Bend is terrible, don’t come here.

Alright, ya got me… Obviously that’s not true. Otherwise the entire country wouldn’t be moving here. No, I’m not a bitter local, not bitter at all….

My family moved to Bend when I was a wee child of about 4 years old. All of my childhood memories are of Bend, playing in the crystal clear lakes and rivers, hiking in the evergreen forests, riding motorcycles and discovering old homesteads in the high desert and playing in the dirt and sagebrush. I didn’t realize how incredibly lucky I was, I thought everyone grew up like this.

My brother and I would play outside from sun up to sundown. Summers were sunburns, skinned knees, wet hair and dirt under my nails. Winters were catching snow flakes, warm blankets by a fire, red runny noses and snow dances.

In the spirit of being a stubborn, rebellious soul, I’ve tried to get away from Central Oregon many times. But guess what? She keeps calling me back. There really is no place like home.

Some of my favorite places to check out:

Cascade Lakes Highway. There are mountains, lakes, rivers, meadows, resorts (the term is used very loosely), campgrounds and endless hiking trails within minutes of town.

Mount Bachelor is an amazing ski resort in the winter, and a hiking, dining and mountain biking paradise in the summer.

Almost any kind of outdoor recreation you can imagine is just steps outside our doors. Paddle boarding happens to be one of my favorite!