A Bend Dilemma



Who doesn’t love a dilemma?  It’s what makes the world go round, keeps you up at night, the spice of life.

Have  you been to Bend, Oregon?  We were there 25 years ago.  Then it was a small town about 30,000 people with a cute two block downtown.  On the Deschutes River, surrounded by the Three Sisters mountains and Mt Bachelor, it’s a stunning place.

We went in mid October.  Now it’s a thriving town of 85,000 people and that cute downtown has turned into an even cuter but much bigger place!  No Macys or Nordstrom here, just small unique shops, bookstores, coffee houses and lots of restaurants.

bridge over pond Bendbook store Bend

The bridge in the picture is in downtown and so is the cute bookstore on the right.

We stayed at “The Inn At 7th Mountain”, where you could walk out your door and be on miles of hiking trails along the river. walk by hoteldeschutes

But that hike was not the highlight, there was even better to come.  We had heard about Smith Rock which is a rock climbing mecca.  It was about 30 minutes out of Bend.  In my mind, I imagined a big rock with a lot of climbers on it and really wasn’t that excited about going.  There were a lot of climbers, but it was way more than a rock!

Smith rockBendWe started along the river.  There were rock climbers everywhere!climbing rock

As the trail got steeper, we stopped to look at the map and were absolutely positive we did not want to go over the top.  It was so far away and sort of scary!  There was a spot we could turn back down and that was the plan.  Then we got to it.  Going down there did not look like fun!  Just then a hiker was coming down toward us and Tom said “how much further to the top?”  “Oh, not far, just a bit further, you’re almost there.”  HA!  So our absolutely, positively, not going to the top plan, just went out the window.

steps upgetting there

That weird looking rock up there was very tiny when we started.  There were climbers on it that you couldn’t see from below, but the closer we got, the more visible they became.  Now, I am not afraid of heights.  Never been afraid on a mountain or any other high place I can remember.  Until that day!  The higher we went, the smaller the path, the smaller the earth below looked!  I had vertigo.  I could not look down.  We kept having to stop to catch our breaths.  At one point we sat under an overhang on the trail and looking out and down scared me to death!  I was wobbly when I got back up and had to just look down at the path.  If you slipped, you were going to go over the cliff and you would be a mere fond memory.

At the topclimbers on rock

made it  Pictures are supposed to be worth a thousand words, but words and pictures hardly describe this.  We were so grateful to have made it to the top alive!  Until we realized:  we had to get down!  Holy C***!  If going up was scary, going down was even worse.  Tom started down what he thought was the trail  only to have a woman seated on a big rock yell “That’s not the way down.  It’s over there.”   When he turned in the direction she pointed he saw a guy shimmying along a narrow ledge and Tom panicked thinking “We’ll never get down that way!”  Turns out the guy was trying to get to a better vantage point for a picture…Yikes!

Also, we had no hats, no sunscreen, our planning was nonexistent.  But who knew when the day began that we were going to be stupid enough to do this?  Well, you know we made it because I lived to write about it.  One of those things that you did, are not so sure you’re happy you did it, but will never do it again!

So to our dilemma:  We loved Bend.  It was unexpected.  Bend has everything we love doing.  The weather is much better than Portland’s weather.  It’s closer to CA where our adorable grandchildren live (oh and our own kids too!).  Believe it or not, housing prices are lower.  Should we move?  That is what we have been wrestling with for a few weeks now.  We have made our decision.  So what do you think?  Are we moving to Bend or are we staying in Portland?

I would love to know.


I started a new Facebook Page for my business.  It’s called Stevie Sells Lipstick.  If you are on FB, please visit my page and “like” me.  Also let me know if you want me to send you my Red and Purple Friday SaleThat is my version of Black Friday.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!


3 thoughts on “A Bend Dilemma

  1. PhilipTerry says:

    Been there – loved it – also 30 years ago – need to go again. Remember a night baseball game going on with lights. I predict Bend. What keeps you in Portland?

  2. Janet Bastien says:

    OMGOSH lady!! You have so many options!! Almost called you on this quandary. Sounds like you guys are exploring and having fun deciding life’s next option!! Let me know!! Janet

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Diane B. says:

    Great narrative, fabulous pictures. I predict Bend, looks like you are up for another adventure, and closer to the kids. Let me know, I have a good friend who lives there.

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