Long Summer Weekend in Bend Oregon


BigfootinBendNoTextWant quality coffee, beer, and food without the hipster attitude, check out Bend, Oregon.  With flowing rivers, a world-class trail system, and more craft beer than you can shake a stick at Bend is a great place for a long summer weekend.  This Central Oregon gem straddles the high desert and the wetter Northwestern coastal forest ecosystems making for a wide variety of recreational opportunities.  Originally settled as a logging town, Bend has embraced its modern identity and has more Kombucha brewers than sawmills.

The first whiteys to explore Bend were the Nathaniel Wyeth party of fur trappers coming up from the Columbia Gorge.  In 1900, Alexander Drake, a midwestern capitalist and trout fisherman, founded the Pilot Butte development company and planted the seeds of a town.  The area was initially known as Farewell Bend since it is one of the last major bends in the Deschutes river before heading into the high desert.  The name Farewell Bend was shortened to Bend by some lazy US Postal workers in Washington D.C. who thought the name was too long.  Don’t plan on being lazy this weekend in Bend we’ve got some great weekend plans for you.

Start off your weekend wandering downtown Bend and the Drake Park/Mirror Pond area.  For dinner try the  McMenamins’ renovation of the Old St. Francis School.  With a movie theatre, soaking pool, hotel, 2 bars, a pub, and a restaurant you may never have to leave.  This being an Oregon establishment you can expect a heavy dose of locally sourced food and beverages.  Other popular pubs in the downtown area are of course the Deschutes Brewery and 10 Barrel Brewing, which is now owned by Anheuser-Busch if those things are important to you.

For Saturday morning, you are going to want to start your day at Sparrow Bakery.  This might be the best bakery west of the Mississippi.  They are famous for the Ocean roll or their breakfast “Sand-oh” is always amazing.  Whatever you get it will be delicious.

No matter how big you went last night, this morning you are getting in the water.  If there is a water activity that you can’t do on the Deschutes river, it hasn’t been invented yet.  Kayak, raft, Stand up paddle board, inner tube, fish, or surf the Deschutes.  Yes, you read that last sentence correctly, you can surf the Deschutes river.  Big wave surf icon Gerry Lopez even calls Bend, Oregon home.  Book a raft or kayak trip on the Deschutes through Inn of the Seventh Mountain or grab a stand-up paddle board from Stand up and Paddle Bend.  If fishing is your game, here is a list of 50 places to go within 90 minutes drive of Bend.  From Class V waterfalls to a zen like fly fishing spot, the Deschutes river will have the right activity for you.

At lunch get a bowl of Pho Ga at Pho Viet.  You’re probably saying it wrong but it still tastes delicious and there is a reason that people in south-east Asia eat this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For more traditional fare check out Jackson’s Corner.  They offer brick oven pizzas and fresh local cuisine in a relaxed kid-friendly setting.  If your weekend plans keep you out of town grab something to go from Mother’s Cafe and juice bar or the deli case at Newport Market.

If you’d rather not get too dirty in Bend,  the old mill district offers a number of live music shows throughout the summer.  It may be a little ways out of town, but The High Desert Museum offers a truly amazing display of Bend’s unique ecosystem and history.  Apparently it’s the number one rated  “thing to do” in Bend on Trip Advisor.

Peruvian breakfast for dinner and a Java Sour Cocktail, yes please! Their menu might be considered fused fusion, however you classify it, Spork is worth stopping by for dinner.  This started out as a food cart and was so successful they went ahead and turned it into a restaurant.

Have a hearty breakfast at Chow.  The walls are covered in local art and the tables, of course, are covered in local food.  With a garden on the property, Chow has definitely embraced the “farm to table” movement.  Pick from an array of egg dishes, with local eggs, or their delectable buttermilk pancakes. If you don’t have enough caffeine in your system yet,  stop by Backporch Coffee Roasters.  Oregon has the most breweries and coffee roasters per capita of any state and Backporch is one of the finest.

Your activity today is to hit the trails.  Bend has a world class trail system and a long list of pro athletes call Bend home for just this reason.  If you are travelling on foot check out the trails around Sparks Lake just past Mt. Bachelor or walk up the North Fork trail by Tumalo Falls.  Dip your toe into mountain biking at Phil’s trail-head named after local mountain bike icon Phil Meglasson.  For the more ambitious mountain biker a great loop is to start from Tumalo Falls and head up the North Fork, connect to The Metolius-Windigo trail through Happy Valley, and descend down Flagline/South Fork trails home.  Wherever you decide to go, use the Bend Trails app for iOS and Android to help you find your way.  Make sure to pay homage to the flying chicken either on the road or the trail.

