Around the Bend
The weather in Bend steadily verges on cold, windy rain, but just when you think it's about to pour the sun will come out. And just when you begin to feel the sun's warmth, the clouds, wind and rain/sleet return. It can be frustrating, which probably explains why there are 53 micro-breweries in a 10-mile radius.
Rain, sleet, snow or shine, the hikes in the area have been a treat and relatively easy to reach. Emily came down from Seattle to stay with us for the week to join our escapades.
The road to the Tumalo Falls trailhead was closed, which added a few miles to the outing, but the extra work was worth the effort. The green and snowy landscape was a nice change from the stark red, yellow and grey rock of the Colorado Plateau.
Typical of the varying weather and climate, a short drive east to lower elevations brought us to the Crooked River National Grassland and the Rim Rock Trail.
The beginning was a steep climb up Misery Ridge Trail, atop which Amy nearly proved its namesake when she stumbled on her hiking sticks at the edge of a cliff. She laughed it off, and will continue to deny, but Emily was there to witness (as was a nice couple from Washington state who come down every year to enjoy Oregon's unique hiking bounties).
On the other side of Misery Ridge is a rock outcropping called Monkey Face, a popular climbing spot. Though the area drew lots of people on this weekday, we were able to find ample solitude along the way.
Along the route back we were enveloped in the lush canyon of Crooked River, which was teeming with birds and other wildlife, including vultures, osprey, American kestrel, ruby-crowned kinglet, bushtit, canyon wren, common merganser, ring-necked duck, mallard duck, Canadian geese and goslings.
A visit to Porter Brewing Co after the hike was a great way to cap off the day. We were hoping for Irish music but some of the musicians called in sick (Covid?) so the event was canceled. We had to make do with ESB, Irish Red and Scottish ale along with some vegan pot pies. We talked about the weather.