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Bend, OR

Everyone said, "Oh, Bend is great!" so here we are ... and so far it has been a nice place for us. Today's trip just south of town brought us to the National Forest and a short hike along the Deschutes River to Benham Falls. The hike was great except for a few mosquitoes, and the scenery was superb so I think tomorrow we may hit a few other spots along the river as well.

Deschutes River.jpg

Like a lot of other National Forest sites these days, there is an access fee required now. In this area they sell something called the "Northwest Pass" for $30 or you can buy daily passes for $5, which is highway robbery in my opinion. It is not nearly as well advertised at the forest sites that the good old National Parks pass will work just fine if you have the "Golden Eagle Hologram" on the back. The hologram is only $15 more than the basic National Park pass and it gets you unlimited access to any National Forest site that charges an access fee, for a year. You just leave it on the dashboard, hologram side facing up.

After the waterfall hike, we checked out the High Desert Museum ($12 adults, $7 kids). This is a good one, comparable to the Sonoran Desert Museum in Tucson, but with more emphasis on western life than on wildlife. Gordon, one of the volunteers, met us at the entrance to their "Western Life" exhibit and gave us a complete tour of the entire wing, just because he likes to. It was a great experience and extremely educational. That alone was worth the price of admission.

The museum says to allow 3 hours to see everything but we were there for over four hours and had to rush at closing time to see the raptors before they kicked us out. Fortunately, admissions are good for two days.

Our campground, Tumalo State Park, is a pleasant enough setting, but overly popular because it is so convenient to Bend. Even mid-week the place is full and during the afternoon and evening it's a zoo with kids, trucks wandering through, and parents yelling at kids. The sites are fairly close and competition for a space is fierce. Non-hookup sites are $17 and full hookups are $20 -- the sort of weird pricing we often see in State Parks. Of course, everyone wants a hookup site, and of course they are all reserved until approximately the end of time.

Their policy is also that we aren't allowed to renew our non-hookup for more than one day at a time. We've had good sunshine and so our solar system is providing us plenty of electricity to stay for a few more days, but after tomorrow I think we'll have done what we wanted to do in Bend. We'll spend one more night and then head west.


Hi, Rich and family. It's good to see you are enjoying exploring the Pacific Northwest.
I heard about an upcoming event that may be of interest to bloggers (the new project trailer). Are you going to open a blog for that project as well as this one, or are updates only going to be in the magazine?

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