There was a winter bite in the air when we first landed in Bend. When we left, it was in the 80’s. Regardless of the temp, the sky is (almost) always blue.I love Bend’s blue skies, and I appreciate all the hiking options. Mom & Cricket start exploring by the crack of dawn – before coffee!! How is this done?? I do not know, because (graciously) our hosts wait for us to put away at least one cup before we hit the road.
I thought Bend would’ve been a long stay. On the other hand, I should have known mom would have things dialed-in before we arrived. Basically, our “lending hand” efforts were more disruptive than helpful. So, we made a hasty exit which included an early morning shopping run, a heist of seasoned wood, and a 1 mile drive to Tumalo State Park. You know, sort of like, “I’m going to run away from home,” and end up in your own backyard…
Taking Care of Business
Seriously though, we couldn’t leave until we took care of some business. You see, a portion of Carlos’s ashes have been with us this entire time – this 6 week journey. Woody had the intention to scatter a tiny portion in this area which was significant to us. Under the cover of darkness, we strolled along the river shore, shared our “remember when” stories and nonchalantly sprinkled ashes behind us.
We wanted to get to Portland before the camping kick off, Memorial Weekend. Working our way around Mount Hood through the Columbia Gorge, we avoided the passes and were able to stop in on the Stipans in Cascade Locks. This charming town is a blend of mountains, roaring water and old growth forests. With our guitar slingin’, song singing city guide, we felt like honored guests. We went to a fish hatchery and gained a new appreciation for the size & age potential a sturgeon has. There was one sturgeon over 10 feet long and over 70 years old!The hatchery’s main purpose however, is to raise coho and chinook salmon.We wrapped up our tour checking out the Bridge of the Gods, Thunder Island and a gorgeous bronze installation which our hosts – John & Brenda – assisted in creating.
Cascade Locks was a rewarding stop and only 45, or so, miles from Portland. Wow, can you believe it!? So close to Portland! It’s been amusing to me how we’ll share that we’re “from Portland”. . . and yet we haven’t even been here for 2 years! Can’t wait to play tourist in our home town.