Hit the slopes this Friday instead of waiting in line at Walmart

By Dusty Trails

We all know the signs. The first morning you wake up with frost on the windshield of your car. The first holiday decorations at the grocery store. The first time you hear Jingle Bells on the radio–before Thanksgiving has even passed. I’m not talking about Christmas. I’m referring to the ultimate gift. The gift that truly keeps on giving. The one that’s white and powdery and falling all over town. It’s a little thing called snow.

Ski season is so close we can almost taste it–just like the turkey and cranberry sauce we’re about to consume on Thursday. It’s that wonderful time of year when we slip on our beanies and our boots, get stoked at the latest ski premier, and pick up some “Pray for Snow” from 10 Barrel on our way home from work. It’s when we dust off our helmets, wax our skis, and prepare ourselves for some delicious laps at Mt. Bachelor.

If you’re as excited as we are, then we know how important it is for you to have easy access to one of the Top Ten Ski Resorts in North America. Now get ready for some numbers: 20 is the number of minutes away Tripleknot is from Pine Marten or the Nordic Center. 10 is the number of minutes it takes to get to the newly revamped Meisner Sno-Park. 0 is the amount of time you’ll spend dealing with snow removal, landscaping, and routine maintenance, so nothing can come between you and a day in the mountains.

And infinity is the number of adventures you’ll find right in Bend’s backyard this winter, whether it be downhill skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, sledding, skate skiing, cross country skiing, ice skating, or going on sled dog rides. And the whipped cream on the pumpkin pie is that you can even sink into a cozy sofa by the fire after an epic day of “shredding the pow.” Basically, Tripleknot is a snow lover’s dream come true. Even resident Terry Skjersaa thinks so.

Bend in the winter is magical. All we’re waiting on is those little white flakes to come down from the sky. Thankfully, regardless of how the weather treats us, Bachelor is set to open Friday at 9am! So kick your snow dance into high gear–and work off that Thanksgiving turkey while you’re at it.

Catch the fireworks from Tripleknot, and other Fourth of July festivities

By Dusty Trails

 

Independence Day is quickly approaching, and I’ve got my outfit all planned out: blue jean overalls to go with my bright red sunburn on my pale white skin from floating the river the other day. Ouch! But a little sunburn isn’t going to stop me from celebrating the birth of our nation. So here is an overview of the festivities in Central Oregon this Fourth of July.

The annual Spark Your Heart 5K run/walk kicks off the day at Riverbend Park at 8 am in support of local adult and children’s heart services. After the run, head over to the traditional Pancake Breakfast in Drake Park served from 8 am to noon by the Bend Sunrise Lion’s Club. This all-American meal costs $4 for kids and $6 for adults and the proceeds benefit local charities.

My personal favorite event is the Pet Parade. Every year as a child, I would decorate my bike, scooter, roller skates, wagon, dog, hamster—everything—in red white and blue paraphernalia, put on a crazy costume, and line up with hundreds of other patriotic participants to march, pedal, skip, and dance down the streets of downtown. The parade started in the 1930s and is Bend’s largest, with 8,000 spectators and participants. If you would like to be in the parade, the lineup and decorating party starts at 9:30 am in the parking lot between Bond and Wall across from the Deschutes Public Library. If you’re just watching, be sure to arrive well before the 10 am start time to find parking and a good spot to enjoy the procession.

After the parade, head over to Drake Park for the Old Fashioned July 4 Festival from 11-4 for games, live music, food booths, and more than 100 artisan booths.

Finally, after an afternoon of barbecuing, floating the river, paddle boarding, biking, or whatever your Independence Day activity of choice may be, get ready for the fireworks at 10 pm. They are launched from the top of Pilot Butte, so Tripleknot residents don’t have to go far to find one of the best vantage points to watch the magic happen.

What’s with this mountain biking craze, anyway?

By Dusty Trails

 

I have to make a confession. In my 20 years of living in Bend, I have never really gotten into mountain biking. And it’s a shame, because there are over 270 miles of continuously linked single-track mountain biking trails right in my backyard.

So last weekend I officially tried mountain biking for the first time. I had an experienced friend take me out to Phil’s Trail, the popular biking hub that is less than 5 minutes away from Tripleknot. From there, we had an overwhelming number of options of trails we could do. My friend graciously got me started on a beginner route called Ben’s trail, which has less hills and rocks than the more advanced trails do.

After clumsily falling off of my commuter bike a week before, I wasn’t too confident about dodging rocks and roots and tree branches while going fast on a bike. We started out going pretty slowly when I came to my first obstacle where the trail wound in between two trees that were only about a foot apart. I closed my eyes, gritted my teeth, and somehow made it through the death trap.

But instead of feeling nervous, I suddenly felt exhilarated. We were twisting and turning through tight trees, bombing down big hills, climbing up bigger ones, and ducking under overhanging tree branches, and I could not stop smiling. There were even smoothed out logs that you could bike over. I have always been into trail running, but this was so much more fun! The forest was our playground, and we had all day to explore.

I still have a lot to learn about the sport, but I cannot wait to get out there and start riding again. There are countless trails in Bend for beginners like me along with the world-class biking crowd. It’s easy to find a friend to show you some good places to start, but Cog Wild Bicycle Tours can also be a fun way to get to know the ropes. And believe me, it’s worth it. Now I know what this mountain biking craze in Central Oregon is all about!