We had ridden our mountain bikes on the Deschutes River Trail while visiting Bend a few years ago and thought it would be fun to try it again. It was beautiful and peaceful with very few people along the way.
A series of three parallel trails winds through pine forests, lava flows and riparian zones along the various placid and tumultuous waters of the Deschutes River.
The Benham Falls are more cascades than actual falls but still quite impressive with the sound of water rolling over the rocks.
We could see the lava flow area across the river which had it's own appeal.
Going into Bend to take care of shopping and getting the oil changed started out as a nice idea but turned into work upon hitting the traffic. We turned around in Costco deciding to skip it when we saw the lines at the checkout and tried back in a few days which was much better. I am not sure if it is because of tourist season or just this many people living here now. Maybe we have been in the woods too long.
Sunriver is a quieter touristy area but the kayakers on the river were out in full force in the mornings. There was more than enough to keep us happy over the two weeks here.
Not a bad place for lunch and a rest.
A trip later in our stay to Bend was much more pleasant with a stop at the Northwest Farmer's Market and a stop at Drake's Park in the middle of Bend. I was not hiking or biking today.
A little Tejano music. A person can find music playing everyday somewhere in this area.
The Deschutes River along Drake Park
A bubble machine in the park for little kids.
Something for the big kids
Sparks Lake was closed for construction so we took our kayaks down the road to Hosmer Lake. It must be the go to place. I have never seen so many kayakers in one place. We parked on the road above the boat launch and got the kayak on it's wheel and took it down. Most of the people were leaving as we paddled out and were soon alone among the ducks, birds and fish. It isn't very deep and we could see some nice sized trout right under us. Little Lava Lake down the road was much quieter and would be our choice next time we want to paddle.
There are 30 Cascade Lakes
We heard the warning sound of the baby ducks in the lily pads before we saw them. We backed up to avoid bothering them anymore.
It looks strange with the wheels on top of the kayak but I wasn't going to carry them back up the hill to put them in the truck when there were perfectly good bungees in front of us. Our kayak is inflatable and is not any lighter than the hard sided. The wheels were a good addition.
A couple parked by a trailhead looked like something was bothering them so I asked where they were going to hike. They were from Britain and said they had forgotten their wallet to pay for their pass. Mike handed them $5 and you would have thought it was $100 as happy as they were. We know the feeling of getting somewhere and have forgotten something important. We once road our mountain bikes in hiking boots after driving an hour to get to the trail and forgetting our bike shoes. We weren't leaving without a ride if we could help it even if it was clumsy riding.