Bend, OR – Operation Pedal and Chug

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Buck Norris

So much coolness associated with Chuck Norris.  I had never heard of Buck Norris (although I have heard of Huck Norris) – until my buddy, Mike schooled me. I met up with him Bend, OR.  We worked together on Longmire, and he’s an avid hunter.  Turns out Buck was a revered mule deer in Bend, and was off limits to hunters… but was sadly hit by a car and killed in 2015.  This is the kind of stuff you learn while dispatching beers and nachos at 10 Barrel Brewing after a day of slaughtering primo Bend dirt .IMG_1408

FYI – Tequila is vegan.IMG_1411

Soooo… to the mountain biking.  Original plan – Head up to Tumalo Falls with the fam. After hiking around for a bit, I would leave the girlies to fish then ride North Fork to Mzarek and have a super duper fun descent back to town.  Oops, didn’t even bother to ponder… that there might still be snow up that high.  Yup, after a mile or two of climbing higher and higher on North Fork… boom.  100% hike-a-bike deep snow.

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Hangin with the fam at Tumalo Falls

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Looking down on Tumalo Falls while climbing North Fork… which btw was an amazing trail, too bad I soon hit snow…

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This was the beginning of the snow.  It only got deeper as I continued higher.

North Fork is a one-way trail for mountain biking.  You’re only supposed to climb it.   I was pretty intent on making it to Mzarek, so I kept pushing my bike for over an hour.  I should have aborted earlier, STUBBORN… and there were a lot of hikers out who I didn’t want telling me “this is a one way trail dude”.  After checking the clock, and knowing I’d never make it back to rendezvous with Angela at our stated time (no cell reception either), I finally pulled the plug and hiked down the way I came.  Bummer.

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Pretty cool bike work station at 10 Barrel Brewing

Luckily, there’s no shortage of singletrack in that area.  So… I made lemonade by hitting some other fantabulous trails.  Jumped on South Fork, and started paralleling the water on Tumalo Creek Trail.  Spoke to some locals, got some beta – jumped on Skyliner to Whoops to Phil’s and got some cell service.  I wound up riding into town and meeting the fam at  Thump Coffee behind the high school.  A pesto chicken sandywich hit the spot!  Turns out Mike bought his house from the owner of Thump – small world…

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Paralleling Tumalo Creek on the South Fork Trail

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This lady gave the kids stickers as today and every day is “free sticker day” – Luckily, she had kid-friendly, non-political stickers too.

I didn’t stop to take photos (running late to meet the fam) – but Skyliner and Phil’s were great xc style fast and buff trails.  The terrain reminded me a lot of Uptown/Downtown in Mammoth.  For me, Whoops Trail was the highlight of the ride.  A Chutes and Ladders like man-made flow trail that was silky smooth if you kept your speed.

Bummed I didn’t get Mzarek as I’ve heard so much.   Oh well, glad I got a taste, and lots more riding to do next time I make it to Bend.

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The girlies fishing at Tumalo Creek

Other highlights in Bend:

Hit the McD’s drive thru to get ice cream for the kids… after ordering, and getting up to the window to pay… the guy told us “The ice cream machine just broke.  The belt burned out or something.”  Are you kidding me?  The belt burned out?  Pure comedy.  Had to hit Burger King instead, but they don’t have hot fudge sundaes… first world problems.

Bend Brewing has great food and beer and is right on the Deschutes River – winning.

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Fish Face

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Hangin at the Deschutes River… it was a fish face kinda day

Pine Nursery Park: has a stocked fishing pond for kiddos.  Lucy caught two rainbow trout.  Score!  They were both pretty small, but big enough for Lucy to name Merida and Leroy before we put ’em back in the water…IMG_1412

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Molly didn’t catch any, but still had a blast and was a good sport!

Can’t wait to get back to Bend and spend some more time… but for now… we got places to be… Hood River, next up – spending some quality time on the farm with JK – hoot!!

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