Category Archives: Oregon

Vacation In Oregon: Sparks Lake In Central Oregon

Vacation In Oregon: Sparks Lake In Central Oregon
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South Sister as seen from Sparks Lake
Source: Audrey Kirchner (all photos)

Things To Do In Oregon

The state of Oregon is a traveler’s paradise. From the beautiful mountains with their majestic forests to the coast with its magnificent rocky beaches, someone could travel for weeks and never tire of all there is to see–and do.

Central Oregon is a part of Oregon that isn’t quite as well known as some of the other parts of Oregon yet, but is quickly becoming one of the hottest destinations for travelers as well as relocating families.

There is so much to do throughout Oregon it would take days to list all the places to see and things to do. Central Oregon is much the same way though it’s most known for its wonderfully dry high mountain desert climate. It affords travelers and residents the ability to enjoy summers under a cloudless deep blue sky and to enjoy all the benefits of living in a winter climate.

Skiers, golfers, rock climbers, fisherman and river rafters are just some of the vacationing people you’ll find in Central Oregon on any given day. People who live in Central Oregon like to boast that they’re on vacation year round.

No matter where you go in Oregon, you simply can’t go wrong. The phrase God’s country comes to mind with the state’s raw beauty and open lands.

Sparks Lake in Central Oregon is just one of the vast number of pristine lakes found in the central part of Oregon and is just one stop along the 90+ mile trek through the volcanic landscape called the Cascade Lakes Highway.

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Broken Top as seen from Sparks Lake OR
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About Sparks Lake

This shallow lake was formed about 10,000 years ago as a result of lava flows blocking the upper Deschutes River. This occurred when the Mt. Bachelor Volcanic Chain had one of its historic eruptions.

What is left is a very serene, very large, yet very shallow lake (from 2 to 10 feet maximum) which is situated about 25 miles west of Bend, Oregon.

The lake itself is filled by snow pack melts but because of the shallowness of the lake itself despite its large surface area, late summer can find the lake rendered to almost just marshes.

Lava tubes under the surface of the lake carry water from the melted snow and lake fill to the Deschutes River. Fish also are transported through these tubes dependent on their size.

Situated at an elevation of about 5,500 feet above sea level, Sparks Lake lends unparalleled views of several mountains of the Oregon Cascades from their back sides.

From Sparks Lake, it’s a photographer’s dream come true. You can photograph the beautiful lake with its interesting rock formations and tree “islands” or you can get awesome pictures of the meadows–at times alive with wildflowers with the exquisite backdrop of the breathtaking mountains.

You can get great views of Mt. Bachelor Butte (just over 9,000 feet), the South Sister (10,350 feet elevation) and Broken Top (roughly 9,175 feet elevation).

My favorite spot to photograph? From the Ray Atkeson Memorial Trail though out on the water in a kayak is awesome too!

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Sparks Lake though quite large is very shallow with a maximum depth of 10 feet
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What To Do At Sparks Lake

Hiking–many different level hikes are available everywhere in the area
The Ray Atkeson Memorial Trail. This gives you spectacular views of the lake and the mountains and is wheelchair accessible
Kayaking–this is a favorite spot for kayakers of all ages because the water is so clear and shallow with easy access to the shore
Boating–due to the shallowness of the lake, caution is advised and motorboats are not permitted at more than 10 mph on the lake
Paddle boarding
Fishing–fly fishing only is permitted at Sparks Lake where trout (both cutthroat and brook) abound though the best fishing is said to be just after the road opens and the ice has thawed
Camping–several campgrounds are available at Sparks Lake and then further along the Cascade Lake Highway where there are more lakes and more campgrounds and resorts
Photography–it doesn’t get any better than this location for great views of the Cascade Lakes and the Cascade Mountain Range
Newberry Crater and Wickiup and Crane Prairie Reservoir are close to the south
Birdwatching and wildlife viewing–many species of birds and wildlife abound along the Cascade Lake Highway. You can see everything from osprey and bald eagles fishing to chipmunks and ground squirrels who are more than happy to pose for pictures

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Mt. Bachelor as seen from Sparks Lake Or
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Trivia: The Ray Atkeson Memorial Trail was named after the famous photographer who immortalized Oregon’s Cascade Mountain Range.

The trail is an appropriate tribute to such a talented landscape photographer. Walking it, stopping to snap pictures along the way is a wonderful experience. You can almost feel his presence as you behold the beauty he captured.

Sparks Lake in Central Oregon

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Sparks Lake Oregon –
Sparks Lake, Deschutes National Forest, Oregon, USA
[get directions]

Located 25 miles west of Bend, this is the first stop on the Cascade Lakes Highway heading west.

Bend Oregon –
Bend, OR, USA
[get directions]

Sun River Oregon –
Sunriver, OR 97707, USA
[get directions]

LaPine Oregon –
Lapine State Park, Bend, OR 97707, USA
[get directions]

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Contact Information

Deschutes National Forest
1001 SW Emkay Drive
Bend, OR 97702
Phone: 541-383-5300

Visit their website at fs.usda.gov

Caution: Due to heavy snowfall, the road west of Bend is usually closed to traffic from mid October to late May, sometimes longer. It may be accessible at times from the southern route coming out of LaPine but always check weather conditions as this is rugged back country.

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Bald eagle soaring over Sparks Lake
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Other Lakes of the Cascade Lake Highway

All of these lakes are equally beautiful and each has its own interesting history. They are stretched out over a 90+ mile highway with all kinds of things to see and do along the way.

Elk Lake
Hosmer Lake
Lava Lake
Cultus Lake
Crane Prairie Reservoir
Wickiup Reservoir
Paulina Lake – over at the Newberry Monument
East Lake – likewise located at the volcano

Both of the reservoirs are favorite birdwatcher hangouts. They are also favorites for campers and hunters at all times of the year. They are farther to the south near Highway 97, so more easily accessible in any season.

Travel The Different Parts of Oregon

Travel The Different Parts of Oregon
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Willamette River (pictures courtesy wikicommons)
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Timberline Lodge Mt. Hood – Winter
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Mt. Ashland – Southern Oregon
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Haystack Rock – Oregon Coast
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Blue Mountains – Eastern Oregon
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Portland
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SunRiver – Central Oregon

Oregon Travel

The state of Oregon has much to see and is classified as part of the great Northwest.  If you travel from one part of Oregon to the next, you will be amazed at just how many different topographies you will see and how many wonderful places there are in each region.

Oregon consists of 7 regions – Portland Metro area, the Willamette Valley area, Central Oregon, Eastern Oregon, Southern Oregon, Mt. Hood/Columbia River Gorge area and the Oregon Coast.

For more information on Oregon travel and all the beautiful places that await you by region, visit this website.

Oregon Travel – Portland Metro Area

Portland is located in the northwest part of Oregon and is home to the Portland Trailblazers. This busy city has the feel of Seattle though on a much smaller scale. Park your car and ride the transportation system MAX wherever you want to go. Portland boasts many beautiful museums, a fabulous zoo, a huge public market and countless venues for shopping and dining. Portland is situated at the mouth of the Columbia River and all the amenities that go along with a seaport abound in Portland. It is a beautiful city with many other parts of the Northwest just minutes away.

Oregon Travel – Willamette Valley

The Willamette Valley area of Oregon is most notable for its wineries. The entire valley is made up of vast farmlands where they produce famous wines especially of the pinot gris and pinot noir variety. However, the Willamette Valley is also famous for exporting Christmas trees, producing superb crops of hazelnuts, raspberries and blueberries. Orchards abound in this perfect agricultural climate and share space with the many wineries. Willamette Valley is also famous for its bed-and-breakfast trade and boasts some of the finest B&B’s in the country.

Oregon Travel – Central Oregon

Central Oregon is most famous for its climate – boasting on average 300 clear days per year! The climate of Central Oregon is high mountain desert so while you may see temps climb into the 100’s on a summer day, it will always be cool again come nightfall. Central Oregon overflows with venues for recreation such as river rafting, rock climbing, hiking, camping, and fishing to name a few. The Cascade Lakes are located in Central Oregon and are a favorite vacation spot for people from around the world. As well, Central Oregon boasts such attractions as Smith Rock, Painted Hills of Oregon, John Day Fossil Beds, SunRiver, Mt. Bachelor and the Newberry Crater – to name only a few.

Oregon Travel – Eastern Oregon

In Eastern Oregon, you will find the Blue Mountains and such treasures as the town of Joseph set high in the mountains. Joseph, Oregon is home to some of the largest bronze factories in the United States and many of the bronze statues that you find in Oregon originate here. It is a simple, sleepy little town with beautiful views, wildlife everywhere, and surprisingly some unique yet gourmet restaurants. Eastern Oregon is a recreational playground as well for fishing and river rafting; it is also a treasure trove of history going back to the gold mining days. The mainstay in Eastern Oregon has always been ranching and timber and you will find many, many miles of pristine beauty within this region. Towns like Baker City and LaGrande are well worth the trip as they have small town charm with a modern twist. Also close by is Hell’s Canyon, one of the most spectacular places in the Northwest.

Oregon Travel – Southern Oregon

Southern Oregon boasts rich farmlands and recreational opportunities galore. River rafting and mail boat rides are activities that Southern Oregon offers that are quite unique. The town of Ashland, Oregon is also in Southern Oregon and is the home of the Shakespearean Festival. People come from all over the world to participate and to attend. Ashland, Oregon is also known for its famous Lithia Park and for its many and varied B&B’s. Southern Oregon is rich as well in winter recreational possibilities with Mt. Ashland nearby. Crater Lake is one of the most incredible parts of Southern Oregon and is worth the trip. It is a breathtaking natural wonder. Summer usually finds Crater Lake more accessible when it’s possible to walk down to the bottom of the lake. The views are incredible and the drive to get there well worth it.

Oregon Travel – Mt. Hood and Columbia River Gorge

Mt. Hood is an incredible ski area/snow park that attracts thousands of people. Timberline Lodge is one of the most beautiful lodges in the Northwest. The area surrounding Mt. Hood is famous for its orchards, specializing mostly in pears but also apples. There are also abundant wineries and B&B’s for the weary traveler. The town of Hood River is perched above the Columbia River Gorge and is most famous for its Columbia River famous pastime – wind surfing. The city attracts wind surfers from all over and the town offers much in terms of breweries and great restaurants. The Columbia River Gorge itself is spectacular. In fall, the changing colors on the crags of the gorge look like carpeted patterns and the views of the gorge are magnificent. For variety, you can also take a steamboat tour up the river gorge.

Oregon Travel – The Oregon Coast

One of the most popular destinations in Oregon travel is The Oregon Coast. Even though the weather is sometimes not balmy, it doesn’t seem to bother anyone. The Oregon Coast spans roughly 400 miles or so of coastline and the beaches are like no others. They are wild and untamed and one of the most popular attractions on the coast is the storm watch. There are also many events throughout the year such as the Rainy Day Festival, the Sandcastle Festival, and the Kite Flying Festival to name a few. B&B’s are abundant as are hotels and great dining establishments all along the coast – most times it is essential to book well in advance because the Oregon Coast is extremely popular. There are aquariums, sea lion caves, lighthouses, and staggering forested cliffs to view – not to mention beachcombing on some of the loveliest beaches in the country.

Summing It Up For Oregon Travel

No matter where you go in Oregon, you will be amazed. It does bring to mind the phrase ‘God’s country’ because there is such raw beauty in every part of Oregon and most of it has been left unspoiled.

Oregon is a wonderful place to visit any time of year and depending on what you have in mind for recreation, you can find it.

Remember to pack your camera or your video camera as scenery doesn’t get much better than this!

Lighthouses of the Oregon Coast
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Sunriver Oregon
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Pet Services: The Best Places To Get Dog Services In Bend And Central Oregon

Pet Services: The Best Places To Get Dog Services In Bend And Central Oregon

Best Places to Get Pet Services in Central Oregon

Pet services come in many different varieties and encompass a wide range of things associated with pets. Pet services can be finding a groomer who knows what they’re doing with your particular breed of dog, locating a pet food store that has reasonable prices for the kind of dog food your dog needs, pet sitting services, obedience training, or pet daycare.

