Bend, Oregon

I really don’t have a lot to say about Bend. This was a spontaneous decision, which is very unlike us. Most of our travel is scheduled between 18 and 24 months out. This will change s little with Mrs Bear’s injury. We are set in the next year for Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Colorado, and Hawaii again, but then we’ll wait to see how her rehab progresses.

We were supposed to go to Grant’s Pass, to visit the Oregon Caves National Monument… But this is at the top of the activities she can’t do. So we accepted an invite from my brother to visit him in Bend. It also turned out that my second brother was also present at his property a few miles away. And finally, and most importantly, one of my football teammates from college lives in Bend. I love my brothers, but I came as close to War as I ever want to be by playing on championship football teams with teammates who will always be my brothers. So most of our time in Bend was used to dine and reconnect with three brothers and their wives.

So a little about Bend. First, while a completely different terrain, Bend reminded me of Taos, New Mexico. They both seem to be gateways to the mountains. Bend is on the edge of the Cascade Range. Everyone in town seems to have mountain bikes, paddle boards for the Deschutes River that flows through town, hiking sticks, and probably skis in winter. There are dogs everywhere, and deer roamed through my brothers neighborhood. Bend is known for its 32 brewpubs and festivals. It is a rapidly growing city,  although my brother would be happier if they had more carpenters and landscapers. The primary industry is tourism and healthcare . Evidently lots of techies live here and commute to San Francisco or Seattle. The surrounding area is pine forest on a high desert plateau. Mrs Bear and I drove through the smoke of a purposefully set fire which was trying to burn off the underbrush. My brother said that the forests have the majestic pine trees you see on the Oregon License Plates… But they also contain tall, spindly lodgepole pines, which in the course of nature, were burnt every 30 years in natural fires. With humans, the prevention of these normally occurring fires has led to monster- fires. Hence the attempt to set controlled fires. I’m sure, once again, we’ll find that we just f–k up nature in an attempt to control it. The pics below are the only ones I snapped in Bend: The views both ways of the Deschutes River flowing through Bend.

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A couple notes about my brothers… Their lifestyles are very interesting. Brother Jan was a teacher, but he and his wife bought rundown homes, fixed them up during their summers, and rented them out. They sold them all when retiring, but guess what kind of home they bought in Bend???  A fixer-upper with a great piece of land. They swear this will be the last one… Uh huh !?!  Brother Kevin lived in a “Compound” in the California Redwoods. His home was at the end of a long gravel road after you went by the outbuildings for trailers, beer brewing, bicycle repairs, and the greenhouse. Music blared from outside speakers, and the dogs loped up to your car before you ever saw any people. I never thought he’d sell it, but he now has properties in Arizona and Oregon. He lives 15 miles from Bend in a mini Compound… fewer trailers and out buildings, but still multiple trailers, sheds, and an A Frame for who knows what !! He wants to live in the trailer and rent out the house. I guess the apples don’t fall that far from the tree.  Oh, you want to know what kind of property Mrs Bear and I would buy in Bend ??  Who knows…We are so flexible and unpredictable!!

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