Adventures back in Bend

24 06 2011

Ashlee asked if I could watch their St Bernard while her and her beau took a break between semesters.  Ten whole days in Bend?  Heck yes!  Three days after I got home from Texas, I dumped out my suitcase and re-packed.  Back in the car and away I went!

Bend is so hardcore.  You never seem to meet anyone who is good at one sport – no, in Bend, everyone is stellar at two, three, five different sports.  Try to go do something with a Bendite and you hear something like this:  “Yeah, I’d love to have coffee!  We could meet after my morning swim, yoga class and taking kids to school and before my bike ride – training for that crit coming up!  Do you mind if my buddy comes, too?  We’re climbing some new routes at Smith this afternoon before squeezing in a run before dinner.  Oh, shoot, at lets go somewhere downtown so I can pick up my registration for tomorrow’s tri.”  You might be laughing, but I’m dead serious.

So living in Bend was intimidating, since I’ve never even been around a lot of these activities.  It was also inspiring, and now I’ve tried tons of new things and found several new hobbies I love.  This has gotten me into a few tough spots (I crash a lot, no matter what I’m doing) but I’ve told you about my accidents and addictions before.

Going back to Bend is twice as much fun because I get to squeeze in tons of new adventures in the midst of the regular stuff.  “Hanging out with friends” usually consists of more than just meeting for dinner.  This trip was no exception.

Tuesday was drinks and dinner with friends.  This started out calmly enough – laughing and arguing at O’Kanes while drinking happy hour beers in the sun light like old times.  We moved the party to Greg’s Grill for a tasty dinner with a fantastic sunset view of the Sisters across the river.  Ahh, tough life.

Then my friend Gail received a phone call.  When she came back she was excited…more so than usual.  A friend had just called to invite her to join a group to raft Big Eddy on the Deschutes Wednesday night – by the full moon.  They had one more spot.  “Who wants to go?!”  I would like to tell you I jumped from my chair screaming “ME! ME! PICK ME!”  This, however, is not the case.  Full moon rafting trip?  Sounds amazing!  I don’t have any kind of gear or even warm clothing to tackle Big Eddy at night.  And don’t you need to go with a rafting guide of some kind?

Everyone talked about how much fun it would be.  Ten minutes of conversation and guess who was the only person who would even be able to go – yep.  Me.  Then Gail said she would be able to help find me clothing and the guys would have everything else.  Don’t worry about the cold front moving in.  We’ll layer up.  Then someone made an observation that sealed the deal for me:  “Its not often the river is  high enough – but not too  high- during summer months when its not below freezing at night AND a full moon all happens at the same time.”

Once in a life time kind of opportunity.  Yes, I’ll go.  Count me in.

Turns out, Gail, an avid scuba diver, had an extra wet suit.  I am so glad I have wonderful friends to talk me into these things when I don’t jump on them myself.  We had a ridiculous good time.  Gail and I were in the very front, due to being the warmest.  Floating along for the first part in calm waters, we drank a beer, laughing, talking, watching the beavers swim around us.  All by light of the brilliant moon.  The first set of little rapids were fun, let us get used to the boat and the paddles, and splashed us a bit to make us laugh.

When we hit Big Eddy, I was useless with my paddle.  I held on to it tight but above the water.  I know you think I’m the worst rafter ever, but instead of paddling, I was taking all the water to the face!  Every dip sent another wave over my head.  My beanie got knocked off, but it landed in boat.  Thankfully, I held on tight and stayed upright.  And the water was warm compared to the air!  I was laughing and sputtering and probably screaming the whole way down.  It was an absolute blast!

Big Eddy on the Deschutes River, OR

A picture of the top of Big Eddy... I borrowed...

I also took a few hikes with Osa and had several shopping adventures with my sister and some wild times with the girls, but none could top the rafting.  Moral of the story:  when someone asks if you want to do something that sounds awesome, figure it out and just do it.  It will most likely be at least as amazing as it sounds.  And the crap you’re worried about that is holding you back from jumping on the opportunity – that crap won’t matter when you realize how completely WORTH IT the adventure turns out to be.  Was I cold that night?  Yeah.  Was I beyond exhausted at work the next day?  Of course.  Would I do it again?  In a heartbeat, without hesitation, as many times as possible.   🙂




2 responses

24 06 2011

You are spot on about people in Bend. If I go to another city I am looked at as clinically insane…in Bend? I am kinda lazy 😀

26 06 2011

I don’t know, Jody, you are kind of famous for your hard core mountain biking… But I guess you don’t go mega-extreme in 8 other sports, so you really are lazy! Step up your game!! Get to training for….something! 😀

Give it to me straight -

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