Finding the best pet services in Central Oregon can sometimes lead you on a merry chase because the region is pretty spread out and oftentimes you might find one service in one part of Central Oregon and one in another.  Most of my favorite places to get pet services are in Bend and I live 45 minutes away – but it is worth it to me to get quality services.

Hopefully, my votes for best places to get pet services in Central Oregon will narrow it down a bit for you and help you find appropriate services with quality people who know what they are doing when it comes to your pet. But before we examine a few of these great pet services available in Central Oregon, let’s make sure we understand a few of the basics involved on the owner’s part in making sure pet service experiences are good ones!

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Photo by Audrey Kirchner

Basic Etiquette for Pet Services

Even though my dogs are ‘just dogs’, I do expect them to have codes of behavior and along those lines, since I am the owner and alpha, I make sure that some simple rules are always in place when I take my dogs for any pet services or have folks pet sit for me. I deal with dogs, so most of my pet services recommendations have to do with dogs.

Basic pet etiquette for pet services:

Your pet should possess proper social skills – even puppies need to know that there are rules and ‘no’ should mean just that – ‘no’
We should not expect people performing pet services to put up with bad behavior – it’s uncalled for and should never be tolerated. If my dogs are not behaving, I would not expect someone to want to care for them or work on them!
Be honest if you leave your pet with someone – for instance in pet daycare. If you omit certain problems that you have with your dog or pet and leave them to their own defenses, the behavior will more than likely manifest itself within minutes and forewarned is always the best policy!
No one loves your pet more than you do and most people performing pet services do have a love of animals – but again, that does not preclude discipline or expecting that pet service providers should put up with obnoxious behavior.  They will not see how ‘wonderfully cute’ your dog is while it is misbehaving – that is not in their job description
Always potty your dog/pet before taking them to any pet services. Nerves can cause accidents and it is something that can be avoided by being courteous and taking time with your pet to make sure he or she has done their ‘thing’
Dog poo is NOT natural fertilizer! It is a hazard for other animals, puppies especially and can cause diseases such as parvo. There is no excuse for not cleaning up after your pet because it is in fact your pet!
When taking a dog into a pet store be aware that smells are alive everywhere and the temptation will be great to do several things – stick a head in a treat bin and grab a few for free, chew on a bag of dog food, or worst of all, pee on a bag of food. Just like children in a store, supervision is our responsibility and we should make sure that our animals are good citizens in any establishment – most especially in a pet store
Your dog should be attended at all times unless you are relinquishing the pet to the care of a professional performing a service like grooming. Letting the dog or pet run about in someone’s house or business is not appropriate
If your dog or pet displays any tendency to bite, snap or lunge in new situations, you should have a soft muzzle on or other method of people protection – or provide one to the pet services provider if you think it might be needed during grooming for instance
Never assume that all pets are friendly or that all people in a place such as a pet store want to admire your pet. Dogs that lunge at people and especially children are very frightening and if your dog or pet doesn’t display good behavior in these situations, work with him or her until they ‘get it’ and then try it again. I always want my dogs to present themselves as friendly and accessible to people but never overbearing and predatory.  Lunging, jumping up, snapping at – even in ‘play’ is a bad habit to let animals get in and the best way to prevent it is to train them not to do it.  These behaviors often cause irrational fears in other peoples because they have been scared
Likewise howling and barking are not ‘cute’ when someone is trying to provide a service for your pet. If you know that your pet is prone to this kind of behavior especially under stress, work with a soft muzzle before subjecting other people to the behavior. If barking or howling, put the muzzle on after issuing a command ‘quiet’ or something you want to use that gets your point across. When the animal is quiet, remove the muzzle and reward him or her. Keep doing this until they get the idea – being quiet is better than the alternative.  If it is a problem and you know it is a problem, always provide your pet service provider with the muzzle and be honest about the fact that you are working on this behavior

Now that we’ve examined the owner and pet portion of pet services, let’s have a look at some of the best places in Central Oregon to get pet services and what kinds are out there!

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Photo by Audrey Kirchner

Pet Express in Bend – A Pet Store for All Your Pet Needs

Pet Express is one of those places that if you are a dog or cat owner, you will love to go to. The store has 2 locations to serve you – one on Century Drive and one on Highway 20 on the east side of Bend.

If there is a premium dog food out there, Pet Express has it – and they deliver locally in Bend and SunRiver. You can find just about any kind of food for your pet and most are wheat, corn and soy free. Many of the diets fall into the ‘holistic’ spectrum and feature foods without hormones, antibiotic-free protein sources and whole grain – though most are grain free.

If you’re looking for new toys for your pet, check it out at Pet Express because they have more toys than you can imagine.

They also stock unique items such as spill-proof dog bowls and many training tools. They also special order if you want something they don’t happen to carry or have in the day you visit.

My dog Griffin was very impressed with their treat aisle and as I mentioned above, etiquette is one of those things that is an ongoing process. Unfortunately while my husband was looking at a clever little bowl that Griff could not knock over, Griffin decided he wanted to sample a couple of doggie treats – totally our fault.

Pet Express also offers vaccination clinics, microchip clinics and scads of information on-line about where to get advice on training, behavior problems, health and more.

They also sponsor many adoption clinics such as Greyhound adoptions.

Check them out on-line – they also have a great variety of pet carriers, crates and fences in the store.

Pet Express has been doing business since 1993 and if you want to see one of the best pet stores around, stop in.

Both locations are open 7 days a week 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Phone for Pet Express West: 541.389.4620

Phone for Pet Express East: 541.385.5298

Email them as well at info@bendpetexpress.com

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Photo by Audrey Kirchner

Wet Pet Express – Grooming and Self-Service Dog Wash

Having malamutes, I have been humbled by how much effort it can sometimes take to keep my dogs looking good. Especially having a woolly malamute, it is probably twice as hard. Griffin requires almost every day brushing to keep him looking as he should and even though we have all kinds of grooming tools, including a blower, let’s face it – every once in a while, it’s just necessary to have a ‘professional’ do the job.

However, that said, we have found that while some groomers are excellent with small dogs, it is rare that you can find someone who can handle a malamute – or that even know how they need to be groomed appropriately. After trying a couple, I was about to give up on the whole matter and just keep struggling along as we do. Basically once or twice a year though, it is really, really important to have their undercoat blown out and finally when he didn’t look as I wanted him to look, knowing that I was missing something, I took him in to Wet Pet Express.

I have never been more pleased with groomers! These gals were so professional and so wonderful with both our dogs – but especially with Griffin. He is still young at 15 months and is learning what all these ‘things’ are that he has to do. I brought a soft muzzle with me and told the gals that one of his favorite things to do is to howl when he gets around the blower or he likes to try and play grab the brush or tool.

They were so good with him that they had his behaviors snapped in a few minutes. When he howled, the muzzle went on until he was quiet – it came off when he was and so forth. He quickly learned that these folks were on to his games and would be just as consistent as we are at home.

However, I cannot say enough about the cleanliness of Wet Pet Express. Wet Pet Express is a separately owned entity and business located in the rear of the East Pet Express store. I brought my own omega 3 shampoos for our dogs but I did not even need to do that. They had a vast array of healthy shampoos for the dogs including oatmeal shampoos.

They also have every tool known to man for grooming along with a wonderful lift that they can put the dog on and get them into the tub. The whole operation is absolutely topnotch professional from the moment you walk through the half door with your pet to the moment you leave with a beautifully groomed, fluffy, handsome couple of dogs! I felt like they needed to go prance around town they were so gorgeous.

Fees are based on the amount of work needing to be done – if you take your dog in regularly, this actually does eliminate the need for extensive grooming and can in fact save you money over time. In our case, brushing and grooming them ourselves is just something that is a must and they were not in bad shape at all but needed that final professional boost and the bath to end the summer so their fur will begin to come in as it should for winter.

Their tubs are all stainless steel and as you can see from the picture, the grooming space is absolutely immaculate.

Even more enticing, if you are of the mind that you would like to bathe your pet yourself and just hate the mess of it all or the fact that you have to do it outside with cold water – then the drying, the blowing, the combing – they have the perfect solution for you! The U-Wash – you can use their facilities and they even clean up for you when you’re done! That may be an option down the road for me as well though I truly do like having them do it once or twice per year just to get my dogs to square one with their coats.

*******************************************************************************************************

SELF-SERVICE RATES:

Basic Wash: $15 for the first dog, $12 for any additional dogs – includes choice of aloe shampoo and conditioner, rubber
sponge, forced air dryer, combs & brushes, nail trimmer, towels, apron, and
plenty of warm water. Additional fee for use of professional forced air dryers ($3).

Extra Services:  They offer a few services that
you may find difficult to perform yourselves or you do not have the equipment for at
home.

Nail Trimming – $10.00 with basic wash, $15.00 without wash. If you feel uncomfortable with trimming your dogs nails, they will do it for you but show you how to do it so you can do it yourself next
time.

GROOMING SERVICES:

Full Service Bath and Grooming – Minimum
$30.00 – final price depends on size, coat, behavior and length of grooming time. If you cannot wash your dog yourself, they will do
it for you while you wait.

Grooming includes brush-out, nail trim, wash & dry. Full
service grooming also includes cutting your dog’s hair – in our case a trim of certain areas.  This service is by appointment.

They also have a couple of Buying Programs – inquire for more details

Pay for 12, get 1 free (basic wash baths)

Frequent Bather Package – for folks who wash their dogs once per month – individual quotes depending on size of dog, frequency, etc.

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If you’re looking for a great place to have your dog groomed or to do it yourself, Wet Pet Express is the place to get this pet service done and done right.

Phone: 541.306.8791.

Call for hours and appointment times – they also will give you a visual estimate if you ask them to when you drop by the store.  That’s what we did and I was impressed with their knowledge of malamutes and their coats.  After they took a look at them, we made the appointments on the spot.

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As Inez says, a cruisin’ dog is a happy dog! These are mine cruisin’ (urban mushing training)

Strutt Your Mutt – Professional Dog Exercising

Now for the pet owner who really cares and sometimes gets bogged down in his or her own life and doesn’t have time to exercise their dog like they should – here’s your answer! Strutt Your Mutt – Professional Dog Exercising.

Strutt Your Mutt is a wonderful pet service that any dog young or old can enjoy – and a happy dog makes for a happy dog owner. At Strutt Your Mutt, Inez (your professional pet exerciser and owner) will tailor a program just for you and your pet that will leave your dog feeling content and wonderfully relaxed and fulfilled as a dog should feel.

Inez has been offering this dedicated services to dogs in Central Oregon for over 6 years and if you go to her website, you can read the many glowing testimonials from folks who have had their pets partake of her wonderful services.

I actually found Inez by doing a search for pet services because I was trying to find a suitable doggie daycare for my 2 malamutes. As I have said many times, malamutes are unique individuals and more in some ways than the average dog.  You have to have an understanding of their behaviors and there are certain things you need to be aware of – more so than with other breeds.  What I really love about Inez is that she just so happens to have a young malamute herself named Wasabi – so I feel that we understood each other from the beginning.

Of all the pet services offered out there, I feel that someone who actually knows my dog’s breed and has a familiarity with their quirks and strengths can provide my dogs with a safe and healthy environment for exercise – and just for general well being and love. Those things are extremely important to me as a dog owner and I imagine all of us would like to know that someone who loves dogs and understands them is taking care of our precious friends.

Strutt Your Mutt Programs:

1-2 hour back country hikes – these are free form as in running and cavorting with other dogs. However, this is a monitored outing and they are not just left to run in the woods. It is also a great opportunity for socialization as usually 4-8 dogs are along for the ‘ride’/run.
30-minute neighborhood walks – these are leash-controlled outings at least 2-3 times per week and is a great alternative for a dog who does not get along well with other dogs for whatever reason. They can also be used of course for socialites who do know how to get along with other dogs – such as my one malamute who has a propensity for prison breaks. She has never fully mastered the recall every time so consequently we almost 100% of the time keep her on lead.
Dog’s Day – these are Inez’ all-day events for young pups or the overly active, not stimulated enough dog. There are runs in the woods and naps and also on-leash walks. No kennels are used and Inez incorporates the dog into her home atmosphere. (This service has limited space so reserve early)
Sleepovers – the alternative to kenneling your dog. I know from experience that a stressed dog can lead to tragedy at a kennel. My 14-year-old lab developed bloat when she was kenneled the last time and I always worry that it was because she was at the kennel. She hated being kenneled and would have much preferred a service such as Strutt Your Mutt where she would have felt safe, loved and cared about. Sleepovers are just that – you bring your dog’s favorite toys or bed and they get to bunk down with Inez – free to roam the house and yard and be one of the family. (This service also has limited space so reserve early)

Inez advises to schedule a consultation to meet with you and figure out what needs your dog has and what situations would be best for your dog. At this consult, you will then discuss the personality of your dog and establish rates and times of availability.

