One of the highlights of 2020 is that Sean and I figured out a retirement strategy – whoop! It’s just around the corner, 2 years away if things work out like we planned. Part of the strategy is to move from our beloved state of Colorado and explore the Pacific Northwest by moving to Bend, Oregon. I will miss Colorado and our friends, but also feel the need to explore another part of the country. I think Sean and I were gypsies in another life!
Bend is in central Oregon and has a population of ~100k and growing. It is essentially one giant playground surrounded by world-class mountain-biking, road-biking, skiing, rock-climbing, backpacking, hiking, golfing and boating opportunities. What’s not to like?! It’s an outdoor lovers dream.
Back in May, we bought a home and are using it as a rental until we can move in ourselves. In October, I flew there to check on the house (for potential meth labs – haha) and meet my property manager in the flesh. I also got to spend some time with my Bend buddy, Jules from GO JULES GO. She is a ROCKSTAR to say the least and I’m grateful to have met her through this blogging community. She will teach me a thing or two about plant-based diets. My expanding waistline demands it!
I spent most of my time driving around and getting acquainted with the place. Thought I’d share some photos from the trip and give a taste of what our lives will be like soon enough.
Bend sits on the gorgeous Deschutes River. All kinds of fun things happen on this river – SUPing, kayaking, tubing, rafting, etc. On Halloween, locals dress up in witch costumes and SUP down the river. Jules and I WILL be doing this whether she likes it or not! She’s lucky I have an extra paddleboard. No backing out!
Half of Bend is in a pine forest, the other in the high desert. The altitude is about 3,600 feet – so it’s nice and chilly in the winter, comfortably warm in the summer. The weather is more like Colorado – sunny 300 days a year – rather then the typical rain and drizzle of Seattle and other areas of the Pacific Northwest.
The images below were taken on various drives outside of the city. It happened to snow one day – I was lucky enough to witness it. There are several really nice lakes nearby where we can someday take the paddleboards and perhaps camp along the shore.
The town is SUPER CUTE with little nooks and crannies of amazing coffee shops and food trucks, outstanding breweries and abundant, seasonal farmers markets. Everything is within 6 minutes of our house, sometime 8 if there is a twinge of traffic. When the weather’s nice, we WILL be on our bikes tooling around town. Weekly concerts and festivals are a regular occurrence in the summer – at least when COVID isn’t present. There are plenty of fun-runs and other community events all year round. I definitely want to get involved as much as possible – something I have missed given YEARS of traveling for work.
Since Bend is located in the center of the state, it’s close to everything. Rock-climbing (Smith Rock) is a half-hour away, the beach (Cannon) 4 hours and Crater Lake National Park, 2 hours, tops. Oh, and some of the finest Pinot Noirs are produced a hop, skip and a jump away. If I need a big city fix, Portland is a 3 hour drive and Seattle only 5. There is an airport about 25 minutes from town so it’ll be easy to fly where-ever we need to go.
Sweet mountain biking trails and what I would consider the “Central Park” of Bend are literally within 2 miles of our new home. Yogi is going to love Shevlin Park. He’ll be excited to know he can walk off leash. Apparently, this place is great for cross-country skiing as well. Since I don’t downhill, this is perfect!!!
As you can see, Bend fits our lifestyle wants and needs pretty perfectly. I have barely scratched the surface with this post. There is sooo much more to do here with all of the hiking trails, fishing honey holes, and tons of golf in the area.
We are scared and excited for the change. Seems like everyone we know has a “friend in Bend” they want to introduce us to. That will be nice to have more than a few friends up there, sort of, right away.
As far as Colorado goes, we will be back frequently and hope our friends, near and far, will pay us a visit in our new town.
“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
― Terry Pratchett
Cheers to scary, exciting, wonderful, challenging new beginnings :-).
…i choose this…