Adventures in Oregon: Exploring Bend

‘Sometimes the most scenic roads in life are the detours you didn’t mean to take.’-Angela Blount

I had the best weekend and it wasn’t the weekend I had originally intended. It just goes to show that if you live furiously, life can take some amazing turns. See, I had originally intended to spend the weekend at Yosemite. A bucket list item was to see the famous ‘fireball.’ Due to the Earth’s position, it only happens for about a week every February. So I was going to make the trip down. I booked a hotel and, for certain reasons, I knew it would be bittersweet and a bit hard but that has never stopped me before. But it is also tax season and I have really complicated taxes. Due to a (very) expensive morning at H&R Block, I had to cancel my trip. I could have made it work but I also am desperate to get to Philadelphia/New York City and that is more important. I was bummed and it became the center of my therapy appointment that week. Dealing with the emotions instead of just pushing through (what my default is). I said, it will be fine. I am going to explore Bend, make the best out of the situation.

First up, on Friday, a visit to the High Desert Museum. They had an exhibit on the Burning Man Festival and, while I have zero desire to go to the actual event, I wanted to check out the exhibit. The museum was pretty cool. They have a lot of wildlife, some were more co-operative than others (the bald eagle is my favorite photo of the day, lol). I walked around outside on their nature trail. It was cold but I do love a good nature walk. I cannot wait to go back when it is warmer and hopefully the animals are not napping, although I can relate…I love a good nap.

Something I have learned about Bend is they love a festival. They have them a lot and this past weekend, it was Winterfest! As I was planning on being nine hours away, I didn’t even think about it. Then, a few days before, I was invited to go and hang out and see Naughty by Nature, who would be preforming. I was excited he asked and we had the best time. Although, I was so cold…I definitely should have worn thicker socks! I had a hard winter but coming out of it, I was able to be in the moment and really enjoy the company. I also discovered another perk of Bend, the place they hold most of this stuff is in walking distance. I live off the main road and it is a straight shot and only about 10-15 minute walk. No more worrying about where to park! I also have no pictures, so just trust me on this one!

Sundays I usually work and Sundays are when my climbing friends usually go to Smith Rock. I finally was able to go and the weather was perfect. My friends are way more advanced climbers and I am not quite ready to climb outside, so I was the photographer. The area was stunning and I cannot wait to go back and do the nature trails! I channeled my inner Jimmy Chin (my favorite adventure photographer) and took some amazing shots. Disclaimer, I am not in any of them. My rock skills aren’t even close to being that good. Two of the guys (my fav shots from the day), I don’t even know who they are. It was an incredible day.

I try to live furiously and this weekend was a highlight of why. Even better, Thursday the National Park Service announces there would be no firefall this year because the waterfall itself wasn’t flowing. So it great that I canceled. I know that I had much more fun having a weekend in Bend than I would have in Yosemite.

I have regretted moving to Bend, not to the West Coast but just this town. But I felt really connected to this community and that I was invited to do things and not just going solo or inviting myself. I now feel that things are going to be okay-a huge step for me. While this has been building for a few weeks, I have made so much progress. I cannot wait to see what the future holds!

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