If you’re looking for a great alternative to doggie daycare – or dog parks where in all honesty, anything can go wrong sometimes – check out Strutt Your Mutt.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised and your dog will probably love you and thank you with many wet kisses as your reward!

Dogs need companionship and attention most of all to be healthy and happy. I believe that dogs only ‘act up’ out of boredom and loneliness. This is a great alternative and I’m just tickled there is a place such as Strutt Your Mutt where you can give your dog an alternative which is really geared to their needs instead of ours.

By the way, Strutt Your Mutt is licensed, she’s bonded and insured. She also carries an animal first aid kit at all times! Doesn’t get any better than that!

Check out the neat video on the website as well as the one below!

Phone: 541.480.1124

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Public domain photo

Desert Sage Agility in Bend

If you have a high energy dog or a dog that you know needs ‘more’ to do with their life – here is a great option for you. Check out this unique pet service in Central Oregon – Desert Sage Agility.

This is something I considered for our malamute, Griffin as I attended several puppy classes with one of the teachers at Desert Sage Agility. The classes were awesome and I should point out right off the bat that the philosophy is what made it worthwhile – for both Griffin and his owners.

The philosophy with these folks is that you should reward good behavior rather than bad. You can definitely learn a lot about canine behavior and how to get the best performance on a daily basis out of your dog – how to have realistic expectations and then see them not only be achieved but continue to expand.

Agility training can be a great outlet for high energy, exceedingly smart dogs and it gives them what they need – a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Dogs really are no different than people. They need things in their lives that make them feel successful and that also burn off energy, keep them satisfied – a purpose. I believe truly that most dogs are working dogs – they were bred for something further back when and when you remove that ‘thing’ that they were supposed to do, I think you need to replace it with something else.

In the case of my malamutes, they pull – so they are involved most of the year in scootering and sledding – urban mushing. However, if we did not do that with them, I would definitely have gone into agility with Griffin – even though he is not the lightest dog on his feet! Truly it is about learning commands though and being able to execute them – and being successful!

Your instructors are Stephanie Morris, Michelle Kaptur and Jane Devlin – Jane taught all our puppy classes and we learned so much!

Classes offered at Desert Sage Agility:

Obedience for Agility – starting out class to get them ready for agility training focusing on paying attention as your commands have to be law. Dogs 4 months and above.

Agility 101 – beginning obstacle introduction at low heights and simple tasks

Agility 102 – full height obstacles and non-complex obstacles – most off-leash work with dogs

Novice Level – introduction to course analysis – preparing dog and handler for competition

Foundation for Competition – extensive impulse control work – geared at competition

Open/Intermediate Competition – class for folks competing in the open level of agility

Masters/Excellent Competition – encourages handler and dog to challenge themselves and requires long distance handling skills

STAR Puppy – socialization, training, activity, responsible dog ownership – for up to 1 year of age pups – for a malamute, Griff did okay!

Canine Good Citizen Workshop and Testing – making sure your dog has basic manners and skills – if you pass, you will get a certificate and it is accepted at many hotels as a sign that your dog is well mannered and acceptable!

Rally-O – obedience class geared towards the Outdoor Adventure class

Outdoor Adventure – practicing attention and behavior skills in the real world – in the park and on the trail

Off Leash Play ‘n Train – teaching you to know how to let your dogs play safely and when to know it’s time to recall your dog in situations such as dog parks

Dog Scootering Workshop – teach your dog how to run in front of you and pull with urban mushing commands. Training for skijoring, hiking, scootering and sledding

These gals are fantastic at what they do and they understand dogs and dog behavior – that is the best part. Check out their website and call Desert Sage Agility for more information.

They also do private lessons and problem dog counseling/work sessions. They also do focus groups and seminars. You can’t go wrong with this pet service for training on any level.

Jane Devlin especially has an extensive background with northern breeds and is a great teacher with training these dogs.

Phone: 541.633.6774

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Public domain photo

Central Oregon Pet Care Pros of Bend

We’ve covered a lot of services where you go to the place of business for the pet service – however, here is a great resource if you need someone to come to YOU.

Pet Care Pros does pet sitting at your home or ranch – for the usual pets such as dogs and cats but also livestock. This is a great situation if you need someone at your home or ranch taking care of things while you’re gone and watching out for your animals.

They also do home security checks.

There are many different service plans that Pet Care Pros offer – the first step is to have a consultation and Heather from Pet Care Pros will determine what level of care you are in need of and go from there.

Make sure you outline exactly what your needs are so that you get the most customized plan available for your animals.

Services Pet Care Pros offers:

Daytime visits
Overnight stays
Exercising and playing with pets
Checking on water and feeding
Pet cleanup
Medication and supplement administration
Diabetic shots or fluid administration if necessary
Basic cleanliness care if needed

Fees for Services:

Initial meet and greet visit – free
1 visit per day – $20
2 visits per day – $40
3 visits per day – $60
Daily dog walks – $20
Overnight stays – $70
Pet Taxi – $20

There are also some charges that apply such as mileage if over 14 miles, extra time required, after hours, before 7:00 a.m. visits, and holiday visits. They are all neatly enumerated on the website so check the website for more information.

This is a wonderful service and a definitely positive alternative to kenneling your dog or cat when you are away on vacation.

Should you pick an overnight option, you also have the added benefit of having someone stay in your home.

There is nothing better than a professional pet sitter and if you are in the market for one, give a call and arrange for a consult.

Email them with any questions regarding their unique pet sitting service at info@centraloregonpetcarepros.com

Phone: 541.480.3596

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Bend Pet Express – West –
133 SW Century Dr, Bend, OR 97702, USA
[get directions]

Your one-stop pet store stop for premium dog food, toys, equipment and more

Wet Pet Express –
420 NE Windy Knolls Dr, Bend, OR 97701, USA
[get directions]

Topnotch grooming available for all breeds or use the self-service dog wash

Strutt Your Mutt –
Bend, OR, USA
[get directions]

Pet happiness assured with quality pet sitting offered with a large dose of exercise

Bend Pet Express – East –
420 NE Windy Knolls Dr, Bend, OR 97701, USA
[get directions]

Pet store that specializes in premium pet food – delivery available in Bend and SunRiver

Desert Sage Agility –
24035 Dodds Rd, Bend, OR 97701, USA
[get directions]

Learn urban mushing, basic agility training, or go on to a competitive level in agility with your dog

Central Oregon Pet Care Pros –
Bend, OR, USA
[get directions]

Great alternative to kenneling your pet – they even pet sit for livestock

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Best Places to Get Pet Services in Central Oregon

As you can see, there are quite a few great places in Central Oregon to get pet services – from a great pet store to buy nutritious food and supplies for your dog to a great place to get him or her groomed (or do it yourself) – to a great place to kennel your dog or sign him or her up for doggie daycare – to a great place to learn the basics of obedience training or learn some other great canine sharing skills such as scootering or agility training.

There are many other fine pet services throughout Central Oregon – these just happen to be some of my personal favorites for the reasons listed above.  The pet services of Central Oregon that I have targeted all have the basic same philosophy as my own – there are no bad dogs just bad dog owners and I think that says it all. 

With proper discipline and lots of attention and love for our dogs, I believe they can only succeed and make us proud of them but more than that, we can also give them back some of what they give us so willingly – unconditional love. 

Wishing you success with these fine folks in Central Oregon!

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Strutt Your Mutt

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Central Oregon John Day National Monument

Central Oregon John Day National Monument

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

The John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is comprised of 3 separate entities – the Painted Hills, Sheep Rock, and the Clarno Unit. 

Each of the 3 entities has a unique history and is famous for different parts of this geological wonder of the United States. 

The entire monument encompasses 14,000 acres over 3 widely separated areas.  However, each is memorable in its own way.

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Painted Hills
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Sheep Rock
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Sheep Rock
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Painted Hills
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Blue Basin
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Clarno Unit – all courtesy NPS

The John Day Fossil Beds National Monument was created October 26, 1974 under the legislation passed by then serving president Gerald Ford. A national monument is different from a national park in that there are different criteria to be met and different legislation involved in creating a national monument.

Oftentimes in the past decades, presidents have created a national monument simply to override Congress or bypass them when they felt they were not taking swift enough action to ensure the safety of natural resources although this in itself has caused many uproars. For instance in Wyoming when it was done to protect Jackson Hole by then acting president Franklin Roosevelt, it caused such a rift that there now is no proclamation authority in Wyoming.

The creation of a national monument comes under the Antiquities Act
which was passed in 1906. This came into being because there was worry
that prehistoric and Native American ruins and artifacts on lands in the
West would be destroyed. This act allowed presidents to make the
proclamation unhindered that a site can be designated as a national
monument and thus would be protected (along with the objects or
antiquities).

However, this act also allowed the protection of ‘objects of
scientific interest’. Devil’s Tower in Wyoming was the first national
monument ever proclaimed by President Theodore Roosevelt. The Grand
Canyon was proclaimed a national monument in 1908 again by President
Teddy Roosevelt – this was a massive ‘object of scientific interest!’ It
later became part of the national park, however.

During President Jimmy Carter’s presidency, he proclaimed 15 national
monuments in Alaska in 1978. He did this after Congress had adjourned
and it caused another backlash; the proclamation authority is no longer
available in Alaska. Fortunately though, most of these national
monuments in Alaska were incorporated into many of the national parks
and wildlife preserves.

In 1996, President Bill Clinton proclaimed the Grand
Staircase-Escalante a national monument in Utah which was extremely
criticized. He went on to proclaim 16 which are managed by the Bureau of
Land Management rather than the National Park Service.

A president can also not only proclaim a site a national monument but
he can also request that one be enlarged. In 1965, Lyndon Johnson added
Ellis Island to the Statue of Liberty National Monument.

There are currently 100 national monuments in the United States – see them all here at wikipedia.

National monuments can be managed by any of these federal agencies –
Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, US Fish and
Wildlife Service, or the US Forest Service. Again, they can be declared
at the president’s discretion without the approval of Congress.
National monuments do, however, have less protection of wildlife usually
than within a national park, although national monuments can
incorporate vast areas of wilderness that will offer more protection
than a national park.

So What’s So Special About John Day Fossil Beds?

The John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is a treasure of geological wonders that have existed for the past (roughly) 65 million years! Paleontologists have had numerous archaeological digs uncovering all many different kinds of fossils over the years that have outlined the history preserved in the museums and exhibits in the monument.  

The semi-arid desert climate that is now associated with Central Oregon at one time was really a tropical rain forest and all manner of animals, birds and species of plants inhabited this area. It is also a reminder of the Native American heritage as can be seen in the uncovered pictographs.

The Painted Hills unit of the John Day Fossil Beds is an amazing site with its many different layers of volcanic rock and ash and the amazing colors it produces. At any given season of the year, you will see different colors. It is an almost spooky place to visit because of the quiet and the amazing sparseness of the landscape. Even in this vast wilderness, however, wildflowers somehow manage to take root and bloom in spring and fall. The hiking trails are easily accessible. In all of the units, leaving the trails is prohibited and pets must be on a leash.

The Clarno Unit is known for its hiking trails and most especially for the Blue Basin hiking area. Here you can see fossils in the rocks that have fallen and split apart.  The Blue Basin is a lake carved from volcanic ash that has turned to claystone now through centuries of erosion effects. Minerals give it its blue color – much as minerals give the Painted Hills their variety of colors.

The Sheep Rock Unit is most notable for its museum and tours. You can learn all you need to about the area at the Sheep Rock Unit. This unit also has some unique views and topography along with hiking trails.

