Having been in our new hometown of Bend for a month now, we are finally having a chance to settle in. Jeneé has been hard at work each day, and I have been grinding along making a network for jobs, in a town where we knew absolutely nobody! I thought I would give you an idea of what Bend is like, and give you a little peek into our new home (that is until you can come and visit).
Bend is situated in a transition zone from the alpine environment of the high Cascade mountains, and the sprawling eastern Oregon Desert that stretches into the Great Basin Desert. It is really strange in that you can drive 15 mintues west, and it feels like Montana.
Deep woods, high altitude alpine lakes, and craggy mountains form the western border of Bend. Every mountain you can see is a volcano. No kidding. Every single one! To the south of the range we have Mt. Bachelor (ski resort), then Broken Top, South, Middle, and North Sister, Black Crater, Mt. Washington, Three-Fingered Jack, Mt. Jefferson, then way in the distance Mt. Hood.
To the south and east, the Great Basin desert opens up. It is so strange because in Bend when you hit 8th street, the town turns to desert! This desert covers all of southeast Oregon, southern Idaho, and most all of Nevada. I actually kind of like the desert landscape, and it provides really cool contrast to the various activity that Neé and I like to do.
Bend’s population is around 85,000, and including the surrounding communities of Sisters, Redmond, and LaPine I think the areas population is around 125K. A perfect size to have some nice sophistication (sushi, wine, theaters, bars, and upscale dining) while avoiding urban sprawl and a “strip mall” feel. The population here is generally young and active, but this area is growing in popularity for retirees. The golfing around here is unreal (so I’ve heard) and the relative mild climate and short winter makes for a nice area to settle.
Downtown Bend is a lively place to eat and hangout. Tons of restaurants, and bars. In fact, Bend boasts 12 microbreweries with 2 more to come by the end of 2012. You almost feel guilty even thinking about ordering a Bud Light or Coors because the quality of local beer is so amazing! Also, there is a constant barrage of concerts and outdoor shows downtown. A stage is permanently set up because there are shows down there so consistently. It’s a great bustling downtown, that we love visiting when we have a chance!
Our little house is located on the property of the Bend Equine Medical Clinic about 10 minutes north of Bend in the little area known as Tumalo. It is a great little ranch style home with a big kitchen open to the living room. The house has 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. Jeneé and I have a large bedroom, as well as an “extra room” that is connected that serves as an office/ workout room. It will serve us well for the next year, and it’s nice to have the clinic across a field because Jeneé is up multiple times a night to check on her patients.
We truly are in the country, and we don’t really have any close neighbors. Our house is in the desert, with great views of the mountains from our driveway. Almost each night we are woken up by coyotes yipping and howling as they pass through our fields. Needless to say, Gus is in heaven and he loves to lay in our “yard”, which consisits of desert dust and sand with sage and juniper trees.