Thursday, August 25, 2016

Around the BEND

It was time to see some of the area around Bend, Oregon so we all hopped in the truck and headed out.  Our first stop was Pilot Butte.
Pilot Butte is an extinct cinder cone volcano which rises nearly 500 feet above the surrounding plains. Bend is one of four cities in the United States to have a volcano within its boundaries. The land was given to the state in 1927 in memory of Terrence Hardington Foley, by his Bend business associates. Additional tracts were purchased in 1941. A prominent topographic feature, Pilot Butte was a landmark that guided wagon train immigrants who sought a safe crossing of the Deschutes River.
I didn't get a picture of the volcano from a distance so I borrowed this one from Wikipedia -
 There are trails up but since we aren't hiking this year we drove up and then spent time enjoying the views.  I am not sure who this young lady was but I liked her pose.

Lou, Vivian and Kirby
From Pilot Butte we headed up towards Mount Bachelor.  There is a large ski resort there but it was closed for the summer.  The drive was gorgeous and our destination was water.  We stopped at each lake we could find.  We should have planned ahead and brought a picnic but we didn't think of it.

Since we didn't think to bring a picnic we sort of stumbled upon Cascade Lakes Brewing and had a great lunch there - with a brew of course!
What a fun day it was!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Playing in Bend

We have been playing, eating, drinking and touring in Bend the past few days and we are not done yet.  It has been so much fun that I am glad I take pictures as they are my diary.  We are getting ready to go out for another day so I am going to be brief here and mostly tell you about it with my pictures.
 We went Cider Tasting.  Just like wine tasting but it was hard cider.  There was apricot, cherry, apple, cinnamon pear and a pomegranate.  And a few more that I can't recall.  If that wasn't fun?!  It is much less sweet that regular cider that they sell in the grocery store as it is pure fruit and of course it was "Hard" cider meaning it was alcoholic.  Each couple ordered a flight which was six different ciders to sample.  I think the winner was the apricot.
When we went to the Brewfest our favorite ale was from 10 Barrel Brewing.  So yesterday we headed to the brewery/restaurant to have another glass of our favorite and a great lunch.  It was a gorgeous day so we all sat outside.  I sure was wishing we had brought Jake.  He would have loved it!

Then we found our way to Tumalo Falls which is a 97 foot waterfall just a few miles out of town.  The drive was lovely and the falls were just gorgeous!  I wish we had time to travel to lots and lots of Oregon waterfalls.  Maybe we can find one or two more before we leave.

I miss our hiking days when we would have taken the trail up to the falls and done some exploring.  But we can do this and see a lot of things and we can drink beer so we are good.

That left us a bit parched and I had read that there was a distillery in town so we set off in search of it.

So, Cheers, Everyone!!!  See you after the next adventure!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Bend Brewfest

Bend Brewfest!  The reason we are here!

We traveled from southern Arizona for this event and we were not disappointed!  It was an incredible day for all of us - even the non beer drinkers in the group.  It is a three day event and we went on the second day. 

There were four of us in our little group.  Lou was Kirby's best man at our wedding 17 years ago....they go way back.  So, we called a taxi so we wouldn't have to worry about finding our way there, parking or not having a designated driver to get back home.  It worked out so, so well and was only $15 each way with tip.

It was a bright and sunny day and not too crowded  -  that is because we were there shortly after the gates opened.  We purchased a plastic beer mug and some tokens.  Each 4 oz taste of brew was one token.  There were 170 different beer taps.  Yes, you read that correct - 170!  How to choose?  Well, we love IPA which is big and bold so that was all we tasted.
Here we are standing in front of what turned out to be our favorite brew.  10 Barrel Category 57 Double IPA.  It was the winner as far as Kirby and I were concerned!

There were 3 tents of brews and we made our rounds selecting an IPA here and an IPA there.  We were in heaven.  Kirby is having some knee problems going on and Lou found what appeared to be a good way to wheel him around but security came and took it away.
You can tell that we are having a good time in this picture.  It still wasn't crowded and we could just walk up and get another 4 oz drink whenever we wanted.  I will confess that we did throw some out.  Not all IPA is created equal.  (IPA stands for India Pale Ale)

All of the people serving the beer were volunteers.  I thought that this young lady was so cute with her garland of fresh hops on her head.  Everyone was so friendly and even those that were working were having fun!

And with all that beer, you must be wondering what kind of facilities they have.  Well, just check this out!  And this picture does not show all the toilets!
After a while we were ready to sit in the shade a bit so I went in search of four chairs and a table with people who would not mind sharing with us.  Did we ever hit the jackpot! We got Bob, Harold and Ben.  They were locals and full of good information on the area.  I think we partied with them for at least and hour and a half - maybe more.
Ben was off getting another brew and Vivian took the picture for me.
I am so glad that we made the plans to attend this brewfest!  It was an incredible experience and something that we don't usually do.  We pretty much like to stay away from crowds but this was certainly worth it.  Good friends, good brews and a wonderful husband.  What could be better??