Sheep Rock is near the town of Dayville while the Painted Hills are just outside of Mitchell. Lastly, the Clarno Unit is outside the town of Fossil. All 3 of these little rustic towns have a great deal to offer in terms of charm and character. While there are no campgrounds within the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, there are many nearby.

Summing It Up

There is no place quite like the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument and the 3 separate units that comprise it.  It is a unique place to visit and the natural beauty of it is stunning.  It is a great thing that some of these national treasures are being preserved for the world to see and learn from – it would be wonderful to see many of the other national monuments as well because they are all unique in what they show us.

The John Day area has over 50 species of birds, 40 species of mammals, 14 species of reptiles, 6 species of amphibians and 10 species of fish.  There are also over 240 plants and flowers that have managed to grow in this locale according to the National Park Service.  It is a beautiful place that literally will take your breath away.  There is much to see there and much to learn!

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Goodys Chocolates And Ice Cream-Prineville Oregon

Goody's Chocolates And Ice Cream-Prineville Oregon
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Ice cream sundae in a homemade waffle cone. It doesn’t get much better than this.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

Goody’s Chocolates and Ice Cream

This author has lived in Central Oregon for more than eight years but prior to that, this had been our family’s favorite vacation spot. We probably spent at least nine years vacationing in the Sunriver and Bend area bringing with us just about everyone we knew.

One of the most enjoyable parts of every vacation, winter, spring, fall or summer was enjoying the delectable goodies at Goody’s. We first discovered the Sunriver store but then found two more in Bend which we loved to frequent after a movie or a day on the river or out shopping.

Almost always, we took home candy of some variety as a memento of our trip which never lasted very long. Our daughter was partial to the stuffed animals that flourish in the Goody’s stores.

All that said, Goody’s is a special place for me and my family. Even our friends who visit from time to time insist that we stop in for ice cream or they want to take home chocolates or candies for someone special.

Is it any wonder then that we were thrilled when our little town actually got its very own Goody’s?

Location: 346 NW Deer Street / Prineville, OR 97754

Phone: 541.447.6955

Hours: M-F 10-8; Sat 11-8; Sun 11-6

Owner: Stephanie Fahlgren

Great place for families and outdoor seating is available.

Goody’s in Prineville Oregon

The owner of the Goody’s in Prineville is Stephanie Fahlgren and she has been in business two years come May 1st. Her shop has indeed been a wonderful addition to the people who live and work in Prineville.

All the Goody’s ice cream parlors have an old-time feel to them but the Prineville Goody’s is very special. The Prineville store is one of only two franchises though the only one in Central Oregon. The other is located in Beaverton, Oregon which is west of the mountains.

For those folks wondering where the Redmond Oregon store went, it was moved by the Danforths (who own Goody’s) and is now located in Eugene, west of the mountains.

Because it is a franchise, Stephanie had more leeway in terms of ordering what kinds of displays she wanted, cabinetry, etc. and the floor plan and color scheme are all her own doing. The result–walk right in and sit right down. You feel like you’re in an old-time ice cream parlor and you can just savor the moment–and the great food and treats.

The store itself is actually the same building that housed the Shrum Brothers Ford dealership back in 1963, when Stephanie and her family moved from the Oregon Coast to Prineville. Her father worked in the exact same building that Stephanie serves her customers in on a daily basis. That invites a bit of nostalgia knowing that here in this modern day store, there’s a wonderful connection to someone’s past.

The atmosphere in Goody’s is relaxed and comforting. It’s the kind of place that makes you want to relax and stay awhile instead of rushing out to do this and that. The choices are astronomical so you’d best allow a lot of time to mull over your possibilities.

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Goody’s gives you the old time feel of the old soda fountain days.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages
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Step up the counter and consider your many possibilities.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

Baked Goods at Goody’s Prineville

Unique to the Goody’s stores, the Prineville Goody’s has many outstanding choices for baked goods.

For instance, order a bouquet of beautiful cupcakes as shown in the photo. They make an incredibly breathtaking centerpiece for any occasion. The baked goods are done by local baking wizard Tina Greiner.

Other delicious items include

Cupcakes like the Red Velvet in the photo
Pineapple upside down muffins
Breads like jalapeno cheddar and honey wheat

If you don’t see what you’d like, be sure and inquire about placing an order. Stephanie and the folks that work with her do an outstanding job of providing quality baked items that are delicious to eat and gorgeous works of culinary art.

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Try a unique cupcake bouquet. This makes a beautiful centerpiece.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages
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Fresh baked cupcakes. Try the Red Velvet and taste a bit of heaven.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages
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Upside down pineapple muffins. Oh so delish.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

Lunch at Goody’s

Unlike the other Goody’s stores, Prineville’s store also offers items like homemade soup daily. Since I happen to be a huge fan of soup, it’s so nice to know I can stop in or have my husband grab me a bowl of soup at a reasonable price on a winter day. So far, I’ve sampled the chicken soup and the clam chowder and give them both two spoons up.

The menu will also be expanding later in March 2013 to include other food items so not only can folks come in and get their ice cream or chocolate fix but they can also eat something healthy and delicious…first.

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Goody’s not only serves up desserts. You can get a delicious bowl of soup and more.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

The Chocolates of Goody’s

The pictures do not do justice to the magnificent kinds of chocolate you’ll find in any Goody’s store.

Stephanie orders her candy and chocolates mostly through the factory store which is located in Bend, Oregon on Division Street. (Self-guided tours are available every day of the week except Wednesdays and large group tours are available on Wednesdays).

This author’s favorite (since I can’t eat chocolate) though is Goody’s dairy caramels. They are probably three times the size of regular caramels you buy in the store and are melt in your mouth soft and creamy. Low calorie of course!

Chocolates are for sale by the pound and they come in just about every flavor imaginable. The chocolate peppermint bark is a favorite in our family while some prefer the peanut butter cups or the chocolate covered cherries.

No one can resist the truffles though or the peanut clusters but there are so many choices you simply have to keep coming back again and again to experience the magic.

Have the chocolate packaged in boxes for shipping or just buy a wee box for yourself to nibble on from time to time. You won’t be disappointed.

Goody’s chocolates are about as pure as you can get. There are no preservatives used and no wax. This does have an effect on shipping though (see below).

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Chocolate peanut butter clusters waiting for someone to enjoy.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages
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Peanut butter cups never had it so good.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages
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Pick 1 green, 1 orange, 1 red, 1 white. You could go on forever.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages
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Chocolate covered cherries waiting to be picked.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages
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Chocolate is Goody’s middle name.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages
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Try a bite of this chocolate peppermint bark.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

Popcorn and Caramel Corn at Goody’s

All Goody’s stores carry caramel corn and different flavors of popcorn such as cheese popcorn. It’s sold by the bag in varying sizes from small to large.

The Bend store has many different kinds of popcorn and you can find a virtual cornucopia of popcorns there.

However, for the popcorn connoisseur of Prineville, you’ll find enough to get you by right here in town.

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Homemade popcorn in several flavors also available in different sizes.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages
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Need some gumballs?
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

Goody’s Candies

Just about any kind of candy you can imagine is sitting in a jar at Goody’s. If it’s gumballs or mini M&Ms you’re after, you need look no further.

For a baby shower I’m throwing next week, I’m taking some sweet and sour candies shaped like pacifiers and some Lego candies. Much like sweettarts, they’re a nice little addition to the table and a conversation piece as well.

If you like old fashioned peppermint sticks, you’re in business. Or go for the gusto and try the multi-colored licorice or the crystal pops.

Kids usually are on overload after a trip to the Goody’s store no matter how old as there are just too many sugary choices. In moderation though, it’s all good–literally. Buy it by the pound or 1/4 pound if you’re really trying to be good and take some home to enjoy a bit at a time.

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Candy jars abound at Prineville Goody’s. One of many pretty and yummy choices.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages
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Just some of the jars of candy available.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

Special Occasion Candies

No matter what the season, you’ll always find seasonally appropriate offerings at all the Goody’s stores.

Right now as we head into spring, Stephanie has her little Easter Goody’s bags on display. They make you forget it’s still wintertime and just the colors alone make you feel warmer.

These darling bags of candy make great gifts for young and old and of course are filled with the famous Goody’s chocolates and candies. You can’t miss with a gift like this.

Think Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day gifts as well. This is a great little store to visit in person or on line to send someone a very sweet gift.

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Seasonal items are always available like these little Easter bundles.
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Low fat but still delicious.
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Goody’s Ice Cream

Part of the whole story of Goody’s is the fabulous ice cream they make. The store in Bend makes all the ice creams and toppings like the hot fudge, caramel and butterscotch to name a few.

Each store makes their own waffle cones and bowls though and of course at certain times of the day, you can smell them baking on the waffle irons.

Have a sundae or an ice cream cone stuffed full of homemade ice cream in all kinds of flavors. My favorite is a low fat caramel with nuts. Even without the toppings or getting a sundae, it’s heaven in a cone or in a dish.

Take home some handpacked ice cream for later but don’t forget to buy a jar or two of the toppings.

Several restaurants in Bend also proudly serve Goody’s ice cream on their dessert menu. It’s just that good!

The Painted Hills, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Oregon
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Goody’s Fresh Gourmet Fudge

As if the chocolates, the popcorns, and the ice creams were not enough, Prineville’s own Goody’s also makes fudge. Not just fudge, but incredible flavors of fudge.

Stephanie currently makes fudge for all the Goody’s stores. I’d personally never heard of some of these kinds of fudge:

Peppermint fudge
Apple pie fudge
Rocky Road fudge
Banana Nut fudge
Peanut Butter Chocolate fudge

You can buy it a piece at a time or buy a lovely box to enjoy later yourself or give to that special someone with a sweet tooth.

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Need a gift? Nothing says love like Goody’s fudge.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages
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Try one of many flavors of homemade fudge.
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Gifts at Goody’s

Also synonymous with the Goody’s name is the amazingly darling and affordable stuffed animals and toys you can find in the stores.

When our kids were small, every vacation was marked by taking home one special toy or stuffed animal from one of the stores. The Prineville store is no different although Stephanie seems to have an ecclectic batch of stuffed friends I’ve not seen anywhere else.

I’m counting the days until my grandson arrives so I can buy him a special dog stuffed animal though the porcupine, the bee and the bull have definitely caught my eye. As if the candy, the chocolate and the ice cream aren’t enough to draw children in, most definitely the unique stuffed animals on display is worth the trip.

A basket with a stuffed animal and jelly beans or gummy bears makes a great gift for those kids’ birthdays when you don’t know what to get.

Even grownups can enjoy the stuffed animals especially when they come with a clever sign such as this one.

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Don’t leave without a stuffed animal~!
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

Another cute gift idea are these sweet scented soy candles…but a word to the wise….don’t try them on your ice cream sundaes. Buy the real stuff instead.

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Got toppings? Don’t use these though as they’re scented candles~!
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

Soda Fountain Menu at Goody’s

True to soda fountain days, if you’re local or just passing through, come in and sample some of these delights:

Cones–plain and waffle
Dishes of ice cream–plain or in a waffle bowl
Italian cream sodas
Genuine ice cream sodas
Sundaes–like turtle, hot fudge and caramel
Splits–traditional and others–with all the toppings
Ice cream bars–hand dipped
Frozen chocolate dipped bananas
Prepacked ice cream
Handpacked ice cream
Shakes and malts
Floats
Egg creams
Fountain drinks like sour phosphates or strawberry lemonade

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Goody’s is synonymous with Central Oregon.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

Stop in if you’re visiting or passing through the area heading east or west on Highway 26.

You won’t be disappointed as here you’ll find homemade ice creams, chocolates and toppings and so much more.

If you need a great place to stop and have dinner first before indulging in dessert, try Prineville’s brewery, Solstice Brewing Company. You won’t be disappointed there either. Great food at a great price and you can’t beat the beer.

Visit stores in the following cities: (or visit them on line at goodyschocolates.com)

Sunriver
Downtown Bend
East Bend
Prineville
Eugene
Beaverton
Boise, Idaho

Of note, because Goody’s chocolates have no preservatives and no waxes, shipments cannot be made to places where the temperature is over 80 degrees.

