Well hood river is gorgeous. A very small, dainty town perched on a hill, sitting on the large Columbus river, with a view of Washington on the other side. There was a small main street with mostly outdoorsy type stores as well as coffee shops and the well known Mission brewery. You know, Full Sail and Sessions beers. We were not there for long, so we didn’t do much exploring, but honestly we saw most of the town just by driving through. I’m sure there were some amazing hikes around the area, we passed maybe a dozen waterfalls on the drive from Portland.
My dad has a friend who lives out in Hood River, and he happened to have a vacant condo that we were able to crash at. It was nothing special, but man were we happy to finally have a place to ourselves. We took advantage and spent our night on the couch watching movies.
The next morning we were so excited to get to Bend, that we left hood around 10 am and started the 4 hour drive South. We of course had to make one stop on the way to Mt. Hood ski resort, which is about 30 min out of town from Hood River and apparently gets snow year round! Can you believe it, when I heard that I was like omg my dream has come true.
The drive there was pretty, one second in a dry forest area, the next your are in a blizzard. Some trees were in the perfect line that the tops had snow and the bottom was completely dry. We didn’t stay at the mountain long, since we were not properly dressed and it was very windy.
We finally made it to Bend, the one town that we were most looking forward to on our trip. Bend is considered to be in the high desert, so it looked and felt nothing like the rest of Oregon. Honestly, it was more comparable to Colorado, with the sage brush everywhere, large ponderosa pines, and mountains peaking out in the distance. But these mountains are special, called the three sisters, and they are three volcano peaks that again have snow on them all year round. They just sit pretty in the distance, looming over the town. I tried to take so many photos of those beauties.
Bend itself was much larger than we expected. The town was pretty spread out, with each little pocket being slightly different than the other. One pocket was cute old houses on a grid like streets. Then there were mansions up on this one hill, then another was a newer nicer homes, more suburban like. Then on the right side of town was more barren, older dirtier looking. Interesting how it seemed divided like that.
A large river runs through the center of town, that is floating friendly, and they even built a little water park for people to surf. We watched the people there for quite some time. There are breweries everywhere, including the famous Dechutes Brewery. Everyone also was so friendly, felt like we made friends with people we just ran into on the street.
I think Bend would be a really cool place to live, the only problem is houses get snatched up real quick.
Airbnb: This was THE BEST airbnb we stayed at throughout the whole trip. If you go there I definitely recommend Jenns place. We had a private entrance into our very clean room, and a private bathroom. There was a mini fridge, a microwave, a giant tv, a little coffee bar, and a very welcoming king sized bed. She even greeted us with beer. And the house was in a good location, making it easy for us to drive and walk anywhere.
Anyways the whole road trip was a total success. A bit long and exhausting but we had an amazing time. I got to see so many new places, filling my thirst for exploring. If we were to do it again, I think we would cut it in half and skip Coos Bay and Salem. Eugene was my favorite place, I could totally image myself living there, but the only problem I foresee with that is I am far from skiing, and it always rains there. Coming from a place that is sunny 300 days out of the year, that would be a big change. I definitely could see myself in Bend as well, but I will say I think my expectations were too high for the area, and I left a bit dissappointed. I wanted it to feel a bit more like the rest of Oregon, i.e. More lush and tropical.
If you have any questions about these places please feel free to reach out. I love comments.