Floppy arms and legs
Belie deep relaxation
Of two floppy souls.

Today was a day of ultimate relaxation. We took a bike ride, we strolled through Bend, we floated down the river, we tried some beers, we sat in a hot tub, we saw some live music, we ate delicious food, and we even managed to get all our logistical nonsense out of the way.

The morning was all business: Evan managed to set up healthcare for me, we got our sleeping bag zippers fixed (thank goodness, since it seems that our camping will only get colder from here!), we finally set up this blog (!)… We also got to do a bit of exploring. It seems Bend was originally a logging town, like many of the towns around here, and that its last mill closed in 1993. The remains of that mill is now one of the most iconic structures in Bend, with its silhouette a part of many logos, and a whole district named for it (the Old Mill district). That building is now an REI.

Landmark as REI

One of the top current-day activities in Bend is floating down the Deschutes, the river which runs through the center of town. This river was once jammed with logs waiting to be sent to the mill, but now on a sunny afternoon it is instead jammed with people relaxing. Anyone can rent a river tube for just $15, but the locals buy many absurd pool chairs and similar for their floating. One of the most amazing things is that river floating starts at about 3pm. That is, people just leave work to go relax in the afternoons. In the shop where we got the bags fixed, there was an indication online that their hours were such-and-so to such-and-so, but that you should call first because they might be out enjoying the day if its particularly nice. The quality of life here is awesome.

Are you River Ready?

We floated down the river in our rented tubes, enjoying the rapids section a few extra times, and returned to the Mill Inn sun-dried. After showers and a soak in the hot tub, we were nearly too relaxed to go to dinner, but we managed to rouse ourselves and walk down to McMenamin’s. For those of you who’ve never been to Oregon, McMenamin’s is a company that buys up disused old properties and converts them into food and drink venues, theaters, wineries, and other things. They have a bunch of really cool ones, but the one in Bend was once a boarding school. It’s now a theater, bar, and restaurant. After dinner, we saw some live music performed by the Jackalope Saints.

Jackalope Saints

Fun! Strolling relaxedly home, we mused about a field that we passed. A historical plaque indicated that the field had once been dirt, and that each year the local fire department would hose it down in winter so that it froze into a skating pond. Now, it’s a grassy play area for kids, with an ominous “For Sale: Commercial Property” sign. It seems Bend is developing.