Walk This Way!

We’ve had an extremely nice summer so far, up here in Central Oregon.  Warm days, cool nights, nothing outrageous one way or another, other than a couple freak thunderstorms here and there.  We get four seasons here, and you have to learn to both appreciate them and adjust to them, or it can drive you crazy.  Winters sometimes seem to go on forever, springs and falls can be way too short, and summer’s generally mid-June to the end of September, and no more than that. 

One of the things we totally love about our home in Bend, is the proximity to the river, and specifically the Deschutes River Trail that’s five minutes from the house, and parallels the river into town.  I’ve written about the walk and posted lots of pictures in earlier articles, but I made a concerted effort to shoot pictures all the way into town today, so this will be more about the journey via the pictures, and less of my babble. 

This is the “trail that leads to the trail,” and is about a five minute walk from our house.  Actually steeper than it looks, and nothing you want to mess with without snowshoes in the winter. 

The Deschutes River starts in the Cascade Lakes, and flows south to north. They direct some of it from the river into this spillway on the left, where it flows into a 10′ pipe, and ultimately to several smaller streams that run through town. This water is MOVING!
This is a little metal and wood pier that juts out into the river about 20′ or so.  Undoubtedly has fly fishing potential, as it extends out into the river at a seemingly perfect angle.  Just gotta find the right little spots to toss the bugs out to … Riffles, riffles …
 
Looking downstream from the little pier.
This is an interesting shot (if you can believe it).  The semi-tree-thing in the middle is actually an osprey’s nest.  Some friends pointed this out the first year we moved up here, and it’s remained a nest year after year.  You can occasionally see the “mama” fly in or out of it, and with binoculars you can spot the little ones.  The mama bird is HUGE, and we see her flying around every night. 
The river trail is a circuitous route that goes from close to our house in River Canyon Estates, to the Old Mill District, in the middle of town.  The Old Mill is a great spot to shop, eat, hang out, listen to (or pay to watch) a concert at the Amphitheater, or just to walk around.  This is a shot of the river, flowing in that direction.  Still amazes me that this river (and several other prominent ones up here) flow south to north. 

This is a little up higher, looking down at the river in one of its wider spots. 

The trail into town has very little in the way of ups and downs, but the river goes from eye level to “this high” over the course of the three mile trek. 

This is the 10′ pipe that channels the flow off of the Deschutes to the little tributaries around town. You’d think you could actually hear the water running through it, but amazingly you can’t. BIG pipe!

My lovely bride pausing and refreshing.  We’ve made our way to the fork in the road where you can travel the rest of the way into town on the “other side” of the river, or “this” side of the river.  This day, we chose “this side.” 
The final little wooden bridge, as you’re approaching town.  You’re obviously right on / off the river here, and it’s a very cool sensation. 
After the miles of ups and downs, rapids and relative calm sections, it’s finally a totally peaceful river as you approach the Healy Bridge and “civilization as we know it.”  Bend’s just around the corner.  Let’s hope.
The beautiful Bill Healy bridge.  This is such an incredible site that we (and others we know, trust me!) actually go out of their way to cross it.  You can’t tell from the picture, but that “black thing” sticking up in the front of the raft is actually a very big Labrador Retriever.  I suspect he’s been left in charge of the yacht while his people are diving for treasure.  Or something. 
Farewell Bend Park, with the Old Mill smokestacks in the distance.  This is one of the most gorgeous places in town, and we never tire of it.  Along with the Sisters, Bachelor, and the other mountains of the Cascade range, this is simply a site to behold.  Dogs run free here, people use the picnic tables, it’s the place to get into the water for a float down the Deschutes, and it’s just a gorgeous place to hang out. 
This specific spot at Farewell Bend Park was apparently the spot where the city was first conceived, and everything was built out from here.  Now I know, and I’ll always take out of town friends here to see it. 
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