Prior to leaving on our road trip, we had asked around where we should ride. Hands down, everyone said “McKenzie Pass”. I had seen it on people’s Instagrams, and it looked beautiful, so this was a must-do on our list of “to dos” while in Bend for the 3 days we were going to be there.
First, let me back up – the day after the wedding, we were exhausted. After a long drive from Santa Cruz to Bend, and then attending a second wedding within 24hrs, we were pooped! We slept in….late. Pretty sure I didn’t start moving until 10:30/11. The longest I’ve slept in – in months? Years? I went for a run around Eagle Crest Resort, but failed to take any photos, I was just that tired. I did a HIIT workout by the Tone It Up girls, and then it was time to clean up and go explore.
I had found a cute little café, One Street Down Café in Redding. We were both so hungry that we ordered two meals. Yup! I got the breakfast bowl and the pesto chicken panini + a Chai Tea. 🙂 Of course. It was so cute and quaint, and our waitress was really friendly.
Since arriving to Bend, I had been dreaming of seeing waterfalls. Bend is known for the most stunning waterfalls, and I’m a waterfall chaser (contrary to TLC’s song – I say chase them all day long:P). Driving from Redmond toward Sisters and right before the turn off to go towards our hotel, there is a waterfall called Cline Falls. I was in adventure heaven! The photos will speak for themselves…although we didn’t bring anything but our phones, so fail on the “nice” camera photos, but it definitely made it a bit more enjoyable to just hike around the waterfall and enjoy the sounds of nature.
Next stop, Blazin’ Saddles, the local bike shop in Sisters. A guy we met at the wedding the night before, referred us to it. His buddy owns the shop. When we walked in, immediately we were greeted with friendliness and a calming energy that was inviting. I can’t explain how nice they were. The owner even helped us out with some cold weather gear, since we are used to riding in the sunshine and heat right now, and we were not prepared for temps below 70. haha. So, he hooked us up with a discount on arm warmers, and this really cool jacket/vest by Sugoi (that I didn’t end up wearing, but glad I have it for this coming winter). At checkout, Topher picks up a massage roller, GoMoji, and starts rubbing it on himself and me. We’ll take this, too. 🙂
Casey, the owner, was so helpful in gear, but also just as helpful about telling us about McKenzie Pass, how to ride, where to ride, and what to expect. I’m sure he has told people about the riding 100+x, but he was patient, and kind, as if it was no big deal that we asked.
The best part about Sisters, Oregon and McKenzie pass is that it is extremely bike friendly. There are signs all over saying “Bike Route”, and “Bike Friendly City”. We were in heaven. Walking out to the car, we decided to go check out McKenzie Pass by car, before we ride it tomorrow. Bad idea or good idea? Who knows, because in some ways, I’m glad we went so that we knew how cold it might get and what to expect. But, in other ways, in ruined a bit of the surprise, since no matter how many times someone tells you what it’s like, actually seeing it with your own eyes is indescribable. I have never seen anything like this place. Lave fields mixed in with forest? Who would have thought. (Road Tripping in my VW Tiguan – one of the best purchases I have ever made)
By the time we drove the entire pass, there and back, we were hungry for dinner, and stopped off at Sisters Saloon for some grub and to watch a little bit of the Olympics, that we hadn’t really seen any of yet. Our road trip kind of got in the way of watching much of the Olympics in general. How is it already over?
At 10pm at night, we went back to our hotel room at Eagle Crest Resort and turned out the lights. Tomorrow was going to be a fun day of actually riding McKenzie Pass! (Stay tuned – next up our adventure of cycling through lava fields and forests).
All photos of me (+ scenic ones like the car) by Topher Riley