I’m Back – And I’ve Been to Bend Again!

My handsome grandson is on the drill team

What a whirl wind month this has been! I finished my Master’s degree –  had the thesis presentation, hooding ceremony and the party!  My oldest grandson graduated from the Oregon Youth Challenge Program  and walked for the High School Graduation (he just has two more classes to complete).  We remodeled our bedroom, re-did our deck, cleared out the wild and crazy bamboo and ivy in the backyard to get our little paradise back – and BAM – it’s already the end of June!  Well let me tell you about our last trip to Bend!

We went out there for my grandson’s graduation and decided to make a mini vacation of it.  The graduation was in Redmond, so first stop after the ceremony? Wild Ride Brewery in Redmond!  20150617_134756xx

20150617_132723 20150617_132714




They have some fabulous brews there!  Being an IPA lady, I had the Copperhead IPA – and we bought a bottle to take back to our room (as well as an amazing Belgian Ale, Solidarity).


From there we headed out to Bend and to check into our room.  We stayed at the Riverside Inn & Suites, right on the Deshutes River.  The sliding door opened up to a patio that overlooked the river.   This will be our go-to stop for all our trips to this area!

IMG_253020150617_150038After checking in, we headed to the grocery store (our room had a full kitchen), cooked a steak dinner and sat and enjoyed the scenery.

We watched chipmunks and groundhogs forage in the evening.


I woke up early and sat on the patio, listening to the sounds of the birds and water, while I drank my coffee and relaxed.  Afterward I decided to take a walk along the river.  Absolutely beautiful! IMG_2531







The park next to the hotel had a flock of geese and I loved the fact the Bend has made feeding them illegal.  IMG_2533So many people feed wild birds bread and it’s very bad for them.  Kudos Bend for protecting the wild life! IMG_2536





After breakfast, we went into downtown Bend.  The first place we stopped was this amazing furniture store, Natural Edge Furniture.  20150618_104910

My husband is a woodworker and they generously gave him some beautiful scrap pieces.


All the furniture is made from salvaged wood.  Not one tree is cut, they have all come down by natural causes!










First brewery of the day – Craft Kitchen and Brewery (the link is to their facebook page.


They don’t have a web page yet).  20150618_12052220150618_113737They took over the Old Mill Brewerks.  We didn’t eat there, but we will next time! 20150618_113810 The smell of the smoker made your mouth water!  The beer was great and the service was beyond excellent!!




Next stop, Crux Fermentation Project.  We sat right in front of the brew equipment, with a tub of spent grain next too us – wonderful aroma!  20150618_121852

20150618_122541But now we’re a little hungry, so in addition to the taster, we ordered a black and tan pretzel – locally  made from pilsner boiled spent grain served with smokey pilsner sauce – so darned good!!! 20150618_122839 My favorite beers were the Dark Strong Cherry Bomb (a dark Belgian ale), and Freakcake (Barrel aged oud bruin – a strong brown beer).









The last brewery caught my eye because of the name – The Rat Hole.  20150618_130037

And it was certainly worth the stop.  All day I was trying to broaden my horizons by trying beers other than IPA.  Here I had the Haystack Hazelnut brown – a sweeter, malty beer.20150618_130220

It was great!



We did stop at a couple of other breweries, but we weren’t impressed, so there is nothing to write about them.


Our final stop of the day was the Oregon Spirits Distillery.  This small batch distillery produces some amazing spirits!  We tried whiskeys, gin, vodka, spiced rum and absinthe.  We liked them all – but our favorite was the Ottis Webber Oregon Wheat Whiskey – and you guessed it, we bought some to take back to the room!

We got a tour of the distillery and learned quite a bit about the process – like, did you know they use copper because it pulls some of the impurities out of the spirits? 20150618_134650









This place is going to be opening a restaurant in the near future and we will be visiting next time we’re in the area!!

So, back to our rooms (after the grocery store stop) to prepare a dinner of seared scallops in garlic butter and a caesar salad.  After dinner we sipped on our whiskey and watched the fat groundhogs outside our door forage for food.


Ah….the simple times.



About Helen Fern

I live in the upper Willamette Valley with my amazing husband and four very spoiled cats - three adopted feral cats and one shelter baby. We have lived here since the dawn of 1991 and love every inch of the region.
This entry was posted in Simple Pleasures and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to I’m Back – And I’ve Been to Bend Again!

  1. Congrats on getting your master’s degree! Love all these amazing photos! Thanks for linking up at the Manic Mondays blog hop.

  2. Tanya says:

    It sounds like you have had a full summer! Congrats on your masters. I’m glad you had a wonderful trip. I have never been to Oregon. I’ve always wanted to go. Thanks for sharing on Small Victories Sunday Linkup!

  3. Melissa Vera says:

    Congrats on your master’s. Thank you for sharing part of your world with us. Thanks for linking up this week on #HomeMattersParty hope you will come back next week and link up again.

  4. What a cool trip! We loved Oregon when we visited last year. We didn’t get to the areas you talked about though. Thanks for sharing your vacation with us at the #AnythingGoes Link Party.

  5. fiftarina says:

    Lovely pictures from the trip!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *