Enjoying Bend

Bend, OR

We’ve kept pretty busy enjoying the Bend area during our time here.  Early in our stay we drove up to nearby Mt. Bachelor to check out the snow at the ski slope.

They had a winter of heavy snow so the facility stayed open until the end of May.  They intend to open limited runs for the Fourth of July weekend.

As we pulled out of the parking area we had to wait a moment while a local resident crossed in front of us.

A Sierra Nevada Red Fox!

Returning to Bend we decided to take a short hike up nearby Bessie’s Butte.  But as we drove the narrow road toward the Butte we ran into a little obstacle.

Oh no, a wildfire!

OK, it wasn’t a wildfire but a controlled burn supervised by the Forest Service.  But it created enough smoke that we couldn’t see the road in front of us so we decided to visit Bessie’s Butte another day and turned around.

About 30 miles south of Bend is a section of the Newberry National Volcano Monument called the Newberry Caldera.  The Caldera was formed when a magma chamber collapsed a few years back. Over time the Caldera filled up with water that created two lakes, Paulina Lake and East Lake.  We drove down to see the lakes a week ago but the road was not open due to heavy snow.  They recently opened the road so we drove back down to visit the lakes.

Snow covered parking area at East Lake

There is still quite a bit of snow around the lakes

East Lake

Driving back toward Bend we decided to make another try at hiking Bessie’s Butte.

Bessie’s Butte

The trail is only about a mile but it is all up hill.  At the top you get a great view of the surrounding area.  The look to the west at the snow covered mountains is especially nice.

Just a short distance from Bessie’s Butte is Boyd’s Cave.  Estimated to have been formed roughly 10,000 years ago by Newberry Volcano, Boyd Cave is an 1,880 foot long lava tube. The cave is accessed by a 6 foot diameter opening in the cave’s ceiling.  A 20 foot set of steel stairs leads down into the chilly (42 degrees) underground setting.

We went down into the cave but didn’t hike very far.  We like to hike where there is interesting scenery around to look at so a dark lava tube isn’t for us.

Belly of the Beast

The city of Bend has the highest number of micro-breweries per capita in the nation and claims the title of ‘Beer City USA.’  Deschutes Brewery is the largest brewery in town.  As of 2016, it was the eighth-largest craft brewery and fifteenth-largest overall brewery in the U.S.  One afternoon we drove over to take a tour of their facilities.

Our tour guide, Andy, was very enthusiastic about the brewery and knowledgeable about the brewing process.

Deschutes Brewery is very concerned with the needs of its employees.  It has a nice break area that even has a full time chef on duty.  One of the interesting rooms next to the break area is the “restroom.”

Turns out it is not a restroom at all, but a refreshment center for workers on break, complete with beer taps.

The bottling machine moves at hyper speed!

At the end of the tour is the tasting room, where each person on the tour is allowed to choose four sample beers from a list of available brews.  It turns out that we don’t care for Deschutes Beer as we didn’t even finish our samples.  But we did enjoy the tour, and somebody must like their beer because they sell a lot of it!


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20 Responses to Enjoying Bend

  1. Jodee Gravel says:

    Beautiful country. Love the shot of East Lake, looks very inviting (probably very cold). The lava tube looks interesting….walk up to a hole in the ground and take the stairs…..love it! Bummer you guys didn’t like the beer. I see their brand in all the stores here but haven’t tried any.

  2. Debbie L says:

    You two sure experienced a variety of obstacles but didn’t let them detour your mission of great hiking! How many days did this post cover? Sure was interesting!

  3. Jim and Barb says:

    We would have to agree with you on the above ground hiking. The brewery looks cool, that one is huge!

  4. Sue says:

    They must do lots of controlled burns in Bend. The last time we were in the Sisters/Bend area we encountered a number of them, it was hard to breathe in some areas. The brewery tour looked interesting, it’s quite an operation, too bad you didn’t enjoy their products though. Ah well, the journey not the destination. Those caves fascinate and disorient me at the same time. I want to go down into them but when I get there I can barely walk around without falling! Odd, I have the same problems when I’m too high also…hmmmmm.

  5. We encountered a controlled burn on the Cascade Lakes Hwy on our last trip to Bend!

    Well it’s a drag that there is still so much snow in the area, kind of puts a damper on your hikes. I guess it’s a problem for the entire west as we are experiencing the same in NorCal.

  6. Beautiful area. Did not know about all the breweries there. Thanks for the tour!

  7. Laurel says:

    Bessie’s Butte looks like a sweet hike. The lava tube, not so much. We prefer our hiking above ground, too. But I will make an exception for interesting caves with beautiful formations! I know Bend has a lot of snow, but wow. What a year! Have you hiked the Tam McArthur Trail? We hiked it when we were in Sisters last fall for the music festival. Amazing views all around from the top (we have photos on our blog). It’s probably still covered in snow right now….put it on your list for when you return in August! 🙂

    • placestheygo says:

      There are several hikes on the list, Tam McArthur Trail being one, for our return at the end of August. Hope the snow is down by then!

      • LuAnn says:

        I have to concur with Laurel, the Tam McArthur Trail is the one to do. I can’t believe how much snow is in the area.

      • placestheygo says:

        We have this trail on our list:) Not only is there a lot of snow but now there is even more since it has snow off and on in the mountains over the last three days.

  8. Funny, we took the same pictures of the bathroom and bottling machine at Deschutes. And we didn’t care for any of their beers, either! Wonder who does?
    Hope you made it to Bridge 99 and Crux, our two favorite breweries in Bend.

  9. Sherry says:

    Skiing on the 4th of July just boggles my mind and not in Alaska or even Canada. Love the snow pictures. We’re moving north to get out of the heat that is already enough for me, What a gorgeous fox. So neat that you saw him sauntering along. They have been very rare sightings for us. Wonder if the Boyd of Boyd’s cave is a relative of David’s. I’ve never hiked in a lava tube.
    Can’t really imagine it. David would be eating his heart out over the city with the greatest number of micro-brews in the country. Love seeing Bend with you.

  10. pmbweaver says:

    I can’t believe they still ski this time of year. That just seem so strange to me.
    Love the photo of Pam’s back and the mountains in the distance. Beauty in both worlds.
    No thank you hiking in Boyd’s Cave.
    They are allowed to drink on the job? Even though I hate beer, I might learn to enjoy it….hehe

  11. geogypsy2u says:

    Snow skiing on the 4th of July seems weird. Water skiing maybe. As much as I enjoy the distant views I rather like exploring underground. Although lava tubes are not as decorated as limestone caves. Funny to think about drinking on the job. Several prescribed burns on both sides of the big ditch.

  12. Gay says:

    That’s a lot of snow! I wouldn’t want to,explore the cave either…they give me the hibby gibbies!

  13. What glorious scenery! Still snowy this time of year? interesting….. I hate those burns that fill the air and ones lungs with all that pollution, but I suppose that they are a necessity…?


    • placestheygo says:

      Most of the higher peak have some snow all year, but this year it will last longer I imagine with all the snow this winter. The controlled burns must be helpful with controlling a wildfire because there seems to be a burn everyday somewhere.

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