Thursday, November 5, 2009

Next was a large plateau area of chunks of volcanic rock and scrub grasses. Couple of gorges where a river had cut through, a few cows and a tiny town where we stopped for gas and apples. Which were $1 a pound cheaper than here. On a clear day they could turn any direction and see mountains but it's a pretty isolated place to live.

We made it into Bend , collected a friend from the airport and went downtown. Had a nice fishy lunch in a mall area constructed around an old mill. Downtown had a nice tea shop and many other retail establishments aimed at tourists. Extremely cute little Craftsman style houses near town, McMansions further out. Their economy is very precarious right now, 19% unemployment. We returned at times during the week for real food. Moose was there almost every day checking out the bakeries. Picture is from the top of Pilot Butte at sunset. All clear except the wisps of clouds on the peaks. This is in the middle of Bend and very scary drive up, no guardrails.

Sign in was very efficient at the resort. The rooms were nice but poorly lit. The public spaces were positively murky and with sparse seating so there wasn't much opportunity to gather and spin in the evening. The food was on the cheap ticket and nourishing but unexciting. Breakfast every day was scrambled eggs and oatmeal. & different preps of oatmeal, who knew? No toast, fruit every other day. Yogurt once. No soup. Soup is cheap, why not? The last night they had a well cooked steak dinner with vegetables. Another problem was that everything was in a different building. Winding, poorly lit, sometimes slippery paths. Not so good for the older attendees schlepping wheels and equipment. Shuttle busses were available.

Sunday we drove back through Portland to Olympia. The day was much clearer and better views on the plateau. Mt Hood again. Olympia is laid out with many walking opportunities. Huge lake in the middle with a nice path. Lots of ducks. The flight home was unremarkable. I was happy to see my kitties again. The loads of laundry not so much.

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