Road Trip 2011 – Bend, OR – Day 59

From Corvallis, we headed over to Bend Oregon because we’d heard it was a nice place.  We arrived to find a town that looked very much like it had been built in it’s entirety in the last 5 years.  Very crisp and clean and new and full of vacationers.  It was pretty and relaxed and we liked the laid back feel it had, but we decided to keep on heading South.  We didn’t get very far, however.  We drove over a small bridge in town and when I looked out and saw that tons of people were just floating by on rafts I declared that we were gonna do that too and immediately looked up a Walmart so that we could get some inner tubes.  We didn’t put much thought into it… just that if other people were doing it, so were we!

So, we purchased some tubes and an air pump and headed back to the river.  We parked and then it dawned on us that all these people were actually floating DOWN the river.  Duh!  How are we suppose to get back to our car once we jump in and get swept downstream???  Ben went to put on his swimsuit and I tried finding some locals.  Bingo!  We found out there was a shuttle service that would take you back to the park for about a dollar.  But, bummer, the shuttle stops for the day in about an hour and a half and it takes up to 2 hours to get down the full river route AND we haven’t even blown up our rafts yet!

 

With the help of the rafting tour guide’s air pump we were on our way shortly and while we didn’t make it to the final river stop, we did make it to the midway shuttle pickup JUST IN TIME to catch it’s last stop!  Phew!  But let me just say this… if I had known how COLD the water was, I wouldn’t have bought a raft that had an opening to sit in the water.  And, if I hadn’t made such a huge deal about having to go river rafting right away, I would have never gotten in the water once we got our rafts blown up.  But… I had made such a big excitement over it, that I forced myself painfully to take that icy plunge into the water and well… that was that.  I had the largest goosebumps of my life for the entire hour we floated down the river.  But it was pretty fun regardless!  Since the shuttle had stopped by the time we got back to the car, there were no more rafters in the river, but here’s a shot of the river near where we jumped in after we finished…

Afterwards we found a campground somewhere in the Deschutes National Forest.  Since we arrived after dark, the arrangement is that Ben has to put up the tent before I’ll get out of the car.  This night we made it a race.  He had 10 minutes to get the entire tent assembled, complete with all the blankets and camping mat…

He did it, with about a minute to spare!

There was a tree next to our campground that I really loved.  It was huge and just the perfect color of reddish brown…

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