Bend: Again and the End

After our primary tasks were complete, we dropped by a pharmacy to fill Haylee’s antibiotic prescription. Unfortunately a side effect of the medication is it makes you extra sensitive to the sun and we were facing a super sunny week in central Oregon. We decided to stay a few days with my family, get some rest and film a few interviews. It was nice to be able to connect with everyone; Wade had his girls sleep over at Markcia’s one night, so I was able to play with my younger cousins for the night and we had a ball. Ruby was really shy with me the last time we were together but she warmed up real quick, and Lucy was energetic as ever. They even got to stay up late with us to watch Happy Feet 2, which was a pretty charming hippie dippie flick.

The next day was pretty lackadaisical, but we went out at night with our friend Jim Bendis, who also lives in Bend, who also runs Bendistillery. Truly this must be his destiny. We met Jim back at home a few months ago; Haylee is a comedian and had performed at an event Jim was sponsoring through his company’s absolutely delicious Crater Lake Vodka. If you haven’t tried any Crater Lake spirits, you are missing out on some of the smoothest, tastiest liqueurs around (their vodka won a double-blind taste test against Belvedere and Grey Goose!). We met at a barstaurant which had been the home to the previous Bendistillery and had some wonderful conversation about life, the universe and everything before Jim had to get some sleep to run a marathon in the morning.

The next day we went with Wade, his wife Marcie, plus their kiddos Ruby and Lucy down to the park where Bend has a free outdoor concert every week during the summer.  Apparently the genre of music was described as Mexican country, and that was right on the money. Just throw some accordion and the occasional horn into your typical country tune and that’s what this was. We relaxed in a shade structure he brought and had a great time chatting while the kids frolicked about. They left after the Tex-Mex set was done and we stuck around for a bit to wait for Jim and the upcoming hip hop band. They had a fun, funky sound and a positive, integrative message that was a refreshing change of tune. Jim met up with us and we all hung out for a bit before heading home. Also, Haylee made the rounds to the booths set up for the event and struck up a conversation with the local news anchor, who found out about our trip and wanted to film a story on us! Check out the link in our next post.

The next day was chock full of interviews. We had one with Deschutes Brewery, one with Jim at Bendistillery and then our news interview.  Deschutes does some cool energy saving stuff, as well as giving all of their leftover, nutrient-rich goodies from the brewing process to local farmers for feeding their cattle. Jim moved Bendistillery a few miles outside of Bend so they are able to grow a number of their ingredients on their 23 acre property, where they run their hands-on brewing operation. We were told by our guide Victoria at Deschutes to contact one of their farms to find out about their process, but we weren’t sure we would have the time. When Joe from News Channel 21 got back to us, he just so happened to be interviewing the farmer she had recommended to us! So we headed out there, got an interview and had an interview, which ended up airing the next day.

Haylee and I decided that since her birthday is May 11th, and mine is July 11th, we were going to make today, June 11th, our birthday. We were planning on hitting the dusty trail after we got our bikes touched up at a local bike shop, but that didn’t happen. My new bike couldn’t use the racks from my old one, and only one place had specifically what I needed. We showed up and I ended up getting some silver racks to complement my ivory bike as well as some water bottle cages. The front rack I had gotten for both of our bikes was pretty poopy, and Haylee had gotten rid of her front panniers that were falling apart near the beginning of the trip, so I bought her a new rack and some fancy new Ortliebs to throw on there. It helps to have more space and we can more evenly distribute the weight.

We trekked on back to my aunt and uncle’s and got some lunch along the way, but by the time we were done it was mid-afternoon and we would have only gotten in a few hours of sunlight.  We also stopped in a gas station for some supplies, and when we were about to ride out, a country fella drove up and asked, “aren’t you dem girls ridin’ cross the country? I just seen ya on TV!” It was pretty awesome to have our local celebrity become tactile. We had some dinner when we got back, then spent our birthday night highly enjoying a bit of Battlestar Galactica.

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In the morning we actually did have to go. We had spent almost a week here in Bend, but it was well worth it. Mark cooked us up some protein packed turkey bacon as we packed up all our things to get on our way. We said our final goodbyes and put in a good fifty miles by the time we had to camp. It felt good to be riding again, and the rest had given our muscles a chance to rebuild and make things even more smooth, on top of having a comfy new bike. The nearly two weeks of riding 6-8 hours scrunched together has definitely hurt my back, though, as I still get random back pains occasionally. I’m going to see a chiropractor and get another bike fitting when we hit Missoula, which should hopefully eliminate my lumbar woes.

That’s it for now, stay tuned for the next leg of our journey through the barely-towns-more-like-villages of Oregon and Idaho along the way. Just as a preview, I’ll just have to say that small town folks are really awesome.

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