We would have loved to post more often during our 30-day stay in Bend, Oregon, since we could have filled a book with all of our stories and experiences. Instead, we spent quality time taking care of ourselves, working, and having a ton of fun.
The good news is that this presents an opportunity to catch everyone up on our top 10 favorite moments, and add some insight into why this area is so flipping special to us.
#10: Errington Farm Fit
Our original plan was to stay in Bend about a week. So, when Jaimie (Jamie’s bestie) and her husband Chris asked for help pulling up the irrigation pipes spanning their hayfield, we jumped at the once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity.
After quickly learning what to do, we spent the next couple of days following their lead and pulling 12 acres of piping to the sides of their field so that all of their 4-5-foot tall hay could be harvested. Sometimes, the Jamie’s would sneak cold beers out to the field, talk about memories from high school in Oregon, and laugh their asses off.
We’d all return from our field trips drenched in sweat, with hay stuck in our socks, seeds filling our shoes, and gratitude filling our hearts.
Once the field was cut, dried, and bailed, the process was reversed so we placed the irrigation pipe back into rows. It was hard work, but we found the entire process strangely satisfying. We’d do it again in a second!
When we weren’t out in the field, the girls repeatedly begged Jaimie to take them out on the tractor while they rode in the front bucket. She always obliged, and now the girls have some more epic memories to add to their list.
Lexi became best friends with the Errington’s gigantic mastiff, Ollie, who would chase him around the yard while barking playfully and smiling from ear to floppy ear. Addy, their deaf German Shorthair Pointer, frequently sneaked in our RV and stole bites of trash, but she’s soooo lovable!
#9: Coyotes at Dusk & Dawn
At night, we’d fall asleep listening to a combination of the wind, the sprinklers tick-tocking in the hayfield, and the coyotes performing their macabre killing songs very close to our RV.
It was creepy, yet thrilling, to hear the little shits in their natural habitat doing their thing. A couple of times, we panicked at night and would say “Where’s Lexi” loudly. Then, she’d she would look at us like “WTF is wrong with you people? I’m laying right here!”
Speaking of which …
#8: Sexy Lexi
Lexi’s a city dog. Other than a couple of short, easy hikes in the Front Range, she’s never really spent much time out in nature or off her leash. Instead, she mostly roamed our backyard, took lots of urban walks, and sniffed most of the same butts every day.
But did she ever adjust to farm life quickly! From the get-go, she roamed like the big dogs, spent her days sunbathing, and lived her best life. The Errington’s spoiled her rotten and officially renamed her sexy Lexi.
With that underbite, who could resist this bitch?
#7: Running Along the Deschutes River
Jamie made sure to sandwich as much running time between her contract work as possible since Bend delivers heaps of dreamy goodness along the Deschutes River Trail System.
Getting her heart rate up, watching the surfers carve and SUPers gracefully glide and having easy access to a mix of city and nature on one—clean—the trail was a good way to start the day.
#6: New Skateboards & a Second ER Visit
Ava and Livi finally had the chance to pick out skateboards, and pure freaking elation can only begin to describe their reactions. (It’s really cool seeing many of the skate designs and brands from the eighties and early nighties back in full force, BTW.)
They immediately went back to the farm, suited up with their elbow pads, knee pads, and helmets, and got down to business. Derek showed them where to place their feet, how to push, and how to turn, which they quickly picked up and were on their way. He even tried a few kickflips for old times sake, but they failed miserably and the girls just laughed.
Soon, the Errington boys joined in and it became one big skate sesh on the farm.
Three days later, just as she was really gaining steam with her skills, Livi decided she needed to see the inside of another emergency room—and ensure we met our annual insurance deductible. So, she took a spill on the skateboard and broke her wrist. Always a team player, that blondie! LMAO.
As soon as Livi fell, Jamie immediately knew (as most parents do) from the look on her face that it was no bueno. It was the same one Ava had during her first broken bone.
Ava’s happened during the winter, though, so we weren’t too bummed about its impact on our outdoor time. In fact, it meant we got our Sundays back, instead of driving through shit weather at the ass crack of dawn for the girls’ ski school. REM sleep was ours again!
Fortunately, Livi will only be in her cast for about six weeks. Unfortunately, it meant she also had to miss skate school at Bearings Skateboard Academy while Jamie was in Chicago. But, she was super stoked to watch Ava’s skillset quickly progress, and she definitely plans to return to this kick-ass place once she heals.
#5: Jamie Gets in a Fight with the Water Spigot
Someone’s always responsible for fucking up their new car first, and it was Jamie who took the honors this time.
Our Tundra was nearing its two-month mark on a stormy afternoon when Derek was on a long ride. Jamie suddenly lost his location via GPS, so she hurriedly tried to head out and check to make sure everything was OK.
As she backed up, she turned the truck’s side into the path of a metal, farm-style water spigot, which proceeded to scrape/dent a three-foot section into the passenger-side doors.
Thankfully, insurance understood and quickly processed the $2,500 claim so that the guys at Precision First in Bend could handle everything and make our truck beautiful again.
I know they got tired of Jamie’s daily spamming and “Is it ready yet” calls. But, after a week, we were back driving the Tundra.
Granted, our Dodge 1500 rental truck had some pretty nice interior features (large dashboard screen, crystal-clear backup camera, Car Play integration, etc.), but its rear suspension struggled under the weight of our Grand Design RV. There’s nothing like our Toyota.
#4: SUP & Snakes
Although Bend sits in a desert climate, it offers direct access to a seemingly endless network of creeks, canals, rivers, and lakes, which we took advantage of. If there’s one thing we can’t live without now, it’s nearby water sources. Game changer.
The Errington’s have lived in the area for decades, so they knew the best crystal-clear swimming holes for paddling SUPs and kayaks, swimming and lazily floating, hanging out on our own beach, and just chillin’.
One of these trips was on the 4th of July, which we spent SUPing to a private section of the lake where the kids could paddle on their own and hunt snakes along the shoreline. Chris found the biggest one he could and proudly showed it off to everyone, while Ava might’ve loved her snake to death if she wasn’t careful.
#3: Derek’s Tour des Chutes Bike Ride
The 2019 Tour des Chutes ride/run occurred during our stay in Bend, so Derek seized the opportunity to enjoy an organized ride in a new part of the country.
Overall, he spent a lot of quality training time for the event, and he was very satisfied with his final time and how he felt afterward.
The staff was super helpful, the volunteers made it happen, the course featured varied terrain and some of the best scenery in the area, and the food quality at the after-party was off the chain!
#2: Bend Cycling in General
The riding in Bend is endless. Whether crushing hills on the road toward Mt. Bachelor or McKenzie Pass, or hauling ass on the fast and flowy dirt at the Phil’s Trail complex, you’re certain to have a great experience there.
Get out and fucking ride your bike! Your body wants to. 🙂
#1: The Erringtons
The Erringtons were the best part of this month-long experience.
They’re two of the most genuine, down-to-earth, patient, and caring individuals we’ve had the pleasure of knowing. And over the years, they’ve grown from friends to our family.
They never asked for anything in return during our lengthy stay, while we used their power, drank their water, and just generally crashed their lives for a month. Thanks so much for your hospitality, and for being fantastic human beings!