1044 NW Bond St. Bend, OR 97701
I think it's the drive mostly. Damn it's beautiful. It's all part of the trip though, really and it starts usually later than it should the night before departure. You forget to start the dryer because you've run outside two or three times already and you've still got a pedro's in your pocket and perhaps a coin sized cap of sorts. But then you remember what you've forgotten and you pretty much have most everything figured out you think. You only hope you've forgotten something small and insignificant. THEN, TRUE TERROR. FRIDAY. ANXIETY. CAN I GO YET? Finally, departure.
My favorite part of it happens outside of Madras and as you drop out of the mountain the trees suddenly thin to saplings, the earth yellows and shifts to a more rusted rocky hue. The clash of demarcation between forest and desert. It was afternoon when we headed to Bend and the quality of light was just plain stupid. You've seen it I'm certain and you know this transition zone is magical. There's no way it's actually REAL. I ask you, have you ever even stopped here? So how CAN it be? Beams of the godliest brightness blinding through the darkest clouds you couldn't even draw certainly signaling your impending doom while absolutely illuminating the starkly lit arid hollywood quality western hillside. The road flattens out. A cloud covers the sun and all of a sudden sunglasses are WAY too dark. Blu-blockers, in my case.
I had a really really great time down in Bend. I had no real idea of what to expect being a first-timer, but how can a brewery race party weekend be or go wrong? And it cannot. But, It freaks me out how similar Bend is to Boulder, CO. Everything. I swear the developers admire each other's work or went to school together or had an internship with the same company. Maybe it's the nature of gateway adventure towns graduating into money quickly and the subsequent development that follows. Maybe it's a proximity to the mountains. Maybe I'm just looking for that dynamic. Maybe it is the high desert drama that continually expands all over the west. Regardless, I think I love these places because I feel like I couldn't live there and they're special to me because I'm usually, in fact, NOT there. I have some anxiety about staying around too long, don't want to ruin the trip because it's been damn near perfect.
But we didn't. And I hope no one else did. Both days seemed safe for all and were incredibly fun. Lots of dust eating at the descent but that's to be expected. How 'bout dat velcro grass tho? Rough come lap 5. I couldn't help myself but mostly hang around by the sand pit of despair because the backlit dust storm was ridiculous. I shot only Saturday, but in a chicken costume to make up for it...maybe you saw me out of the corner of your eye. But I know you heard me... In a sense, we're always putting on costumes donning our admittedly silly lycra so it's incredible to see people ham it up extreme with Halloween. I couldn't believe it. You all are very impressive. Smiles were everywhere...and the costumes! RUN DMC, you guys ruled. Giraffe man, hats off. Jumps and skids abound. We really brought the circus to town. But we mustn't stay long in costume.
Originally named Farewell Bend, this shallow and safe river ford across the Des Chutes saw off many westward travelers along the Oregon Trail. It's always been a town for transients and I suspect that eludes to some of it's fame. We are all no different, we jumped in our high speed gas machine wagons and headed west towards home, blazing past Smith Rock surrounded by purple and canary velvets, not clouds and land, but we're all still thinking, "...gotta get back immediately".