On getting into our car this morning we reflect on how
lucky we are to have purchased our timeshare 30 years ago. Over the years it
has given us many memorable “exchange” holidays through RCI including our
current location at Unit 14, The Ridge, Sunriver.
BEND has wide
views across to the scenic Cascade Range. This vibrant town enjoys more than
300 days of sunshine a year. It’s a recreational hub for hiking, fishing,
biking, rock-climbing, kayaking rafting and skiing. And two “Vaalies” birding.
We park at Farewell Bend, slightly south-west of
downtown. It’s busy with joggers, walkers, dogs, a yogi and a skateboarder. Bend
may now be a trendy recreational city, but it once had its roots firmly
embedded in the logging industry and we see an artistic reminder of this
history in Drake Park.
The Deschutes (French for waterfall) River trail loop of
3-miles promises some new birds. Almost immediately, quietly cruising near the
groups of Mallards and Canada geese, we see a pair of Green-winged Teal. This bird
is smaller and has green over its head with brown cheeks. Not to be confused
with Mallards that have completely green heads as one can see.
Yesterday we have seen Red-breasted Nuthatch and today we see Pygmy Nuthatches in the pine trees a little further along the route. We are lucky enough to get pics of both these fast-moving flittery little feathered fiends, for comparison.
The American Dipper remains elusive as does the Oregon State
bird, the Western Meadowlark, but a chance snap of a “what about me bird”
perching in front of Bernie yields a Townsend’s Solitaire on later inspection.
The Deschutes River is currently a picturesque stream
bubbling along placidly but after the spring snow melt is the playground for
rafters, kayakers and float-tubers.
Bernie’s spots the Lesser Pink-crested Blue-bellied Bridge-warbler.
The return trail after crossing the river is overlooked
by some high-end privately-owned realty, aesthetically pleasing and well designed
to blend into the tranquil natural surrounds.
This area is home to porcupines, river otters, grey
squirrels, beavers and this little fellow – the Golden Mantled Ground-squirrel.
These agile little rodents are like 4×4 squirrels on steroids. They have an
uncanny knack for moving just as one clicks the shutter, but this little guy
didn’t get away!
The last part of the trail bypasses the Old Mill
District, where the attractive old mill buildings have been upscaled into shops
We drive to Deschutes Brewery to sample their many on-site
brewed beers including a delicious Pilsner. Bend has so many different
breweries that it offers a Bend Ale Trail, however, one good brewery is enough
for us. We choose a taster rack of 6. The Black Butte Porter and the De Shootz Pilsner
get our vote.
Followed by the typical pub fare of a Bond Street Burger for
Bernie and the Steak Stack sandwich for Martie.
Then we’re off to the Bend factory shops where Martie
shops for a beanie and overdue woolen gloves from Pendleton.
It’s almost dark with the last pink hues of a cold
sunset. It’s five pm!