Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Back From Bend

No real farm stuff this week.  I missed posting last week because Sam and I flew out to Oregon to spend a week with our two sons and son Ian's fiance, Michelle.  Despite difficulties getting there (which involved flight delays in Pittsburgh due to bad weather in Chicago, which resulted in missing our connection on to Portland, which would have resulted in our sleeping in the airport at Midway Chicago and arriving in Portland almost 24 hours late, all of which culminated in our deciding to fly in to Seattle and rent a car and drive to Portland, arriving at 6 am Portland time on Saturday instead of 10 pm the night before) we had a great time! 

Last year, we stayed in Portland for a week and so we decided we would like to get out of town for the week and make it a real vacation for Ian and Zac and Michelle as well.  I suggested that they choose a place within a few hours' drive that they were interested in seeing and Bend, Oregon was the chosen destination.  It was chosen for its weather, outdoor activities, and its many local breweries.  We rented a 3 bedroom "cabin" on a private lake, which was one of 4 such cabins and for the 5 nights we were there, we had the entire place to ourselves.  The lake was shallow for the most part, but there were kayaks, stand up paddle boards and canoes there for our use and it was peaceful and beautiful.

 On Sunday, the day after we arrived, we went to a lava tube area and hiked about a mile or more underground through a cave which was formed by lava.  This was weird because there was no electricity in the tube, you either brought your own headlamps or you rented a lantern, which is what we did.  It was interesting, but kind of cold and spooky, though there were a lot of other people in there.

Through the week we also did some other hiking.  

Here is a view of Mt Bachelor from the ridgetop across the lake from our cabin that Sam and I climbed up to one morning.  

Tumalo Falls was accessed from a trailhead only a couple miles from where we were staying and we went out there with everyone one day.

And on Wednesday, Sam and I took a 10 mile round trip hike up another trail that was hiking distance from our cabin.

There was also a hot tub on the cabin deck, which was  really nice after a 10 mile hike!

And of course, there were the breweries.  My husband is a home brewer and beer enthusiast.  My boys also enjoy a good brew and I prefer wine, but am learning to like some of the wonderful craft beers that are to be found more and more readily these days.  So Bend has an "Ale Trail" Bend Ale Trail   Basically, you get a "passport" and have it stamped at 10 local breweries and you get a souvenir pint glass made of silicone with the Bend logo on it.  We all came home with Silipint glasses.  But it was fun.  Most of the breweries serve food and one, Deschutes, gives a 45 minute tour of their large facility (they are retailed in 27 states currently), which was very interesting.  The tour is free and includes samples.  Book in advance on line if you plan to go.

Most of the breweries will let you choose a sampler tray of their beers which consists of 6 to 8   4 oz samples.  They number them or mark them in a way that you can tell what you are drinking.  I believe these were 6 oz samplers at Brew Werks and we just shared them.

It was a great week, the weather was incredible.  Bend is in a high desert area and the days were around 80 or a little above with the nights dropping quickly into the 40's and 50's at this time of year.  I am totally sold on the area.  I could go back again and again.

I did do some knitting, but not much.  The photo at the top of the page is of some fingerless mitts I knit from some of my own hand-dyed alpaca yarn.  They are to be a sample in my booth this weekend at the Wool Gathering in Yellow Springs Ohio and were a great small project for travel.   I leave Friday around noon for the 3 hour drive to Yellow Springs to set up and be ready to go on Saturday morning.  I will stay with my mom over in Dayton and she will join me at the festival, which will be nice since I was so busy last year and had no help. 

So since arriving home very early Saturday morning, in addition to preparing for the Wool Gathering, I have managed to keep quite busy.  On Sunday I attended the 3rd day of an agility trial put on by the club where Grover and I take classes.  I helped out a bit and asked questions a talked to a lot of people.  I have also been processing tomatoes.  I canned 7 quarts of tomatoes on Monday and started a big batch of sauce yesterday which will be ongoing for a few days, I think.  I hope to get another 7 quarts of sauce canned.  More on that next week.

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