Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Like Blanche DuBois, we have been fortunate to experience the beneficence of strangers as well as the charitable acts of friends and family. This last weekend was a case in point, when our friends K&J invited us to join them for the weekend at a condo they'd rented at Sunriver, the 3,300-acre development along the Deschutes River just south of Bend.
The river at the marina.
I'd heard good things about it from friends who'd gone, but had never actually set foot on the property. And I have to admit a certain prejudice against gated communities full of SUVs, pristine swimming pools and golf courses (three plus one nine-hole "links" course). But a free weekend away from home with friends and the guarantee of great food and drink, plus a blogging opportunity? We couldn't say "Yes, please!" fast enough.
Anyone who's been to Central Oregon knows there is virtually an unlimited number of outdoor activities available, from hiking, biking and swimming to skiing, camping, horsebackriding and boating. And, aside from camping and skiing, almost all of those activities are available without leaving the Sunriver property. With miles of bike and walking paths, many through undeveloped open land, it was pretty stunning, even for a skeptic like me.
Our first day, after a walk on the paved paths down to the marina through pastoral fields dotted with horses grazing on lush grass, we came back and launched into a round of Dave's cocktails before a dinner of grilled steaks, market asparagus and rhubarb crisp. (See what I mean about the food and drinks with this crowd?) A dip in the hot tub (and no, no nudity, thanks!) and we were out like lights when we finally hit the sheets.
The next day involved a spectacular 4-mile hike along the Deschutes (pron. duh-SHOOTS) and the lava beds surrounding the Newberry Volcanic Monument. On the way back we stopped in Bend for lunch and brews on the deck overlooking the river at Bend Brewing, wondering why more pubs in Portland don't have food that good.
By the time we made a long farewell bike tour around the property on our last morning, admiring the wildlife and beauty of this stunningly designed property, we'd grown to appreciate it, even thinking that there might just be another trip here in our future.