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Bowman Museum Prineville –
Bowman Museum, 246 North Main Street, Prineville, OR 97754, USA
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Goody’s Chocolates & Ice Cream –
346 Northwest Deer Street, Prineville, OR 97754, USA
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Hiking In Central Oregon – The Blue Basin Trails

Hiking In Central Oregon - The Blue Basin Trails
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Approaching the heart of the Blue Basin.
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Sheep Rock Unit and the Blue Basin

The Blue Basin and its trails are part of the Sheep Rock Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument located in Central Oregon.

Surprisingly, not many people know about the Blue Basin. The John Day Fossil Beds NM is composed of 3 different units–the Painted Hills Unit (probably the most popular and well known), the Clarno Unit and the Sheep Rock Unit.

While you can see “blue” hills along the back roads traveling within the confines of the 14,000 acres that comprise the monument, you’ll miss the Blue Basin entirely if you don’t hike in on the trails.

The John Day National Monument is an amazing trip back in time and the incredible scenery makes it definitely something any photographer would enjoy. However, due to the nature of the three units being so spread out, it’s recommended that people try and see one unit in a day’s time. Two might be doable if the days are long and the weather cooperative, but doing all three units in a day is not recommended. There’s simply too much to see and do, especially if you factor in the driving between units.

One of the best ways to see any of the units is to hike the trails. Every unit has unique trails of varying difficulty and length. A few are wheelchair accessible as well.

Do keep in mind that the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is literally out in the middle of nowhere so plan accordingly. Camping, food, lodging and gas are available in the towns near the individual units but nothing is available within the NM itself.

Sheep Rock Unit/Blue Basin = Dayville, Oregon
Painted Hills Unit = Mitchell, Oregon
Clarno Unit = Fossil, Oregon

Contact the National Park Service, Department of the Interior for more information.

Park Headquarters: 32651 Highway 19, Kimberly, Oregon 97848 (Cant Ranch)

Phone: 541-987-2333

Website: nps.gov/joda

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Some of the “blue” hills you might see from the road.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages
OREGON HISTORY OF JOHN DAY FOSSIL BEDS IN NATIONAL MONUMENT, 1996
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NEW One Hundred Hikes in the Central Oregon Cascades – Sullivan, William L.
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Blue Basin and Sheep Rock Trails

The Blue Basin part of the Sheep Rock Unit has two trails. There are other trails within the Sheep Rock Unit and in the general vicinity listed below as well.

Island in Time Trail – 1 mile – flat terrain, leads you into the heart of the Blue Basin and ends at a bench where you can sit and look at the ancient “city” of rock formations. Along the trail, you’ll find fossil exhibits and information about the rocks and their history.
Blue Basin Overlook Trail – 3 miles and climbs roughly 600 feet – longest trail in the area and is moderate to strenuous though has benches to stop and take a rest along the way. This gives the best up-top view of the Blue Basin.
Foree Area Flood of Fire Trail – 1/4 mile – north of the Blue Basin Trails. Have a caution as there is a steep cliff at the end of the trail.
Foree Story in Stone Trail – 1/4 mile – accessible – exhibits with fossils along trail.
Mascall Formation Overlook Trail – south of the Blue Basin near Dayville at the junction of Highway 26 and State Route 19 – fossil exhibits and overlook point.
Thomas Condon Center Overlook Trail – 1/4 mile leaving parking lot at the center.
Don’t forget Picture Gorge along State Route 19.

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Cathedral Rock is located between Foree and the Blue Basin.
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Old growth trees dot the landscape as well.
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Watch for fossils on display.
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Hiking Trails within the John Day NM

There are some simple things to keep in mind when hiking anywhere within the John Day National Monument, no matter what trail you’re on or what unit you happen to be visiting.

Fossils are protected by law and must not be removed or disturbed
Digging for fossils is prohibited unless you have a research permit
This also includes plants, animals and rocks–all are protected by law
Stay on the trails! Fragile vegetation is present throughout the units and should not be disturbed
Dogs are welcome on leash at all times — waste clean up should be done and bring plenty of water for pets and humans
Keep in mind that spring and fall are the most temperate for visiting the units. In summertime, the temperatures soar and the rock formations become a literal baking clay oven
With increased temperatures, rattlesnakes are plentiful so beware–especially with dogs on the trail, it can be dangerous if they like to root around in bushes. This author took a trail at Clarno at the end of March and there had already been a rattlesnake seen on the trail
Wear appropriate attire in terms of good shoe gear, hats or sunglasses and wear sunscreen as the Central Oregon sun is unrelenting
Keep in mind that there are very limited services and that most of the fossil bed units are in remote locations – if medical care is an issue (or veterinary care), it could be a dangerous spot to be in
Drinking water is available at all picnic areas in spring and fall
Trails and picnic areas are open year round during daylight hours
There is no camping within the monument but there are campgrounds nearby as well as hotels and/or lodges
On the trails, be on the watch for rattlers, black widow spiders, ticks, scorpions and puncture vine – ticks are especially prevalent in this area
Fishing is allowed within the monument with a current fishing license
Contact the park staff regarding guns and hunting
There is private land within the park – stay out where posted
Remember–no off trail hiking! This is not a place to “leave your footprint!”

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Keep dogs on the trail as rattlers and ticks abound here.
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Sheep Rock Unit

There is much to see within every unit of the John Day Fossil Beds. The Sheep Rock Unit is no exception.

Take some of the back roads and byways and take in the beautiful scenery.

You might get lucky and see some of the following:

Mule deer
Pronghorn antelope
Rattlesnakes – do not approach for any reason – though smaller than some species, they are just as venomous if not more so
Cougars or mountain lions
Bald eagles
Rocky Mountain elk
Steelhead salmon

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Look closely–there are 2 pronghorn standing in a mirror pose.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

Where Did Sheep Rock Get Its Name?

Sheep rock got its name from the fact that the first settlers to the area, the Cants, found that raising sheep was quite conducive to this part of the countryside.

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Sheep Rock used to be home to flocks and flocks of sheep.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

More Views Inside the Blue Basin

The views along the trails inside the Blue Basin are mesmerizing.

The absolute quiet is also equally amazing and lulls one into a sense of peace and tranquility.

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Come along the trails and marvel at the rock formations.
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Hiker’s view of the canyon.
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The rock formations dazzling in their diversity.
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Dried clay river bed.
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Breathtaking views of the rock formations inside the Blue Basin.
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“Bell” formation of some of the walls within the Blue Basin.
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The rock formation I coined the “Birdhouse.”
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Sit on the bench at the end of the trail and reflect on the wonder of this place.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

Wonder of the World – John Day Fossil Beds

For an amazing journey through the John Day National Monument, watch the video below. Breathtaking doesn’t describe what you can see in this part of the country.

Visit the Cant Ranch at the Sheep Rock Unit

Call the National Park Service for operating hours as they have changed with recent government cutbacks.

This is a great place to visit with groups and/or school groups. Make reservations for tours of the ranch to get a sense of the history of the region.

Elizabeth and James Cant came to the United States from Scotland in the early 1900’s and the ranch itself was built in 1917.

The Cant Family donated it to the National Park Service in the 1970’s.

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The Cant Ranch, donated by the Cant Family and now home to the Park Service.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

A Room with a View

The grounds of the Cant Ranch are immacutely maintained and a treasure trove of history.

The view from the back of the ranch.

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View of Sheep Rock from the Cant Ranch.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

Historical Farm Equipment

The Cant Ranch has many interesting pieces of farm equipment scattered around the confines of the ranch.

This is just one old piece of equipment on display at the ranch.

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Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

Thomas Condon Paleontology Center

No trip to Sheep Rock would be complete without stopping by the Thomas Condon Center. This beautiful building is set at the base of Sheep Rock and does offer a 1/2 mile trail as well from the center.

However, for a learning experience you won’t forget, take a tour of the center and indulge in all the interpretive exhibits. Don’t miss the 20 minute movie either detailing the history and geology of the area.

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The Thomas Condon Paleontology Center is worth the trip!
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

See How Fossils are Found

It’s an incredibly tedious process to uncover a fossil. Here you can get a bird’s eye view of just how long it takes to uncover something buried in rock.

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Incredibly tedious work, fossil discovery is worth the effort.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

Inside the Paleontology Center

Just some of the fascinating exhibits within the center.

Call for information on tours and operating hours as they have changed.

Ample parking is available for large groups and/or buses and motorhomes.

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One of many exhibits of fossils.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages
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One of eight beautiful murals depicting prior life in the area.
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Animal tracks frozen in time.
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One of the many skulls found amongst the rock and clay.
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Small tortoise on display.
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Where are the John Day Units Located?

This map gives a good general idea of how spread out the three units are within the John Day NM.

Take the time to visit all three but give yourself ample time to hike and observe all that you can in each one.

The John Day Fossil Beds represent 1 of 390 parks in the National Park Service. Of the 390, there are 232 national parks that have fossils.

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Map showing location of the 3 units within the John Day NM.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

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Dayville Oregon –
Dayville, OR 97825, USA
[get directions]

Fossil Oregon –
Fossil, OR 97830, USA
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Mitchell Oregon –
Mitchell, OR 97750, USA
[get directions]

Painted Hills Oregon –
Painted Hills, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Oregon 97750, USA
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Sheep Rock, John Day Fossil Beds –
Sheep Rock, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Oregon 97825, USA
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Palisades John Day Fossil Beds –
The Palisades, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Oregon 97830, USA
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Green Water at the Blue Basin

Painted Hills of Central Oregon

Painted Hills of Central Oregon

Painted Hills – Central Oregon Travel

If you are looking for a unique place to visit, The Painted Hills of Central Oregon is the place to visit! Because of the fairly arid climate of Central Oregon, it is a great place to see at any time of the year, although in winter, dependent upon the winter conditions, you can encounter snow – at least in getting there, so always check the weather forecast.

The Painted Hills of Central Oregon is part of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument and is one of those one-of-a-kind places you can never forget once you have seen it. There is an eerie quality to the 14,000 acre parcel but the beauty of the tableau leaves you speechless.

Another part of the John Day Fossil Beds equally beautiful and worth seeing is Sheep Rock.  Finally, there is the Clarno Unit which is the third part of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.

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Flowers in the Gullies, Painted Hills, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Oregon, USA Photographic Poster Print by Charles Sleicher, 12×16
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The most noticeable feature of the Painted Hills is the unbelievable combination of geological features. This part of Central Oregon got its start 30-40 million years ago and from the fossils that have been uncovered, it is believed that rather than the arid desert climate we now have here, this entire area was once a lush, tropical forest which received 100 inches of rain per year and was home to such inhabitants as tigers and crocodiles.

It is hard to imagine but as a result of the many volcanic eruptions over time and the evolution from these eruptions as well as those from the Cascades, the variegated Painted Hills were formed. To my eye, they have always resembled inverted Jello molds in their variety of colors and stripes. It was almost as if someone hand-painted them and molded them to arrive at these odd shapes and bumps. People we have taken to see them all have a different interpretation – someone sees a walrus, someone else sees a mummy waiting to come out of the ground.

The reds in the hills are said to come from iron oxides. The greens come from blue clay and the yellows are from reduced irons. The buff or pale colors are said to be the color of the original ash that was spewed from the volcanoes.

American Indians lived in the John Day Valley for many, many years and consisted mainly of 2 tribes – the Plateau and the Great Basin or Paiute cultures. Then the area was discovered as part of the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1805. The area unfortunately was over-grazed in the 1800’s as a result of the gold rush coming to the area when cattle and other farm animals were introduced to feed the gold miners. This has resulted in many species of plant life becoming extinct as they could not regenerate, but some have come back and are unique to only this area of the world.

The National Park Service took over management in 1975 and today, with local ranchers, the National Park Service and conservation groups, the push is on to reduce plants that are taking over and bring back indigenous species, and to enhance fish habitat as the area was once abundant with salmon and steel-head trout.

It is a place to visit if you are interested in geology as finer geological wonders would be hard to find. If you enjoy hiking, it is a wonderful place to hike and as a part of the entire John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, there is a lot to see. As well, if you are a botanist, there is a vast array of species to observe at any time of year.

OREGON HISTORY OF JOHN DAY FOSSIL BEDS IN NATIONAL MONUMENT, 1996
Current Bid: $6.00
John Day Fossil Beds National Monument NEW
Current Bid: $55.88

Mitchell, Oregon and Mitchell Trivia

As noted below, there are cities 50-80 miles away but Mitchell, Oregon is actually the gateway to the Painted Hills. Mitchell is a city of approximately 175 people.

