Day 3: Bend

Can we talk about Bend, Oregon for a minute, please? Can we talk about how amazing Bend, Oregon is? If you have not been, please go immediately. But first the recap.

Both Laurie (of Locavore Farms) & Pete (of Fort Bidwell Hotel) recommended I take Country Road 9 over the mountain and through Modoc National Forest. It’s completely gravel, though well-maintained, and it made me appreciate so much more that I got rid of the Jetta.

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Along the way, I discovered that I have a slightly odd obsession with dilapidated old barns. I think I pulled over to take photos of about thirteen of them. I know not everyone shares my fascination, so I’m only including one. (You’re welcome.) But this is the one that reminded me of my grandfather’s farm back in Arkansas.

His hayloft was not this rundown but it gave me a whiff of nostalgia.

The Oregon countryside is so beautiful. I was in love with Oregon before I ever set foot outside the car.

I was pushing hard to reach Bend before nightfall so that I could at least take Tako for a walk before we crashed. So we passed the sign for Summer Lake Hot Springs going about 65mph, but a couple of minutes later, I thought to myself “Kaitlin, what’s the point of taking this trip if you don’t take a minute to sit back and relax every once in a while?” So I flipped a U-Turn at the next ranch’s gate and drove back.

Such a good decision.

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We finally reached Bend and very nearly crashed, but I was determined to stay up until a reasonable bedtime. (Ultimately, I failed.) So we hung out with O.B. and Burke (our hosts) for a while until I decided my legs just couldn’t be sitting anymore.

Tako and I walked down to the dog beach on the river in the Old Mill area, and it was glorious. He made pals with a husky puppy and played his tiny butt off for about an hour.

We got back to the house around 8 p.m., and after feeding Tako I went to bed around 8:30 p.m.. I skipped my own dinner, I was so tired.

So far, I’ve learned that everyone in Bend is incredibly nice and welcoming. And that in the ten or so years Burke has lived here, the population went from 15k to over 100k. So it’s a tad bit popular.

I love it here. Possible new home? I guess we’ll have a better idea after Day 4.



Discovering that my AirBnB host (Burke) has a gigantic dog named O.B. with the most expressive ears I’ve ever seen.

When I told Burke about my road trip, he said I absolutely have to stop in Big Sky, Montana. So definitely adding that to the route!!



I was pressed for time on my way to Bend, so couldn’t stop as many places as I was hoping. We made it to town much later than anticipated, and — thanks to our furry stalker from the night before — I just didn’t have the energy to explore more than a bit of Old Mill and the Riverbend Dog Park.


Driven: 948mi

Hiked: 8mi

Written: 2k (this is so paltry)

Listening to: “Get Away” Fitz & the Tantrums

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