Bend is GROWING!

Well, we all knew that.  We’ve been discovered. Every top 20 list of places to live has had us on it for years, darn it.  Our little ski town is growing to something much bigger.  The culture that is coming with all the people is fun, but the impact on our roads, traffic and dare I say it, air pollution, is causing growing pains.

One of the biggest areas of impact is our schools. Most schools are overcrowded and aging quickly.  Extra classrooms added on outside, or more kids crammed into each room and hallway are normal.  We are building them, but more people are pouring in. The first day of school last September had 500 more kids showing up than we had planned for.

This map shows our current schools and the proposed schools and updates that would be built if we pass a bond measure in May for $268MM.  That’s peanuts compared to other school districts in Oregon.  We’re starting to get the word out now so residents will understand how serious the need is.  I thought y’all might be interested!

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So yes, feel free to move to Bend, just know that our growing pains are strong and we are dealing with them as quickly as we can.  And plan on riding your bike when you get here so you don’t add to the traffic mess!

 

 

Drive to the Columbia Gorge/Hermiston

My son had his Regional Wrestling tournament in Hermiston last Friday/Saturday, so Dan and I took off work to watch him qualify for state.  It’s a long drive from Bend, 155 miles, about 4 hours.  We haven’t been on the road much since returning home from our 19 month RV adventure, so we were happy to go!

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We’ve had a ton of snow this winter, more than most.  I’ve driven this road dozens of times and never seen snow, so I think this is beautiful!  Outlines the mountains.  I should have taken a picture of every semi we saw on it’s side, however, this road was ice 2 weeks ago.  Never seen so many off the road.

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As you drop down, getting closer to the Gorge, this is the view!  You can barely see the windmills on the ridge.  This was a big controversy when they first were installed.  People didn’t want them, but they really make sense.  The wind through the Columbia Gorge is very strong and frequent. Why not use it to generate power?  People were vocal in their opposition, so they aren’t all over the gorge, just certain areas.

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They look small from a distance but one “arm” alone is as long as a semi and they cost over a million dollars each!

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The Columbia River separates Washington from Oregon. We’re on the Oregon side where the better/bigger highway is. This is the river Lewis & Clark came down! Imagine that in a small boat.  I’ve seen the waves swamp small motorboats and the wind can come up without warning.  Then they made the mistake of “camping” for awhile on the Washington side, before the Natives told them the Oregon side was a little drier. From there they headed to Astoria Oregon and spent one very wet winter.

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Dan,  Dom, Nate & my Dad, Ray.  Dom was out of the tournament early because he got hurt.  Nate wrestled 5 times, ending up taking 6th at Regionals, enough to qualify for a varsity letter as a freshman, but not in the top 4 for state.  Who cares?! We’re proud of him for how hard he worked.  Great team of young men.

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We were able to leave before 8 pm, and this is the  view we had for about 20 minutes as we drove west.  Just gorgeous!  That’s Mt. Hood on the left.

 

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This is my “oh wow” shot. Came around the corner and saw this.  The wanderlust in me wants to know where that train is going.  The water skier in me wishes I was down on that clear glass water having an evening run.  So glad we hit the road to Hermiston!

The Cascade Mountains with Snow!

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2 of the 3 Sisters in the Cascade Mountain range – view from my listing in Redmond, Oregon.  Isn’t it picturesque?!  I could sit on this deck all day – year round – because the view extends fully west and watching the clouds roll by and the sunset is very special.

Go to RealEstateSally.com and type in 1585 NW 35th, Redmond under my listings and you can see all the pictures.  It’s 14.88 acres of heaven, with 4.66 acres of irrigation. For Sale for $525K.  You can see it sits right on the edge of this canyon – breathtaking views.  Would make a great horse ranch, hobby farm, or retirement/vacation mecca for the whole family.

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Mt. Jefferson from the north corner of the deck.  So do I take enough pictures of our mountains?!  Pull up a chair with me, I’ll be sitting here soon!

 

Showing homes in the snow!

I help people buy/sell their homes all over Central Oregon, so I log a lot of miles.  Yesterday I had to go to Sunriver and it wasn’t a fun drive.  It took me 91 minutes for a normal 35 minute drive.  I blasted out John Denver and sang along so I wouldn’t stress out. The hold up was people driving 5 mph on a one lane, no passing road for 9 miles (normal 45-55mph, in snow, at least 25) and 2 big wrecks.   So sad to see people getting hurt.  For many, they just shouldn’t be out on the roads when it’s bad. For others, they need to slow down.  Snow and ice are not easy to drive on even when you have experience.

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This was the highway heading south. I was grateful there wasn’t more traffic.  The visibility wasn’t as good as this shows, however, at times I could barely see.

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I turned off on the north exit for Sunriver and yes, this is a sheet of ice.  3 cars off the road on this little stretch, all waiting for tows.

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This is the 7 Fairway Village condo I showed first. Fun to see the older picture because yesterday the snow was so high you couldn’t see those bushes.  Also fun because the neighborhood pool is right behind this condo – and we wouldn’t have known if not for the protective fence around it – the pool was hidden under snow!

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I made it home in 45 minutes, easy drive.  Most of those who had been here for the holiday s were already on the road because check out time is usually 11 am, so much less traffic to contend with, whew.  Played with Lady in the snow the minute I got home – she loves it and so do I, as long as I’m not driving in it!

 

 

Dog parks abound in Bend, Oregon

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We have some great fenced dog parks in our area, this one being my favorite because a friend and I can walk/talk for almost an hour with the dogs off leash and playing on their own!  This area is usually grass, and they hold dog obedience classes here.  It’s also a popular spot for throwing/retrieving balls because you can see the dogs as they run.

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This is my hilarious testament to how much fun we have talking – didn’t even know I took this pic.  Remember when we had to pay to develop film and find out we had a finger in it?  Luckily now we can just delete.

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Our view for part of the walk – the glorious Cascade Mountains.  These pickle balls courts are new and I cannot wait to try them next summer.  This whole complex is by our Parks & Recreation department – we have great parks – which we pay for in our taxes.  There are soccer fields, football fields, a running loop and a fishing pond here.  img_0734

Oso, happy and almost worn out.  Lucky us!

Driving around Central Oregon

School was closed for 2 days last week due to the big storm (18″ in one day at our city home), but Nate had a wrestling tournament on Saturday in Redmond, so we had to go out…

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We took the back way down Deschutes Market, easy going.

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I’ve taken so many shots from this overpass!  Deschutes Market turns into Tumalo Road and here are our gorgeous mountains.  The 3 Sisters and Broken Top to the left.  Great for hiking in the summer, incredible for snow sports in the winter, and ALWAYS fun to look at.

 

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HWY 97 runs the length of Oregon, this stretch is between Bend and Redmond.  Another nice clear road and too early to be packed, yeah.

 

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View from the high school where the wrestling match was. That’s Mt. Jefferson with clouds rolling in.  I was inside all day for the meet and just wanted to be OUTSIDE!