From http://mitchelloregon.us/mitchell.html

Mitchell was established in the 1860s as a stage stop along the Dalles Military Road, and named in 1873 for John H. Mitchell, a former Oregon Senator.

Oregon’s historic Dalles Military Road is where wagons worked Oregon’s first goldfields, U.S. cavalry had outposts, and Indian tribes defended their ground.

One of the town’s noteworthy events involves the Mitchell Bank, which still stands – It was the last bank in the entire U.S. to close its doors during the Great Depression – and was also the only bank in the county to still pay a 2 cent dividend!

Oregon’s only known Plesiosaur – a 25 foot-long marine carnivore that lived during the age of dinosaurs – was found near Mitchell!

Today, Mitchell is a reminder of the Old West. The community has an Old West ambiance with part of the town situated on bluffs above the lower part. The town has a community hall heated by a wood stove, a city park adjacent to Bridge Creek, a century-old mercantile, a twisted juniper furniture shop and other downtown businesses. Don’t blink though – you might miss the whole city as it encompasses less than a city block!

They have a resident Black Bear, Henry, who was rescued by one of their residents. Since Henry was declawed as a cub, he could not be returned to the wild, and today has good care and provides joy for all ages that come by to see him. Wild turkeys, quail and deer share our town and you might even see our resident guinea hen knocking on the Post Office door with her beak.

Historic buildings include the Sally Winebarger House that was built in 1874-84 by O.S. Boardman that the town of Boardman was named for. Sally and Hiram Winebarger purchased it in 1909 and Sally lived there until her death in 1975 at the age of 97. As part of our restoration projects, they are hoping to restore this building as the Sally Winebarger Museum.

Mitchell is the Gateway to the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument which is comprised of the Sheep Rock Unit in Dayville, Oregon (about 35 miles east of Mitchell), the Painted Hills Unit (located 9 miles northwest of Mitchell) and the Clarno Unit about 8 miles west of Fossil, Oregon (Fossil is about 40 miles northwest of Mitchell). The Monument is one of North America’s most significant paleontological research areas.

Mitchell is flanked by 3 new wilderness areas. The Ochoco Divide of the Ochoco Mountains is located 16 miles West of Mitchell, in the Ochoco National Forest. The Ochoco Mountains have towering Evergreen forests and various snow parks offering great opportunities for cross-country skiing, sledding and snowmobiling. The Ochoco Nordic Club of Prineville offers classes and organizes cross country skiing trips throughout the winter. In early summer this region is great for morel mushroom hunting, and hiking.

Highways 19/207 is a scenic route known as The Journey Through Time Scenic Byway. Hwy 207 starts just north of Mitchell. This Scenic Byway offers many places to pull over for camera buffs and wildlife watchers.

Mitchell is well known for its spectacular geologic features such as large rock outcrops that tower near town. Be sure to look for Bailey’s Butte, Mitchell Rock and Bear Rock just West of town.

Mitchell is home to the Annual Painted Hills Festival every Labor Day weekend. All day western old fashioned fun, marathon, walk, 5k, 10k, jail, vendors, contests, shows, food, street dance, live music and much, much more!

For a place to stay, http://theoregonhotel.net/ – it’s a one-of-a-kind hotels and many people rave about their stay there!

Cities Close to the Painted Hills

CITY 
MILES AWAY 
Burns, Oregon 
57  
Hines, Oregon 
58 
Baker City, Oregon 
61 
La Grande, Oregon
76
Pendleton, Oregon
86

Summing It Up

Central Oregon is a beautiful place to live but also a beautiful place to visit.  There are so many recreational opportunities and it is certainly a departure from the buzz of city life.  The mountains, the lakes, the streams, the forests and the miles and miles of wideopen spaces all combine to make you feel that you stepped back in time to a quieter place.  Even though the area is high mountain desert, the beautiful thing about the climate is that no matter how hot it gets during the day in summer, it always cools back off at night – and no humidity!  Come for a visit – Central Oregon is calling!

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Best Vacation Spots In Oregon: Experience SunRiver Oregon Vacation Destination

Best Vacation Spots In Oregon: Experience SunRiver Oregon Vacation Destination

Sunriver Oregon

Sunriver Oregon has much to offer for the vacationer at any time of the year.  Sunriver is a favorite spot for many for summer family vacations, ski get-away weekends, or whatever suits your fancy.  Experience Sunriver Oregon and all that it has to offer. 

If outdoor activities are up your alley, Sunriver Oregon offers many ammenities and unique experiences, no matter what the season.

If you are looking for a totally soothing place to spend vacation time or you need a place for a business trip venue, Sunriver Oregon fits the bill.

Sunriver Resort Photo: Public Domain

Visit Sunriver Oregon

Sunriver Oregon is roughly 15 miles south of the city of Bend Oregon located in beautiful Central Oregon.

Sunriver and Central Oregon boast at least 300 clear and sunny days per year. Summertime temperatures can reach into the 100s but at night, everything cools back down and temperatures fall to 30-40 degrees. Even better – there is NO humidity.

Sunriver is located in the high mountain desert terrain of Oregon. It is at the base of the Cascade Mountain Range and close to many of the state’s prime recreational areas.

Sunriver is a private resort community of roughly 3300 acres that was developed in the 1980s. The total resident population is approximately 1800 but at any given time, there are many more people in residence in the form of vacationing patrons.

There are countless vacation homes, condos, cabins and rooms to rent within the confines of Sunriver, from inexpensive to top-of-the-line executive style homes complete with all the luxuries. Most all of the Sunriver rentals come with passes to several community pools; some come with passes to the health club and spa, and some come with discounts to the 2 golf courses.

Sunriver Oregon boasts more then 35 miles of paved bike paths. These are well marked paths and traverse all around the community of Sunriver. Most places that you rent in Sunriver provide residents with bikes as well. If they don’t, you can rent them in the village.

Sunriver has its own little mall and 2 small but well-stocked grocery stores, one of them also a small gas station. In the mall portion of Sunriver is an excellent bakery, several restaurants and some shops for browsing or picking up necessities.

The Sunriver Lodge provides excellent fine dining experiences or a pub-style atmosphere in the lounge. There is also a cafe and a gift shop that is always stocked with unique offerings. Most importantly, you can arrange through Sunriver Lodge to catch a ski bus, arrange for river rafting trips, horseback riding and many other activities.

There are so many things to do in Sunriver that it is usually preferable to stay at least a week. There is that much to do. Added to that is the fact that Bend is just 15 miles away where you can also find countless topnotch entertainment, recreational, dining and shopping venues.

Besides the 2 golf courses within Sunriver, there is another beautiful golf course minutes away at Crosswater. There are also several other golf courses as close as 10 minutes away, and as far as 1-1/2 hours away. Sunriver, Central Oregon in general, is a golfer’s paradise and many people flock to Sunriver and Bend just for golfing.

Sunriver even has its own small airport; some of the residents in Sunriver on the outer perimeter own homes with hangars attached.

Most vacation rentals in Sunriver also offer their own outdoor hot tub. Rentals also come with all the ammenities such as cooking and dining equipment and usually offer a barbecue as well.

While Sunriver is a resort community, it has the feel of something more along the lines of a wonderful vacation spot all your own in the embrace of the forest. The added beauty of the nearby Deschutes River and Mt. Bachelor have made it one of the most popular vacation spots in all of Oregon.

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Sunriver Oregon Summer Ideas

Hit the trails and bike on all kinds of beautiful trails – 35+ miles of paved paths
Video or photograph coyotes which are abundant in the area
Take a soak in your own vacation hot tub and watch the stars
Rent a canoe down at the marina and float the Deschutes River
Go to the observatory in Sunriver and watch the stars
Rent a raft at the marina and float the Deschutes River
Fish in the Deschutes River
Go to the High Desert Museum located back towards Bend about 10 miles
Sign up and go on the Palina Plunge – a bike-tour of 6 waterfalls
Sign up to go on an all-day ride into the mountains on horseback (or overnight)
Go on a trail ride for 2 hours
Sign up for a river rafting adventure – 3 hour, all-day, and overnight trips
Go shopping in the mall and pick up some fresh donuts at the Hot Lava Baking Company
Lay out on your deck and read
Go for a work-out at Mavericks Athletic Club
Have dinner at the Trout House for views of the Deschutes River and Mt. Bachelor
Take a fly fishing lesson – sign up in the mall
Try the climbing wall at Mavericks
Experience the wave maker pool at Mavericks
Stay home and play board games and cook a family dinner
Watch a video after a long day in the sun
Sign up for a massage and facial at Sage Springs
Check out the many golf courses in the area
Go to see the Lava Caves just south of Bend
Visit Lava Land just south of Bend
Play tennis on the many tennis courts in Sunriver
Take a picnic and go to hike at Smith Rock
Sign up for an urban mushing lesson at Tumnatki Siberian Huskies

Sunriver Oregon Winter Ideas

Have a warm fire in your cabin, vacation home or condo
Schedule a business seminar and enjoy the winter wonderland
Have dinner at the Sunriver Lodge with its beautiful views
Take the bus from Sunriver Lodge to Mt. Bachelor for nordic or alpine skiing
Cross-country ski on the paths in Sunriver
Go on a dog sledding outing
Build snowmen and enjoy the beauty of winter in the forest
Go ice-skating in the mall
Go sledding on the snowy hills
Stroll to Sunriver Lodge at night and see the beautiful light display
Sit in the lobby of Sunriver Lodge and admire the 2 huge Christmas trees
Go shopping in Bend
Go snow-shoeing
Take in a movie at the many theaters in Bend
Experience the many fine dining establishments in Bend
Take a starlit snow-shoeing tour in Sunriver
Sign up for a horse drawn carriage ride at the stables
Visit the Old Mill District in Bend
Go up to Mt. Bachelor for cross-country skiing
Drive north of Bend to Smith Rock for a winter hike
Experience the observatory in Sunriver in winter
Sign up for a sledding outing or a lesson with Tumnatki Siberian Huskies
Volunteer or go to a dog sled race

Summing Up Sunriver Oregon

Sunriver Oregon was designed to be a vacation paradise and that it is! It is a lovely way to spend vacation time or even participate in business seminars.  Sunriver Lodge offers a fantastic business facility.

You will always find plenty to do at Sunriver and will leave refreshed from your time in the high mountain desert, no doubt wanting to return again soon.

Sunriver is a magical place and once you’re there, it’s very hard to leave. Most all of the vacation homes are exquisite and the amenities are just unparalleled. For a unique experience, stay at the Sunriver Lodge or some of their cabins.

Whether it is for a vacation, a wedding, or a meeting, Sunriver has all you could ask for and more. Happy vacationing, happy traveling!

{“lat”:43.884007,”lng”:-121.438637,”zoom”:11,”mapType”:”HYBRID”,”markers”:[]}
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Oregon Badlands Wilderness Study Area

Oregon Badlands Wilderness Study Area
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The Badlands WSA is located less than 20 miles east of Bend.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

Badlands of Central Oregon

If you’re looking for a place of solitude and peace, the Oregon Badlands Wilderness Study Area is the place to visit.

Situated less than 20 miles east of the bustling city of Bend, Oregon lies this vast incredibly desolate area known as the Badlands by locals.

Designated as a wilderness area as recently as 2009 by President Obama, it encompasses nearly 30,000 acres of old growth trees.

On a recent sunny and cold January day, the Oregon Badlands felt like the kind of place for a commune with nature and a great opportunity to capture some of the world’s oldest trees.

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View within the Badlands WSA.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages
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Snags are abundant in the WSA.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

Badlands Old Growth Juniper Forest

Normally when people hear the term old-growth forest, they think of towering trees with a few rays of light interspersed glancing in from the high canopies of branches and leaves above.

Contrary to that picture, the Badlands Wilderness Study Area is not your typical old growth forest. However, don’t be fooled. It’s one of the oldest juniper forests in Oregon as well as the world.

On traversing the trails or even driving along the highways that border the WSA, one can find juniper trees of just about any age rooted in the sandy soil. The sandy ground covering is actually ash that traveled all the way from Crater Lake when Mt. Mazama blew thousands of years ago.

