes to bring you pack to the put in and do it again.  If you’re lucky the ice cream truck will be there, with vegan, non-dairy options.  How new-school is that?

The biking in Bend is so user-friendly and flowing.  The lower whoops trail is so much joy!  You’ll find it, and a ton of riding, in the Phil’s trail system.

Highly recommended to start your day with breakfast at Chow.  Hit Mother’s for a juice later. Run across the street to Paradise Produce for radiant produce.

Devore’s Good Food Store, across from the Newport Market, on Newport Street, for fresh guacamole, beet salad and goodies to go.  Pretty much stick to Newport and Galveston for food and you’ll be happily satisfied.

There is too much to list in one post.  More trails.  More food.  More fun.  Happiest time urban camping in Bend.  p.s. you can camp in the National Forest right out of town and wake up to pine trees.  The best.