Monday, December 7, 2009

Big Blue Visits: Bend, OR

ME: What did you think of Bend Oregon?

EP: I didn't like it as much as I thought I would. Actually, I liked it the next morning. I think it was hyped up a little too much. But I don't think you can put that on the blog because it will make the people in Bend feel bad.

And that is the oddness we felt about Bend.

Bend is more sprawling than we thought, but there is a neat downtown. There are tons of chain stores, but really cool independent shops. To be honest, I'm still not sure what to think of it. We almost didn't go. Coming out of Crater Lake, we started down 138 toward Roseburg and literally pulled over and turned around to head toward Bend. I'm glad we did, but I'm still not sure about the town...

Downtown Bend.

Bend was a VW town for sure.

We wasted some time at Deschutes Brewery in downtown Bend. Food, eh. Beer, good.

The list from the sampler tray.

And, in keeping with our theme, we found the Bendistillery. Which had outlets for our laptops, wi-fi for communication and hard booze to warm the soul.

More VWs - look close at the one below... Is that... is that a... I think it is. I think that is a Bus City 2010 flier on this Syncro's windshield.

One of the cooler things we came across was Spork - an Airstream trailer that served fantastic food. I got some sort of hot-dog creation that was awwwwesome (Osaka dog!). The idea here is that the trailer moves around from location to location. Lucky for you, visitors to Bend, you can follow this trailer's location at If you do one thing in Bend, find Spork.

In all, Bend was worth the visit. It seems to get a bad rap in the rest of Oregon as being "too California", but, being from California, I can only assume they are referring to the traffic, the sprawl and the money that came into Bend in the last few years (they have been hit hard by the recession, another California-like quality). But that doesn't mean there isn't some interesting character there. I think it might just take a while to find...

One last Bend VW...



We felt the same way about Bend. Maybe it was more interesting 10 years ago. There's no way they can ever live up to the hype - BUT it's still way better than most places.

..and I think we met the guy with that Synchro. It's an awesome vehicle.

PJ Alau

I stopped there on the way to Maupin and had the same experience. VW's everywhere, Dinner at Deschutes Brewery.

They make a killer Ginger Ale, I emptied several containers and had them filled em up with the stuff. It was gone that night.

Bend is also the infamous home to this failed housing development:


Anything is Big Blue's records about a trip that my wife and I took to Crater Lake around 1979? We then proceeded to a great time at Mt. Hood for skiing.

That trip was one of the bus' few roadside breakdowns. Northbound out of Concord a rear wheel bearing blew out. No big deal getting it fixed (nice overnight in Concord).

Big Blue's Driver

Monty - I didn't see anything about an Oregon trip in the notebook. Pretty cool that Big Blue had been down that road before. I'm thinking it won't be his last time either...


The recounting of my trip to Oregon reminded me of how much we used to travel during the winter in Big Blue.

We camped in the snow a bunch, Yosemite being one of the best. Set up camp, hike around the river while looking at all the snow stuck to the rocks overhead and then crawl into the bus for a sound night's sleep. Not too much fun, though, when nature called!!

Big Blue's Driver

Monty - we are still looking for a chance to camp in some snow. Perhaps a decent into Yosemite might be in order this winter!

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