Friday, July 29, 2016

Downtown Tour - 07/29/16 - Bend, OR

Friday – July 29, 2016
Downtown Walking Tour
Bend, Oregon

We awake to another beautiful, sunny day, at our dispersed campsite, nestled deep within the Deschutes National Forest. The temperature will be in the middle 80’s with low humidity (Dew Point in the 20’s) making for a perfect day to do a walking tour of the downtown area.

As we crossed the Deschutes River, on our way to town, "tubers" were leisurely floating down the river. The more adventurous "tubers" were running the man-made rapids. Several years ago, the city of Bend developed the rapids so residents, young and old, could enjoy the experience of "riding the rapids." This is probably one of the most popular areas during the summer months.

Downtown Bend is just a "cool" place to visit. People are friendly, the town is clean and thriving with all kinds of boutique shops, general merchandise stores, café’s, breweries and street performers. One elderly cowboy had a lasso and was roping a man-made steer head mounted to a saddle. He was quite good. He never missed, while we were watching.

A young street performer had tired of playing his guitar and decided a nap was in order. Oh to be that young again! Well… upon further reflection, maybe not!

The above scenes are captured in the video below.

Bend, Oregon Facts
Incorporated: January 4, 1905
Elevation: 3,623 feet
Population: 76,639 (2010)
Annual precipitation: 11 inches – most of it during winter.

Bend is Central Oregon's largest city, and despite its modest size, is the de facto metropolis of the region, owing to the low population density of that area. Bend recorded a population of 76,693 at the time of the 2010 US Census, up from 52,029 at the 2000 census. The estimated population of the city as of 2013 is 81,236. Bend's metro population was estimated at 165,954 as of July 1, 2013.

The name Bend was derived from "Farewell Bend", the designation used by early pioneers to refer to the location along the Deschutes River where the town was eventually platted, one of the few fordable points along the river.

Bend is located on the eastern edge of the Cascade Range along the Deschutes River. Here the Ponderosa Pine forest transitions into the high desert, characterized by arid land, junipers, sagebrush, and bitter-brush. Originally a crossing point on the river, settlement began in the early 1900s. Bend was incorporated as a city in 1905. Economically, it started as a logging town but is now identified as a gateway for many outdoor sports.

Tourism is one of Bend's largest sectors. The Mount Bachelor ski resort brings in tourists from all over Oregon, Washington, and California. The nearby Cascade Lakes are also a large draw for tourists. Recreational activities include downhill and cross country skiing, hiking, biking, rafting, golfing, camping, fishing, picnicking, rock climbing, and general sightseeing. Men's Journal ranked Bend as one of The 10 Best Places to Live. Much of Bend's rapid growth in recent years is due to its attraction as a retirement destination.

Bend is home to the Deschutes Brewery, the 6th largest craft brewery in the nation and the largest of over a dozen microbreweries in the city. Each year the city hosts many events celebrating its brewing culture including: The Bend Oktoberfest, The Little Woody Barrel Aged Brew and Whiskey Fest, Bend Brewfest, and Central Oregon Beer Week. Beer aficionados can also visit many of the breweries along the Bend Ale Trail. Since 2004, Bend has also hosted one of the top indie film festivals in the nation: The Bend Film Festival.

Bend's climate is typical of the high desert with cool nights and sunny days, classified as semi-arid. Annual precipitation averages 11.2 inches, with an annual average snowfall of 23.8 inches. The winter season in Bend provides a mean temperature of 31.1 °F in December. Nighttime temperatures are not much lower than daytime highs during the winter.

Central Oregon summers are marked by their very large diurnal temperature ranges, with a July daily average of 64.5 °F, and an average diurnal temperature variation approaching 35 °F. Hard frosts are not unheard of during the summer months. Autumn usually brings warm, dry days and cooler nights, and Bend is known for its annual Indian summer.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

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