We were working our way across Oregon, which has a much more desolate, rugged, and excitingly diverse terrain than I could have imagined. For a while, I felt like we were still in Wyoming. It was starting to get dark, and we were tired and hungry and were lucky to be in the vicinity of Bend, which was described in some guide book or other as "a cool desert town". I was leery of their enthusiasm but too exhausted and hungry to question Jackie's decision that we stay there, so Bend it was, in more ways than one. It turned out to be a cool place to retire, raise a family, or live if you are a lady who likes to lunch and shop. It was a clean, well scrubbed, nicely rehabbed town, full of lot of pricey restaurants, good bakeries, bike/outdoor equipment stores, micro brew pubs, and stores offering a variety of upscale shopping experiences. Did have 2 strong martinis at happy hour at the Brickhouse on Minnesota Ave, which stood me up for a couple of hours, but otherwise I was bored to death by the end of the next afternoon, ready to go, and glad I didn't buy a condo there. If it wasn't for a few good photos, I wouldn't have been writing about the place.
And then there was their version of art alley which encapsulates the ethos of the town that tries to think its cool but the stifles any spontaneous artistic expression that does not fit into their highly regimented vision of what cool it is. Really, Bend is a hard place to be cool, but the people there do seem content.
That's me in "art alley" sitting next to what was some obviously unauthorized artistic activity which did not fit into the well circumscribed "artistic" vision of the powers that be. As I said, this place gets old real fast. Don't know why I sound so negative, everything was nice, maybe too nice.
I really think the reason I wrote this posting is because I love this last photo. Bend is a nice place to spend a day or two, but moving to Bend could kill you. A mountain bike accident, too many martinis, suicide secondary to boredom after a fashion, or maybe just old age, so before I get any older, onward and eastward to the Idaho border.