Last year, for the 2017 New Year, Josh and I were driving back from Colorado and we were in Moab. We had a really nice dinner, watched the ball drop from our hotel room, and then woke up really early and watched the sunrise over delicate arch (picture below). It was perfect and set the mood for the year.
So this year, we needed to top it and decided to go somewhere we both have been talking about, Oregon. Initially, we wanted to go to Portland and Bend, but since we were driving and short on time, we decided not to stress over the drive and stayed 3 nights in Bend and took our time heading back, spreading it over two days. In the end, we had a total of 18 hours of driving, which added up to around 1300 miles.
I arrived from Colorado at about 11pm at night and we left the next morning at 6 am to start our drive. On day 1, we drove straight to Bend and arrived around 3pm. We have heard a lot of great thing about Bend; the breweries were to die for (ummm 22 breweries in a town of 90,000 people, yes please!), the area was beautiful, and it was 25 mins away from Smith Rock, a great climbing spot. The one thing I did not know what that it was a mountain town! Apparently, it is a popular place for people to stay who go skiing at Mount Bachelor. After growing up in a small mountain town in Colorado, I immediately felt at home.
We spent our first night checking out Deschutes Brewery and headed to bed early since we were exhausted from the day’s drive. The temperature was about 30-40 degrees Fahrenheit, so we opted for an Airbnb, instead of our usual car camping. It was a little on the pricey side, about $75 a night, but we figured it was worth it. Plus she had a pretty sweet view….
On day 2, we woke up, got some amazing coffee at the Sparrow Bakery, and went on a hike up to Tumalo Falls. Usually, this hike requires snowshoes, but we got lucky cause it hadn’t snowed in a while and we got around just fine in our regular hiking boots. It was a very easy hike and is popular, especially with families!
After the hike, we headed back to town to check out some more breweries and the downtown shops. We went to the Boneyard Brewery tasting room, which, FYI, they are only a tasting room! A room the size of a bedroom with no tables or chairs. The largest size beer you can get is a 3 oz, but you can get a crowler or growler to go. But it was pretty delicious and we followed it up with the Crux Fermentation Project just down the road.
Day 3 was New Year’s Eve and we couldn’t help ourselves but finish off the year at Smith Rock, climbing in 38 degrees. Surprisingly, in the sun, it didn’t feel that bad. We climbed at The Morning Glory Wall since it was known to get the most sunlight and talk about some crimpy climbing! But overall we had a great time and the views were pretty spectacular.
After climbing, we headed back to the Airbnb, showered and hit the town again for another brewery, 10 Barrel, which just so happened to be our favorite of the trip! Then, to bring in the New Year, we heard about this place called Old Saint Francis School in Bend that was converted into a pub, hotel, and event center. They were throwing a New Year’s party that included a couple bands, so we decided to go. It turned out to be one of the coolest places because the place is actually quite large and instead of being crammed into one room, the place was divided up and they had each band in a separate room and they also had rooms where you could hang out, have a drink, and sit down on some couches. It was like an upscale, epic house party that you wish could have existed while you were in college.
We ended up loving the band, Yak Attack, which played three sets (about 3 hours) of music. We were exhausted from climbing during the day, but we made it to midnight and had a great time. I would totally recommend this place to anyone who is in Bend!
On Day 4, we packed up and drove to Crater Lake. I had never really heard anything about Crater Lake, but Josh was really excited about it. Not really knowing what to expect, I didn’t have much expectations, but even if I did, this place would have blown them out of the water. This place was so picturesque, it looked like we were standing in front of green-screen in photos. It was covered in snow and we didn’t have much time to hike, but we had a great time exploring the area a little bit and going as far as we could. Unfortunately, it was a short stop, but it was totally worth it.
We drove all the way to (almost) Eureka, where we slept off the slide of the road. We were pretty tired and once we found a parking lot off 101 that was the entrance to a beach, we decided to stop. We were woken up by two police cars shining their brights at our car, while three officers walked up to the car and asked us what we were doing. They actually felt bad for waking us up and said the parking lot wasn’t usually used for people to hang out in, but once we told them we were headed south and asked them what would be a better option, the office simply responded, “oh you guys are going south? Well…yeah….you should probably just sleep here then.” Josh laughed so hard, we were so out of it, it was like 2 am. I don’t know if we even said thank you, we just went back to sleep! We understand that they were just checking on us, we had no issue with them waking us up and we are grateful they let us stay. Plus, Josh took some pretty beautiful photos of the beach the next morning.
Our last day, Day 5, we grabbed some coffee and checked out Redwood National and State Parks by driving down the Avenue of the Giants (FYI, that’s where Star Wars Episode 5 was shot!! Can you tell from the photo of Josh on the log?!). We hadn’t planned on visiting the park, since we had some much driving to do, but we couldn’t help but check it out. It ended up being one of Josh’s favorite stops from the trip!
We drove the rest of the way, making a dinner stop at Josh’s parents before going home. We wish we could have made the trip a little longer, but overall we did a lot with the time we had. We cannot wait to plan a trip to Portland now.
Favorite Quote from the Trip: We went to Dutch Bros., a coffee place we have heard about from a friend and I got a pretty cool cup that had a quote on the top. It said “Whatever you’re gonna be, be a good one.” I thought it was pretty cute and told it to Josh who, without skipping a beat, goes “That’s a great quote. I’m gonna tell that to my kids one day. Like if they want to be a drug dealer, then be a good drug dealer.”