The old-growth juniper forests of Central Oregon are thought to be somewhere between 1000 and 1600 years old. Many ranchers and farmers throughout Oregon in general hate juniper trees because young trees can sap water tables of much needed sources of irrigation quickly. They seem to sprout up literally everywhere and as young trees, are rather spindly and thin.

However, as juniper trees grow, they subsist on roughly 9-14 inches of rainfall per year in this high mountain desert climate no matter what their size and how old they grow. Much like people in many cases, the older the junipers become, the more personality they assume.

Juniper trees come in many different looks. As the top photo illustrates, you’ll see a fair share of beautifully symmetrical very tall trees with lush foliage (and thousands of juniper berries) dominating that part of the landscape fronted by broken branches or stumps.

For most folks, though, it’s the older junipers that hold the story or trigger the photographer’s shutter.

Older juniper trees are remarkable photo ops for their gnarled and broken bark. They may be completely devoid of leaves and replete with broken branches. They may have trunks that seem to be two trees when in fact it’s just a twisting and turning of the bark latching on to itself to stay upright as it grows.

Trees are not close together in an old growth juniper forest but rather are spread out and form a rather isolative and lonely landscape.

Juniper trees at all stages in their lives provide homes for birds and small animals, shelter from storms that come up quickly in the desert climate, and even lush banquets for wintering robins and other berry-eating animals like the coyote.

Seemingly dead snags are still very much alive though they have lost their ability to grow leaves and now must subsist on extremely small amounts of water. They are part of the delicate desert ecosystem along with other scruffy specimens such as sagebrush, rabbit brush and various kinds of bunch grasses.

In springtime, the area abounds with color as the various wildflowers bloom.

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Badlands WSA Facts

Located 16-18 miles east of Bend (part of Department of Interior, under auspices of Bureau of Land Management)
Encompasses almost 30,000 acres
Spans two counties–Deschutes and Crook
Elevation roughly a little less than 4000 feet
Declared a wilderness area in 2009 by President Barack Obama
No off-highway vehicles allowed
No bicycles are allowed
Horseback riding and hiking are allowed
Camping is not allowed within the wilderness area
All hikes are relatively flat and do not ascend more than 75 feet
Trails are not well marked nor maintained–compasses and/or GPS are encouraged
Rockhounding and hunting are not allowed (though permits for hunting are sometimes issued)
Walking single file is not recommended especially when going off trail
Disorientation is a common problem on the trails within the wilderness area
Oregon Badlands WSA is 1 of 47 Oregon wilderness areas and 1 of 756 nationwide

See the video at the end of this article to hear about what makes the Oregon Badlands distinguishable as a wilderness area and what unique qualities it has.

Story of the Stumps

Part and parcel of the vast and rugged landscape of the Central Oregon Badlands Wilderness area is the number of stumps one can find.

Just as no two trees look alike in the Badlands, no two stumps look alike either. All are in a constant state of flux as nature works her magic on them.

Below, a stump that is very much alive with lichen.

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Lichen on stump Oregon Badlands.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

Another stump showing the sandy soil that covers the Badlands Wilderness Study Area. This soil makes it more difficult to see animal tracks and even the trail as with gusts of wind, the sand can move and erase what has been.

A great plus for hiking in snow in the Badlands area is that you can easily see animal tracks of many different species and see the footprints you made on the way in on the trail.

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Stump and sandy soil Oregon Badlands.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

Snow, even a thin layer, brings the ground to life. It also lends interesting perspectives to the stumps for great photo opportunities.

This particular stump close up almost looks like several animal faces with their mouths open. This author could imagine a rabbit or another small animal face in the wood at the far right lower end of the stump and a badger on the one above it.

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Stump in snow Oregon Badlands.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages
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Gradually ascending trail Oregon Badlands.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

Trails in Oregon Badlands

In an effort to preserve the Wilderness Study Area, there is little evidence of manmade convenience. At the trailhead for the trails pictured below, there was no bathroom, no brochures, and no trashcans.

That being said, everything you pack into the wilderness area should in this author’s opinion be packed back out. Since dogs are allowed on leash in the Badlands, we took two of our malamutes.

As our luck would have it, we had a dog waste event of the largest kind to clean up. Another hiker passed this author on the trail and expounded that it really was unnecessary to clean it up (bag it) in this area. However, being a responsible dog owner, we packed it back out to another spot that had a trashcan.

The trails as mentioned above are not particularly well marked at all and it is very easy to become disoriented especially if you don’t have a good sense of direction. The best bet is to keep landmarks in sight if at all possible. In this case, we knew that the Cascades were to our left (or west) and our car was behind us (to the south).

I recently read an account of a fellow who took his 6-year-old boy for a “hike” in the Badlands and ended up so lost that they had to thrash through the brush to finally get out to Highway 20 and then had to walk many miles to get back to their car. While it had a happy ending, it could have been a bad experience for both.

The trails have very little incline as the picture notes. There are mostly trees but there are some rock formations as this is volcanic territory, home to a very large shield volcano (a rather long, flat type of volcano).

Print off a map from the Bureau of Land Management site before setting out.

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Map showing the trails of Badlands.
Source: Bureau of Land Management, public domain photo
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Badlands Dry River Trail

For whatever reason we selected this trail, it was a good trail and we had no problem finding our way back out. We did not go to the end of the trail and still managed to hike for several hours. The ground was strewn with rocks mostly buried in the soil and the walk was not strenuous. However, even in the winter, the sun can be extremely warm and you definitely can work up a sweat no matter what season.

Some of the other most popular trails:

Badlands Rock Trail

Hike or horseback ride–in and out
6.0 miles round trip
Elevation gain/loss is 75 feet
Trailhead access 17.9 miles east on Highway 20–see BLM site for more details

This trail affords a 360-degree view of Central Oregon. There are also 2 longer loop options accessible via the Castle Trail (7.7 miles) or the Tumulus Trail (12.3 miles)–you can use either to return to the trailhead.

Flatiron Rock Trail

Horseback ride or hike–in and out trail
Also has shorter looping options
Elevation gain/loss is 60 feet
Trail access–Flatiron Trailhead 16 miles east of Bend on Highway 20–trailers not advised

Skirts the shield volcano and takes you to an unusual rock formation called Flatiron. There is an oblong moat here as well. The trail goes to the north boundary of the Badlands.

Tumulus Trail

Horseback ride or hike–in and out trail
5.0 to 15.0 miles round trip–dependent on route–shorter loops available
Elevation gain/loss is 75 feet
Sound navigational skills recommended–easy to get lost
Trailers not advised

Trailhead is located off Alfalfa Market Road on Johnson Ranch Road near the transfer station.

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Some of the trails in Oregon Badlands.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages
See all 19 photos
Dry River Bed Trail is an easy route to follow in Badlands.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

Veering from the trails is perfectly acceptable in the Badlands Wilderness Study Area. But have a care. It’s recommended that hikers and horses NOT walk in single file on trails and off the trails but rather abreast.

This minimizes the impact on the environment and preserves the natural landscape. (It also coincidentally makes trails harder to follow but it’s an ecologically sound preference)

Also mud and snow can make the trails impassable for vehicles so use best judgment when driving in whether it’s with cars or horse trailers.

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Snow affords some measure of tracking where you’ve been within the Badlands.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

The magic of the trees is worth the trip. You can go on innumerable trails throughout the Oregon Badlands and never see a tree that looks exactly the same as another.

Check out some of the names given to these magnificently photogenic trees by other photographers and nature buffs over the years. (see caption below photos)

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Majestic tree of Badlands WSA.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages
See all 19 photos
Twisted tree of Oregon Badlands.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages
See all 19 photos
Distressed tree of Oregon Badlands.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages
See all 19 photos
Arthritic tree of the Badlands.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages
See all 19 photos
Old soldier of the Badlands.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages
See all 19 photos
Gnarled bark of Badlands tree.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

Peace and Serenity of the Forest

The Badlands is not a place where you will usually see lots of people on any given day, although it is a great place for birders and nature groups to explore.

Most people go to hike or jog–away from the madness of city life–or take a stroll with a backpack and camera (and sometimes their trusted dogs).

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Afternoon sunny view of Oregon Badlands.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages
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Dogs and the Badlands Wilderness Study Area

This author would advise being cautious about taking your dogs into the Wilderness Study Area especially on hot, warm days. We felt very confident taking our two malamutes because there was still snow on the ground.

However, dogs are a nuisance to wildlife in general, especially off leash. This author did see other people with their dogs off leash which is always a personal concern. Should dogs take off after something in the wilderness area, it might be a task pinpointing where you last saw them and/or knowing the things in the wilderness, would their safety be assured?

This author strongly believes in the sanctity of wilderness. We are merely observers and should treat our walk through as stepping lightly on sacred ground. The wilderness should not literally feel our footprint. Likewise, our dogs should be obedient and on leash at all times so as not to disturb the animals and the fragile ecosystem of something as awe-inspiring as an old growth forest.

As a precautionary measure, personally, I would worry about rattlesnakes in the height of the blistering desert summers. While there are no alarming reports of rattlers in this particular region, more and more are turning up unexpectedly where people think they won’t see them in Central Oregon.

Especially with pets, caution should be exercised as time is of the essence in terms of getting emergency treatment for rattlesnake bites.

Above all, make sure your pet has ample water. Carry water for both humans and canines and a portable water dog bowl is a handy tool and weighs nothing.

See all 19 photos
Keep dogs on leash–it protects them and the Badlands wilderness.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

What to Take to the Badlands WSA

Select clothing appropriate to the weather but check the forecast–weather can be very unpredictable on the high mountain desert
Hiking boots preferred or at least closed toed shoes
Compass and/or GPS
Cell phone though you might not get service–remember to tell someone where you are going and when you will be returning
Backpack with water, handkerchief and snacks–more if you have dogs
Dog waste bags
Camera
Leash for dog
Hat, gloves, sunscreen, sunglasses depending upon weather
Common sense–be aware of your surroundings and make note of what trails you take, what direction you go in

Wildlife in the Badlands

On any given day, you might see:

Black tailed jack rabbits
Mule deer
Elk
Pronghorn (antelope)
Cottontail rabbits
Bats
Coyotes
Lizards (6 species reside)
Snakes (bull snakes and presumbly rattlesnakes)
More than 100 species of birds–like golden eagles, sage grouse and prairie falcons
Bobcats

Getting to the Badlands Wilderness Area

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Show driving directionswalking directionsbicycling directions with distances in mileskilometers

Bend, Oregon –
Bend, OR, USA
[get directions]

Prineville, Oregon –
Prineville, OR 97754, USA
[get directions]

Badlands Wilderness Study Area Oregon –
Badlands, Oregon 97701, USA
[get directions]

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Badlands Renewal Project

Thanks to Friends of the Badlands, the Oregon Badlands has a chance at survival for eternity. It’s important to understand the history of this beautiful wilderness area and the significance of its presence in our world.

Best Fine Dining Restaurants Bend And Central Oregon

Best Fine Dining Restaurants Bend And Central Oregon

Best Fine Dining: Central Oregon (Bend)

Everyone has a definition it seems of ‘fine dining’. To some folks, the term fine dining means so much silverware that you’re lost as to what utensils to use for what. Another person defined it on a blog I read recently as ‘without ketchup’.

When I think of the best fine dining in Central Oregon, Bend in particular, I think of many restaurants. To be honest, these 4 are my favorites for many reasons but much of the reason that my nod goes to them as being some of Bend’s finest is based on the fact that they serve consistently delicious, wonderfully prepared food and most of all, the atmosphere of the restaurants is relaxed.

Fine dining should not be painful. Fine dining should also not cost you a week’s salary. I think all of these restaurants fit the bill. There are so many restaurants in Bend that are wonderful, it is truly hard to pick the best fine dining – but these are mine for now!

See all 8 photos
Blacksmith Steakhouse, Bar and Lounge

Blacksmith Steakhouse, Bar and Lounge

The Blacksmith Steakhouse is situated in downtown Bend in the old Pearson Blacksmith building. It would seem that since its opening, it has been a favorite for the locals as well as the out-of-towners. It has been one of the most popular restaurants in Bend since it opened some 6 or so years ago. The restaurant was rated as one of the best new restaurants in the world when it opened by Conde Nast Traveler magazine. Blacksmith was also a 2009 Gusto Magazine Reader’s Choice winner.

