Although a mere 15 miles east of Bend, it feels like another world when you enter the Oregon Badlands Wilderness area, 29,000 acres of volcanic high desert managed by the BLM. We found the parking area for the Flatiron trail just off Hwy 20 at mile marker 16 and hiked along the Ancient Juniper trail for almost two miles until it intersected the Flatiron Rock trail. The ground was covered with wildflowers surrounding 200-400 year old juniper trees.
It was another 1.6 miles to Flatiron, the volcanic rock formation that the trail is named for.
We saw 3 other people the entire time, and one wildlife sighting.
You have to love the desert to appreciate this hike. We do so we really enjoyed it, especially with all of the flowers in bloom. Quite a colorful contrast to the sage and lava rock.
Naturally after our 6.6 mile hike we had to stop at a brewery. We wanted to try Boneyard, but their tasting room is just that, a small taproom next to the brewery with no tables and no real bar to even set your glass down on. And this was Saturday afternoon so it was packed with people.
Our next choice was 10 Barrel, but there was nowhere to park and we could see a huge crowd standing out on the patio. So it was on to Cascade Lakes, which we had been to in Redmond but not in Bend. There was plenty of room at the bar, Jim was able to drink another Misery Ridge stout, and we had a fun conversation with a guy from California who was in Bend to do some mountain biking.
Our friend who is letting us stay on her pasture had been a bit under the weather, but she is feeling much better so yesterday we took her to 10 Barrel Brewing Co. for dinner. Great pizza and Jim found his favorite beer so far, Knight Ryder, a small batch (only 10 barrels!) smooth dark beer. I have a feeling we’ll be going back there again before it is sold out. We may be in Bend for awhile….