Wednesday, July 30, 2008

In Bend

Sitting at Townshend's Teahouse. Drinking Kashmiri Chai... yum. This is my fourth day in the Pacific Northwest. Arrived three days ago, where Kate picked me up at the Portland airport. The flight from Seattle to Portland was short, but very cool. The pilot made a fly around of Mt St Helens. Not just a flyby, "Hey look out the window", but he actually circled the caldera and you could look down into the volcano from several different angles.

Kate lives in Northwest Portland in a great neighborhood. Her apartment is less than a block from a great park where we read and napped. On the recommendations of my friends, Lindsay and James, I am reading Jon Krakauer's "Under the Banner of Heaven". The book is really enlightening me to a lot of things I never considered regarding not just Mormonism, but faith in general. No matter what religion you are, fanaticism has a lot of the same characteristics.

I have had some good grub. I love food when I travel. We ate at Sushiville, near Kate's place where the sushi comes around on conveyers. I haven't been to one of those in years. Someone needs to open one in Asheville. Breakfast Tuesday was also near Kate's where Kate was being imparted Vulcan wisdom by a dangling Mr. Spock. This teahouse rocks. Another thing I need in Asheville. Breakfast at the Victorian in west Bend was delicious. Get the Warsaw, it has eggs, potatoes, sauerkraut, Polish sausage and is loads of yummy. Had an elk burger at the Deschutes Brewery last night. Parilla's across the street from Victorian's has funky burritos. It's like the Lucky Otter with more tatoos and one dollar PBRs.
Bend is a very good town. Mountain biking is first class and close to town. I rode Tumelo Falls Trail yesterday, about 16 miles round trip. The uphill took me pass no fewer than seven waterfalls and the downhill was fast and fun. The city is very bike friendly and has good restaurants and shopping. You are close to all sorts of things: volcanic stuff (Newberry National Volcanic Monument), skiing and snowboarding at Mt Bachelor, rafting on the Deschutes River, hiking and camping and, of course, endless miles of mountain and road biking. Portland is only 3 hours away and Eugene is about 2. And there are great towns nearby like Sisters, Redmond and Sunriver.
Last night, I was walking downtown looking for dinner and a girl walks by and says "Hi." I say "Hi" back and then we both turn and look at each other. It was obvious that we both knew each other. Turns out Kathy and I played Ultimate together in the Asheville League and she had moved to Bend last winter. It's funny how 2,500 miles away, in a city of nearly 80,000 people, I can randomly run into someone I know. We ended up going to meet some of her friends for dinner. Small world...

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