The building that was the former blacksmith shop only enhances the restaurant’s decor. You can almost feel a palpable warmth coming from the old brick walls. The ambiance has you on opening the door and stepping in. Whenever we’ve eaten at the Blacksmith, we’ve had the most enjoyable and relaxed dining experience.

Executive chef Gavin McMichael has a background of culinary arts from
training in southern French restaurants to being a chef on luxury
yachts and preparing meals for celebs like Mick Jagger and Tommy
Hilfiger. His concept he calls “New Ranch Cuisine” is certainly the hit
of Central Oregon and most visitors to the area have to check out The Blacksmith!

The
atmosphere is relaxed but manages to be elegant at the same time. The
menu is made up of many unique dishes from appetizers to desserts –
things you would never expect such as Seafood Corndogs or Campfire
Trout.

The Blacksmith is open 7 days per week from 4:30 to close. Happy hour is from 4:30-6:30 daily and 9:00 to close.

From 4:30-5:30 daily, Sunset Dinners are offered – a 4-course meal for $24.00.

Here are just some of the offerings for all categories.

Happy Hour:

Blacksmith burger
Blacksmith sliders or tacos
Smoked mac & cheese
Cowboy chicken picatta
Warm spinach & bacon salad
Beer lovers doughnuts
Not Your Mother’s Bread Pudding (made with lemon-bacon sauce)

Entrees:

Salmon Caribe (served with black bean banana puree)
Rancher rib-eye (Blacksmith beef is from organic and natural programs)
Cedar brined pork chop
Blacksmith’s surf and turf

Sides and Salads: Many
choices such as mac & cheese, green bean saute, BBQ rice, classic
mashers, steak fries and polenta fries; many different kinds of salad

Desserts:

Ice cream trio – 3 homemade ice creams
Fostered bananas split
Blacksmith’s wonka bar – brownie with chocolate mousse, peanut butter ice cream & caramel sauce

There are also recipes posted on the Blacksmiith website
where you can order several different steakhouse rubs and salts that
are sold here locally in many supermarkets and Bed, Bath and Beyond.

You can also purchase a cookbook on-line at the website – A Chef’s Bounty, Celebrating Oregon Cuisine.

Blacksmith offers a full bar and extensive wine list.

Don’t miss out on the entertainment as well on Fridays and Saturdays – starting at 10:00 p.m. and no cover charge.

Phone: 541.318.0588

New Ranch Cooking from Blacksmith Chef

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Jackalope Grill
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Entrance to Jackalope
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Chicken entree
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Beef entree
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Fish entree

The Jackalope Grill Restaurant

The Jackalope Grill is known best for its NW cuisine. It has been dubbed Best Fine Dining and Best NW Cuisine by many food writers. This is another of Bend’s dining treasures that you have to experience to savor the wonder of this chef’s creations.

Jackalope Grill is run by a husband and wife team who came to Bend by way of Utah where they turned a failing business into a thriving fine dining establishment. It is no wonder then that they have succeeded in remaining at the top of the fine dining totem pole here in Bend for so many years.

Despite a ‘strange’ location as the restaurant is located in a strip mall, the Jackalope is always busy and always being enjoyed by new clientele. Chef Tim Garling grew up in the environs of Seattle and then traveled in France where he added to his culinary expertise by sampling the cuisine of Europe and then attending culinary school there. He uses his varied background when creating his one-of-a-kind recipes.

Tim’s wife Kathy manages the wine end of the restaurant and the Jackalope received the 2008 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for its extensive wine list.

Jackalope uses organic products and Chef Tim combines a little bit of everything in his unique dishes. The menu is made up of a combination of wild game offerings, seafood, pasta, poultry and Oregon beef.

The Jackalope offers a fine dining experience that is relaxing and soothing. They also have a private dining room for larger parties. They offer the extensive wine list and a full bar.

You can also find recipes on the Jackalope website including one for a deliciously easy (and impressive) Oregon pear croustade! Chef Tim also offers cooking classes.

The Jackalope Grill is open Tuesday through Saturday from 5:00 p.m. The restaurant also does catering and banquets.

Just some of the Jackalope Grill’s delicious fare:

Starters: Clams, grilled prawns, medallions of elk, soups and salads (field greens and Caesar)

Entrees: Filet mignon, alder-smoked salmon, pork tenderloin medallions, flatiron steak, rack of lamb, seafood pastas, a 4-cheese stuffed chicken breast and the unique Jaeger schnitzel of German background (pork tenderloin with red cabbage, potato pancake and mushroom gravy)

Desserts: These are created daily and always changing.

What is a jackalope? A mythical creature part rabbit with antelope or deer horns, reported to be drawn by the scent of alcohol, surprisingly appearing to those imbibing in fine wine and other spirits! Their ability to copy human singing supposedly lulls one to sleep. You be the judge – was it the jackalope or the alcohol?

Either way, the Jackalope Grill is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy a wonderful meal.

Phone: 541.318.8435

The Jackalope Grill

See all 8 photos
Picture by Audrey Kirchner

900 Wall Street

900 Wall Street is a unique restaurant with unique history. Many folks will recall it up until January of 2009 as the famous Merenda’s Restaurant in Bend. However, after the owner of Merenda’s fell heavily into debt and left the country, it seemed this extremely popular restaurant was going to close forever.  Rising to the occasion though, the folks that worked at the restaurant banded together and reopened it several months later under new ownership – and now we have 900 Wall Street!

This is a beautiful restaurant which also is unique with its brick and wood interior and high vaulted ceiling which leads to loft seating upstairs. On any evening, you will find 900 Wall Street alive and kicking with people of all ages – in for a celebratory dinner or part of the happy hour crowd.

Catch the 3:00-6:00 p.m. specials any day of the week. 900 Wall is open 7 days per week for lunch and dinner. There is also sidewalk seating which on a beautiful day is sheer heaven.

900 Wall was a Gusto Magazine 2009 Reader’s Choice Award winner and is one of the most popular restaurants in Bend. It combines a wonderfully elegant ambiance with a relaxed atmosphere and is part of the pulse that is the heart of downtown Bend.

The menu is varied and usually is classified as Contemporary American cuisine. Here are some of their delicious offerings:

Starters:

Small plates of various foods
Oysters on the half shell
Shrimp appetizers
Cheese plates
Soups and salads
Stone-oven pizzas

Entrees:

Several Italian dishes such as capellini and risotto
Halibut and other fish entrees
Chicken rotisserie with Swiss chard and asparagus
Duck confit with beans and sausage
Flat iron steak
Filet mignon
Burgers
Lamb ragout

Vegetables and sides: English peas, potato puree, asparagus and potato gratin, fava beans and chickpeas to name a few

Desserts: Prepared daily and subject to change.

900 Wall offers a full bar and extensive list of wines and local brews.

Lunch Menu: The lunch menu has many of the same items on the dinner menu though not as many.  The lunch menu leans more towards salads and terrines (warm spinach salad or beet and goat cheese terrine), a few Italian entrees (semolina gnocchi and asparagus risotto), stone-oven pizzas, and many delicious sandwiches such as prime rib, portobello, pulled pork, crispy halibut and burgers.

Whatever time of day you pop into 900 Wall, you won’t be disappointed! The atmosphere is cheery and comfortable and the food is rated some of the best in Bend and Central Oregon.

Phone: 541.323.6295

900 Wall

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Picture by Audrey Kirchner

Scanlon’s Restaurant

Scanlon’s Restaurant has to be the most unique fine dining establishment in Bend, Oregon. Mostly because it happens to be part of the Athletic Club of Bend! I’ve heard of juice bars and pubs being part of an athletic club, but never a fine dining restaurant. However, it totally works!

This is one of my favorite restaurants simply because it combines elegance with casual. Whether you decide to come in to watch a game or sporting event on TV and sit in the bar, or you meet friends and go into the spacious dining room, you know you will get excellent food every time and you’ll enjoy the atmosphere.

An added bonus is that Athletic Club of Bend offers babysitting while you dine! Call ahead for reservations for this service but it is available to all who dine at Scanlon’s. If you stay at the Inn at the Seventh Mountain (a resort close by) you also get complimentary membership passes to the Athletic Club of Bend.

Scanlon’s is a great place to dine simply because despite its fine dining menu, it has a relaxed and comforting atmosphere, whether you dine outside on the patio, inside in the dining room, or at the cozy bar. If you plan on going for a sporting event, make sure you arrive early because it will be standing room only!

Scanlon’s uses locally grown beef and they also offer Budget Maker dinners Tuesday through Thursday.

Scanlon’s serves lunch and dinner Monday through Sunday. Happy hour is from 3:00-5:30 p.m.

The Courtyard Cafe provides muffins, bagels, specialty coffees, salads, smoothies and sandwiches.

Some of their fare includes the following:

Starters:

Organic baby beets
Sourdough flat bread
Cheese plates
Salads such as Gorgonzola with hazelnuts
Caesar with sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts
Grilled steak salad

Entrees:

Pasta dishes such as shrimp pasta
Wood-fired oven pizza such as shrimp or chicken and pesto pizza
Asparagus and Gruyere cheese tart
Range free roasted chicken
Poached Alaskan halibut
Double cut pork chop
Filet mignon
Grilled hanger steak
Rack of lamb

Sides: Many different salads and soups and a veggie platter of 4 different vegetables such as peas and carrots, asparagus, sauteed spinach, green beans, potato puree

Desserts: Made daily and subject to change daily – always a wonderful variety.

Scanlon’s has a great wine list, serves local brews and has a full bar.

They have a bar menu with many of the above starters but also include such things as:

Chili bowl
Baked mac & cheese
Baked nachos
Burgers
Lentil burgers
Pizzas
Italian beef sandwich
Grilled steak sandwich

Game day menus may offer some of these great foods:

Baked nachos
Bratwurst boiled in beer
Baked hummus platter
Chicken wings
Risotto fritters

Whatever the occasion, dining at Scanlon’s is a delicious experience and sure to please anyone’s palate.

Phone: 541.382-8769

Scanlon’s at Athletic Club of Bend

Fine Dining in Central Oregon (Bend)

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Blacksmith Steakhouse, Bar and Lounge –
211 NW Greenwood Ave, Bend, OR 97701, USA
[get directions]

The Jackalope Grill –
1245 SE 3rd St, Bend, OR 97702, USA
[get directions]

900 Wall Street –
900 NW Wall St, Bend, OR 97701, USA
[get directions]

Scanlon’s at Athletic Club of Bend –
61615 Athletic Club Dr, Bend, OR 97702, USA
[get directions]

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Best Fine Dining: Central Oregon (Bend)

No matter where you go in Bend, Oregon, I don’t think you can go wrong for finding wonderful restaurants. There seem to be so many in Central Oregon that it is hard to know which ones to pick. Making sure you do your homework to check out the cuisine and price range before you go can save surprises later. With menus on line so often, that is an easy thing to do.

The restaurants I have highlighted here are basic American cuisine but the Bend area is literally filled with many other restaurants of different cuisines that are equally stellar.

Fine dining should never make anyone feel uncomfortable.  “Foodies” like me are typically hobbyists who follow cooking shows or search on line for recipes to recreate something we’ve had at a restaurant. While fine dining can be about presentation, it is not all that fine dining is about. Fine dining is also about encouraging people to enjoy their food and perhaps want to recreate it themselves – or sometimes it’s just about enjoying it.

Fine dining is also about having a good meal in a wonderful atmosphere and feeling like you got what you paid for when you leave. That doesn’t mean it has to cost an arm and a leg either.

Fine dining should be just that – fine/wonderful/enjoyable to the max. You should always remember the meal and the good feelings that the meal gave you. Fine dining should never be a bad experience.

Hopefully with these restaurants to choose from, you’ll enjoy the experience.

Photo Credits

Image of Blacksmith Restaurant, Steakhouse, Bar and Lounge – Bend, OR – by written permission of Paul Owen

Images of Blacksmith Restaurant and offerings – by written permission of Paul Owen

Images of Jackalope Grill – by written permission of owner/Chef Tim Garling