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

"Jake, I Promise You Will Have Grass Soon"

All winter long and into the spring and summer in Yuma I have promised Jake nice green grass.  He was beginning to not even believe me anymore.  But yesterday I finally produced.  We reached Oregon and GREEN!
It is not the greenest green but it is not gray gravel either.  Jake is happy.  His mommy is happy!  We sat outside amid green grass and tall green trees and I was in heaven!  It caused me to have what I call my Happy Bubbles.  I haven't had them in so, so long.  Between breaking my foot last February and not being able to walk or bike and then the hot, hot desert days, I was feeling pretty low.  But by golly, I am back and it feels good.  All I needed was some outdoor time!  Yea!  I plan on having a couple more weeks of it!

So, yesterday we landed in Burns, Oregon after about four hours of travel from Winnemucca.  Burns is a small town in eastern Oregon.  It is right where the green and the trees seem to begin as you go west.  It is a sweet little town with the friendliest people.  Everyone seems to want to talk.  Or maybe it is me - now that I have my Happy Bubbles back.  Whatever, it is a nice place.

I did my research and I knew there was a small brewery here in town.  That was part of the reason for stopping here.  Well, wouldn't you know - they were closed yesterday and today.  I was quite upset!  I had brew plans!  Well, the Beer Gods were on our side.  As we drove down the highway after getting some fuel, lo and behold what did appear but a Growler Station at a country store!  I couldn't believe my eyes!  Kirby made a quick U-turn and we parked and headed in to explore.  They had 10 or 12 different local taps and about three different IPA's, which is our favorite.  The nice friendly owner of the store let us sample all that we wanted and we selected an IPA from Terminal Gravity and got ourselves a half a growler (a jug of beer).  We took that back to the RV park, sat out in the grass under the trees and enjoyed a nice glass each.  Now tell me, who wouldn't have Happy Bubbles with a life like that!

We (meaning Jake, really) made friends with our neighbors who are from Washington state.  They had two dogs and a little girl - all for Jake!
If you are familiar with Jake, you will notice that he has filled out a bit.  That is what 5 months of no walks will do to a dog - and his mommy!

These two pictures are what we saw on our drive yesterday.  It was another barren day but it was beautiful in it's own way.  The highway was not busy, had frequent pull-outs and life is good!

Monday, August 15, 2016

On the Road to Winnemucca

There is something about the word, Winnemucca that is fun to say.  I like the word.  Try it out loud.  Winnemucca.  Wasn't that fun for your lips and tongue?  So, here we are in Winnemucca and it is still hot.  Winnemucca is in the northern part of Nevada and fairly high so I was expecting it to be a bit cooler.  The cashier at the local grocery store said that it has been unseasonably hot this year.  Lucky us!

We did about 300 miles today which is a big day for us.  We prefer about 250.  We go slow too so it takes a while.  Regardless, we are always set up before cocktail hour which will be here before I know it.

The interesting thing about Nevada is that it is so lonely.  There are so few people and so few towns.  We were going to take a more remote route but decided that taking 95 was remote enough.  I had very sketchy cell service the whole time as it was.

We had no incidents and just rolled along.  We did make a few roadside stops for our dog, Jake, as he was acting a bit strange but he seems to be fine now.

This is such an exciting blog, isn't it?  So, I will just give you some of my through the windshield pictures to entertain you.
This was my favorite of the whole day and it really wasn't through the windshield but at one of our Jake Stops.  It reminds me of those nightmares I get when I need to wake up to find a bathroom but instead I dream that I can't find a private one.  The search continues!

Everything is old, worn out and abandoned.  It is such a sad thing.  I think it was all there for mining and the mining is gone.

These are very lonely roads.  I can't even imagine how it would feel at night to be out there alone.  No thank you! 

Have a good day!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Heading North August 2016

Our summer was all messed up and we had too many difficulties that kept us stuck in Yuma for the first part of the summer.  But we finally are on our way and have headed north.  And just in time as I was about to scream for the hot weather.  Soon we will be north enough that the days will be a bit cooler and the nights down right chilly and then I will probably be complaining about the cold.

We timed our departure to travel through Las Vegas early on Sunday morning when the traffic was light.  So our first stop was back at Canyon Trail RV Park in Boulder City.  It is not their fault that it was hot and miserable when we were there.  It actually is a very nice RV park with pull through sites, large spaces, a new pool, off leash areas for dogs and nice showers.  We had been there before and like it.  But by the time we got there it was 100 degrees or more and our RV was HOT.  It took hours for it to cool down but when it did, we slept really really well.  We love the bed in our camper.

Jake is getting older and he doesn't travel quite as well as he used to.  He gets really tired.  He has his own sofa in the camper and this year we got him a cooling pad that he does not like but since I told him to use it he does.  He is a good boy and does what mommy says.
It was over 90 degrees in the camper when we first got set up and Jake was very uncomfortable.  So glad it cooled when the sun went down.

Today we are in Tonopah, NV heading north to Oregon.  Both travel days have been without incident and easy.  The countryside is barren and lonely looking.

We did see some wild burros which was a thrill for me!  I have never seen them before and was not ready with my camera so this is all you get!

And of course - this is Nevada folks -
I almost forgot the best part.  When we went for fuel this afternoon we just happened upon a local Brewery!!  We sat outside with Jake and had a great double IPA at Tonopah Brewing.  What a way to begin a holiday that is centered on good brews!