Saturday, June 14, 2014

More Biking and Breweries



We had signed up as volunteers for the Blitz 2 The Barrel mountain bike race scheduled for Wednesday. Unfortunately it had to be postponed since the ride went through a fire evacuation route. Darn, we were looking forward to helping out and getting a free t-shirt and 10 Barrel beer.

Even though the Two Bulls Fire (which is now under control) has some of the best mountain biking and hiking trails closed, there are still plenty of other places to ride. Since our “work” was cancelled for Wednesday we took the bikes down to the Lava Lands Visitor Center about 10 miles south of Bend and rode a little over 4 miles on the Black Rock trail to Benham Falls. It is fun single track with lots of ups and downs and some lava rock. The trail goes right along the lava bed, which made for interesting scenery.


At Benham Falls, which we were unable to view because the bridge is closed due to construction, we found the Deschutes River trail to Sunriver, a planned residential and resort community. Miles of paved trails go through the community, which although lovely was a bit too groomed for our tastes, and it must be too early in the summer as there were very few people around other than some golfers.

Parts of the trail had nice views of the river.


We ended up coming back on the new asphalt trail from Sunriver to the visitor center, even though it isn’t quite finished. We were tired and just didn’t feel like fighting the uphill rocky parts of the single track, so we snuck around where they were working and managed to ride a good portion. We ended up doing a 20 mile ride, which of course required another brewery stop on the way home.

Jim had to return something at NAPA, and Worthy Brewing just happened to be around the corner. The beer was good and their veggie burger was great. They have a really nice outdoor patio, where we sat to keep an eye on our bikes since we forgot the locks.

Thursday we took another bike ride on a different part of the Deschutes River Trail. This time we started at Lava Island Falls off the road going to Mt. Bachelor. We were determined to see Benham Falls, and it was about a 6.5 mile trail to get there from that side. We read that this was fairly easy single track, but somehow early on we must have diverted to the difficult trail, as we were doing lots of steep ups and downs over rocks and roots, and had to do quite a bit of hike and bike. It finally got better so we continued riding and made it to the falls.

We had views of the river almost the entire trail.



Benham Falls, we made it.



This is a popular rafting and kayaking area since there are lots of rapids.



We were dreading the ride back over the technical parts, but somehow we must have stayed on the right trail and our ride back was fun, fast and mostly downhill. Time for a beer!

We had heard good things about Crux Fermentation Project, so that was our choice of the day. We thought there must be an event going on because cars were parked everywhere and an employee was directing traffic. But he said that it was just a normal afternoon. They don’t even have happy hour prices but it was packed with people inside and out. Apparently it is THE place to go in Bend for a beer. The other brewpubs we’ve visited have not been crowded at all. We did get a table and ordered a six beer sampler because they had so many different kinds. Jim really liked the Doublecross Strong Dark Belgian Ale and ordered a pint for himself. I just drank the rest of the samples, and saved my favorite for last, the Half Hitch IPA. Best one I’ve tasted so far, and the Drunken Mushroom sandwich was very tasty.

Colder temps and rain were in the forecast for yesterday, so we hung around and researched some options for when we leave Bend. Still no decision. I did go pick up a few groceries and got rained on by maybe a dozen drops. Today is cooler and partly cloudy, so it looks like a good day for a hike.

Our friend gave us some presents for the cats that hers doesn’t like. We have resisted getting something like this and have a couple of small scratching places for them, but since this fits between the front seats and we don’t use that area anyway, it looks like it’s a keeper. Elvis and Sophie are loving it!


This is a 12 week old St. Bernard puppy we met at one of the breweries the other day. Talk about a people magnet! How could you resist that face? The owner told me her parents are big so they are expecting her to get to 160 pounds. Won’t be so cute then!



  1. That is going to be a seriously big dog. More dog scooping than I ever want to do! Looking forward to seeing where you go next. Your cats look so happy.

  2. Beautiful waterfall. Beautiful ride. Beautiful cats. Beautiful dog! Why you've reached Nirvana!

  3. Go North…
    Glad you are finding good places to bike and imbibe :)

    1. We are concerned about hitting the coast due to SUMMER VACATION crowds. Gayle even suggested that we volunteer somewhere till that is over. I, however, am not that desperate.


  4. You encountering any mosquitoes or does all the beer wash them away?

    1. So far they have not been a problem and if they were here I would be the first to know. Although it could be something in the beer.


  5. So sorry the bike race was cancelled. Sure hope the fires are out. So sad. But you found a beautiful ride. Love that the river and falls are part of it.

  6. Isn't it amazing how those breweries just happen to be right around the corner from where you are. Lol

    I love the rushing water photos. Gorgeous.

  7. Love the photos! You sure captured that pup's expression.

  8. We got Rosie a 3 level cat tree a couple of months ago and she just loves it! Still scratches the recliners a little though...

    After Sumpter we are heading to Elgin (near La Grande) for a week then on to the Hood River Gorge and then Portland over the 4th. Parts of Washington for over a month after that. Perhaps our paths will cross somewhere...

    1. Who knows, we may just end up somewhere near you this summer!

  9. Love the river! A nice reward for sticking with a tough trail. Bend really is the brewery capitol - I see an extended stay in our future :-).

  10. Good to see you are rewarding yourselves for those hard workouts:) Of course, lifting the glass can be quite a workout, too!!