Bend & Snowmaggeden


View from our guest room window – great full moon and color – can you see the mountains just barely over the top of houses?  This is how we check the weather!  We used to have this view out our front window, but since moving into town, this little peek is all we get.


Another beautiful day to hike our “outdoor treadmill” Pilot Butte. View west of Mt. Bachelor to Broken Top to the Three Sisters. You can barely see our little town, too.  We’ve had over 50″ of snow in a little over a month, so people are referring to it as Snowmaggeden.  It has had an impact on businesses, including mine, but it mystifies me that people are complaining about it – how can you change the weather?! Just get out and enjoy it.  We are to get rain this week and then the flooding may start.


That’s our ski mountain, Mt. Bachelor.  It’s been very busy up there – locals very happy.


Hiking down on the trail, couldn’t resist another pic.


Looking up from the base of Pilot Butte, the whole hill is covered with ski tracks.  Technically not allowed because it’s a state park, but people have been having fun.


Doesn’t it look tiny?! You can google for a better pic.  The road that runs up it and is open in good weather is barely visible and locals never drive it, only walk, usually with dogs.  I should probably take more time and tell you it’s specs, but I’m heading out to play!

Pilot Butte, Bend, Oregon

We have this awesome hill in the middle of town that many of use as our free outdoor treadmill. Every time I walk it I take a picture from the top, any view, because it’s so beautiful.  A friend and I started walking it in 1985, when you’d only see a handful of people during the hour. Now it’s been turned into a state park on the east side, the road up has been improved, there are numerous trails all over it, and TONS of people use it daily.  Walking, running, biking it.

We can always tell the tourists from the locals – the tourists drive up it – when you come to Bend, get out of your car, it’s more fun!


This is the view looking east – my home is over there somewhere!



At the top is a huge plaza that has this mountain marker as the centerpiece.  There are always people reading it to try and figure out which mountain is which and I’m often asked to point them out correctly.  When it’s snowing or cloudy I have to tell them to come back another time!  Or in an hour when the weather changes…



This is the view west  – look hard for those little white bumps, that’s the Cascade mountains.  The little town of Bend is down there, too!  For some reason, I cannot make these pictures any larger, sorry.

butte-dogs My walking companions today!  Lady the Golden is almost 14, and Jessica the Maltese -Shitzu is in charge. She’s a pill!  Attitude beyond all. On this day I made the mistake of saying to them, “let’s go to the butte” then came in the house for something I forgot. I could hear them howling in the garage for a full 5 minutes; they were ready to go!

butte-nlj My son’s wrestling team RUNS the butte for practice.  I leave 25 minutes ahead of them, walk as fast as I can, and still Nate catches me at the top.  It’s a little over a mile.  We usually take the dirt path down because it’s easier on your knees when you run.  Or jog as I do, tripping over the dogs, saying hello to friends.

So when you come to Bend you have to walk the Butte! (Check out more information at the Oregon State parks website.)  When you’re done and have taken at least 20 pictures of all the various views, go the 1/2 mile to the Pilot Butte drive in and have the best burger in town, you’ve earned it!







A little more hiking!

family-wychus-creekWe all lucked out and had Veteran’s Day free for a little exploring near the 3 Creeks area outside Sisters, Oregon. Normally I would volunteer or we’d take part in a celebration of some type honoring our veterans, but this year I needed to be in the TREES.  Desperately needed the green for my soul.  We let the teens sleep in, so that started us out right.

This new overlook had a beautiful view of the 3 Sisters mountains and  Wychus creek was just over the edge.  Always nice to have it a little overcast so we can hike hard and not overheat, but this trail was only a mile loop, so we didn’t have to worry about that.


New trailhead signs and one says that the trail is difficult, so I wasn’t sure how Dan’s new hip would do…. but it wasn’t difficult for anyone!  Even a toddler could run it, it’s made so a wheelchair could be pushed on it, it’s really a very easy trail.  Interesting sign.


We went further up Road 16, and saw the devastation from the wildfire again.  We’ve cut down our Christmas tree in this area before, but we won’t be doing so this year.  Hard to see, but we know the forest needs the fire and watching it all regrow will be a cool process.


This view of 3 Creeks lake took my breath away.  Of course, then we had to hike around the lake to see it up close.  There was an old trail, so it was fairly easy.  The Tam McArthur Rim hike up there on the flat part of the mountains was calling me, but we didn’t come prepared to hike in the snow, so it will have to wait until next July. This area will get so much snow, the road won’t be passable until about that time of year.


The trail went up the side of the mountain for awhile, and we did more off trail exploring to try to see a better view up top, but couldn’t get a clear view of the 3 Sisters.



Yes, we threw snowballs into the lake!  They didn’t melt quickly because the water was so cold, so we were able to throw rocks at them, too.  Yes, I’m over 12, but will never stop hiking and throwing rocks.  To be outside like this, it really does nurture my soul.  I’m happy with my career, in love with my spouse, and adore my children – but this, these mountains, trees, and lakes,  I NEED them.  Lucky me, we live here, so we can enjoy it.



Hiking outside Sisters, Oregon


I got a wild hair yesterday morning and texted a friend to see if she wanted to play hooky with me – so we could go see these gorgeous mountains up close!  Thank you, Nora, for being willing to get outside!

These are 2 of the 3 Sisters, past an old burn. We could have still hiked up there to the snow line, but we were on a mission to find Peterson Ridge. Really, how hard could it be?!


It was harder than we thought.  There was a small brown sign along 16, which we found on our way back down the road. The trail markers above, however, were great.  Easy to find and read.  But who names a trail Hello Kitty? There must be a good story, but I cannot find it online anywhere.


The first view point – Mt. Jefferson tucked behind Black Butte and the pine trees.  Which smelled amazing.  It was almost 70 degrees, so the high desert smell was strong. Look at that blue sky! We live here!



We hiked for almost 3 hours and were so happy the whole time. Just heaven to be out in the trees on a perfect fall day.  Sisters is only 30 minutes from Bend, so we had plenty of time to chat.


View of the sunset on a roundabout heading home.  I love fall in Central Oregon!

Best lunch in Bend, Oregon


The outdoor patio rocks, the music is great, but the food – outstanding!  Not your regular pub food, nor the regular high-brow boring restaurant food, the chefs change it up and make it a meal to look forward to…. call me when you come to town, I’ll meet you there!






It Feels Like Fall!

Agh! How can summer be winding down if I haven’t hiked to Doris Lake yet?  Best swimming hole in the Cascades.   At this time of year the mosquito’s are so bad that you have to spend your time IN the water, but it’s worth it… will post a pic when we hike it…

For now, I’m enjoying working hard and helping people buy/sell their homes.  It’s been a year since we came off our 19 month adventure and none of us can believe it.  The time has flown by.  The kids are thrilled to be back with their friends, our old church, and our beautiful Bend.  We’re all settled in a new house, although there are still many boxes left to unpack, and a backyard to be landscaped.  Great to be near their high school, but very strange to hear all the sounds of the city.  We are definitely blessed.

So here’s my favorite house I’ve been trying to sell – it’s a 3600 sq’custom build, right on the Deschutes River, above Pringle Falls.  As we head into fall, the fly fishing from the river bank will be incredible.  Yes, it feels like fall and that’s a good thing!


For more information on the house itself – go to – 53501 Kokanee Way, Lapine Oregon 97739!