Jeneé gets a 3 day weekend once a month, so we really are trying to “max out” these mini-trips when they come around. What a great benefit for her to have a mini vacation to look forward to every 4 weeks! Of course she deserves it, because otherwise she is on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
For our first trip we decided to jump the Cascades and drop down to sea-level and spend a couple days near the beach. The drive over was beautiful, and the stark contrast of desert to lush rainforest/ marine environment was amazing! 15 minutes of driving over the pass will take you to lush green forests and mist-soaked mossy pines. We rented a nice room at the Looking Glass Inn in Lincoln City (dog-friendly of course), and Gus was greeted with a welcome package of a bed, bedding, snacks, and food and water bowls! The Inn was within steps of the beach, and was exactly what we were looking for.
We wandered the beach, and were laughing at Gus’ first interactions with the Pacific Ocean. He got rolled into a couple of waves after chasing sticks, and he really couldn’t figure out why he couldnt drink it. He kept sipping, thinking that his previous spot must’ve just been a “bad spot”. But by the end of the day his gut was full of saltwater, sand, and kelp as he was frothing at the mouth with foam. Contents which he promptly barfed up when we got back to the hotel after sucking down 4 bowls of fresh water. The weather was classic for the Oregon coast. Chilly, misty, and socked-in most of Friday. But it was REALLY pretty, and it was really nice to smell the ocean, and have some fun on the beach!
The weather the next day was amazing! Bright sun, blue sky, and warm temps. In the morning we went back out onto the beach just to soak some sun before hitting the road. The funniest part of the day was Gus realizing that it is REALLY fun to dig trenches in the sand. Must’ve felt good on his toes? But he dug about 10 DEEP trenches, that had passing beach walkers stopping to watch, laugh and take pictures. He was whacked tired after he was finished, and probably not satisfied because no matter how deep he digs, there’s just more sand!
We had to come back to Bend Saturday night because there was a huge Pro Bike Race, and the 4th stage was taking place in town! The Cascade Classic draws top-notch cycling pros, and is apparently considered the next race down for cyclists who didn’t qualify for the Tour de France. Lance Armstrong has won the race several times, and the buzz surrounding it was great! We all went downtown to see both the men’s and women’s stages firsthand. The night stage was to be run in a huge rectangle that encompasses the popular downtown streets of Wall and Bond Streets. Thousands of fans packed the course it’s entire way and the excitement was truly palpable. The athletes were amazing to watch handle the bikes, and were in incredible shape! It totally made me feel like a fatty, and made me wish I hadn’t made fun of cycling shorts and tight biking jerseys earlier in the week.
The race was really exciting and came down to the very last lap, and it seemed like everyone was in contention as they made those last turns. We were right on the corner, and they were clocked going 35MPH!! As you can see in the video below, they were flying.
On Sunday we woke up really early to go back downtown to see the hot air balloon festival. Although we were running a tad late because I’m a slow-mover in the AM, we still managed to see some ballons take off and land on the other side of town. We felt like tornado chasers as we weaved through Bend at 7AM to figure out where they would land. It was really cool to see so many balloons!
After watching some balloons we decided to bag a local “peak”. Black Butte is a perfectly triangular volcano cone about 30 minutes from our house north, near the town of Sisters. The easy hike would take us to the top where there is a USFS active duty fire lookout, and panoramas of the surrounding cascade range. It was an easy, quick up and back that also was the idea of many tourists visiting the tiny town of Sisters, which sits at the base of Black Butte and Sisters Wilderness.
Overall a successfull, and busy vacation weekend! But I guess what would you expect from us. Only 3 weeks until we celebrate our anniversary in San Francisco with Jami and Ben. Wahoo!