Central OR [May]

When people ask about my college degree, I often respond that, no, I had no intention of being a teacher, but the Geography: Global Studies curriculum is designed so that I should be able to take a look at a map and have a basic understanding of what a given place is like- climate and terrain based on how the world around it is based; and culture based on a number of other things. 

Had I guessed what Bend, Oregon and surrounding area would be like, I would have been way off. 

I knew it would be pretty, full of landscape changes and small patches of irrigated farm plots.  I figured evergreens and grey skies of the lush side of the Pacific Northwest would be fading into the dusty brown and vivid sky blue of the east. 

I was right on all those counts, but I didn't expect this:

Smith Rock is a climber's haven.  I climbed one challenging route, remembered that I like climbing enough to climb one challenging route every year or so, and spent the rest of the weekend damning the wind and loving every other bit of what the area had to offer.

I thought the city of Bend would be smallish in size, conservative in political skew, rural in nature.  It's like that in Redmond, where I popped into the members-only Bi-Mart to buy ice and water and was offered a lifetime membership for $5. 

Bend, however, is flush with very well-manicured parks and many a trendy shop and restaurant. 

We spent most of our time outside the city at Haystack Lake and Smith Rock. I feel a certain amount of satisfaction being married now and still hanging out with single folks. I'm also glad to have a big group of people that includes a good number of non-LDS friends.  We're all about diversity, you know?

We also enjoyed a very quick, shriek-filled jump in the frigid lake, a small but meaningful Sacrament Meeting in the wilderness, slack-lining (not my cup of tea) and reading at a local park, and lots of wandering.

Oh, and I'm apparently a hipster:

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