Getting to Bend via plane is best done by either a direct flight to neighboring Redmond, 17 miles away or catch a flight to Portland.  It is about a three-hour drive from PDX to Bend depending on the route you take.

For places to stay the Old St. Francis School has rooms and tons of amenities.  The Lara House offers a pleasant bed and breakfast experience.  The Double Tree Inn will provide a traditional hotel experience.  Inn of the Seventh Mtn has a wide range of condos for a more substantial abode.

Enjoy your stay in Bend and pay heed to the Local stickers that tout “Be nice, you’re in Bend!”

Ribollita Recipe

Here is a great recipe for Ribollita (Italian bread soup). This soup is delicious, nutritious, and the ingredients are all very affordable. Give it a try and I think you’ll find yourself being excited about having stale bread around the house.
1/2 Red Onion
1/2 Yellow or white onion
2 Carrots
1 stick celery
2 cloves garlic
pinch fennel seeds
pinch chili
pinch oregano
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 small bunch of chopped kale
2 14oz cans cannellini beans
2 handfuls stale bread
5-7 cups water
Salt and Pepper to taste

Olive Oil
Parmesan Cheese

Finely chop your onions, celery, carrots, and the stalks of your kale
Saute these in olive oil over very low heat for 10 to 20 minutes. Be sure not to brown the vegetables. If you want to impress your significant other, tell them the step is called soffritto. It means slowly frying the vegetables and will give you a great base for your soup.

Once you have finished your soffritto, add your fennel, chili, oregano, and canned tomatoes. Gently simmer for a few minutes. Stir in your chopped kale and cannellini beans.

Tear up your bread and moisten with some hot water. Add it to your soup with the rest of the water. Adjust the consistency as desired. The soup is meant to be hearty, silky, and thick. Continue to gently simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with a splash of olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper.
This is a great soup to fuel your next outdoor adventure.

Tips For a Successful Boulder Mountain Tour

8487591848_d9cefd9b57_zby Sam Young

With only a few weeks to go before your big race,you have logged hundreds of hours of interval training and thousands of kilometers of double poling and ski specific strength, right? OK well maybe not, but there are still a few things you can do to ensure that you have a great Boulder Tour(check out the Boulder Tour Map: here ) or other ski marathon.

Follow the tips below to prepare your mind, body, and equipment for a personal best race experience.

1. Take it easy the week before the race. Keep the volume of your training low but include some short harder sessions.

Here is a sample schedule

Monday: Rest or Easy ski 1 hour

Tuesday:15-30 min of intervals or harder skiing.

Wed: Easy Distance 1hr followed by a good stretching or foam roller session.

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 1 hr easy with pickups 5 x 15-20 seconds.

Saturday: Race

Make sure on race day you feel rested and excited to push yourself.

2. Get plenty of sleep the week before the race. Try for the typical eight hours a night, but if you can get more do it. Getting plenty of sleep in the week leading up to race ensures that if you are excited or nervous the night before the race you will still be well rested for a good performance on race day.

3. Focus on getting lots of high quality nutrients in your diet. Fruit and veggies are a great choice here but as you get close to race day keep your fiber intake in check.   You don’t want your stomach to be working any harder than necessary. For dinner try a protein (chicken, fish, steak) with potatoes or rice and some steamed veggies. By eating a reasonable amount of carbohydrate a few days before the race, your glycogen stores will be topped off to fuel a successful performance on Saturday.

4. Don’t waste a lot of mental energy worrying about which wax to use or if your poles are light enough. Get a good wax recommendation and go with it, your local shop will probably me more than happy to give you a suggestion.  They may have even had wax techs out testing on the course the week before the race.  Make sure you have ski clothing to match the temperature on race day. Many races have been won on less than perfect skis. People have had top 20 finishes in the Boulder skiing with no poles, yes I said no poles.

5. During the race carry a water bottle of your favorite electrolyte/sport drink and set a timer on watch to go off every 15 to 20 minutes. This will go a long ways to making sure you are hydrated and fueled up for your entire race.

6. Relax and Have Fun! You will ski faster if you are relaxed and focused on staying positive. Remember that the fate of the entire free world does not depend on your race result. There are so many benefits to doing a ski marathon, I can’t even list them all. Give yourself a pat on the back and have a great race!