It Was A Long Week…

Our plan to stay a week in Bend morphed into three weeks… For no other reason than we just like it here! Plus, the weather up north in Anacortes still seem drippy so why not just stay put. Hiking, biking, and exploring the area have kept us busy. The Crown Villa RV Resort has been the perfect location with its easy access to the Old Mill District and Downtown. Great location, huge sites with brick pavers, patio sets and a storage shed certainly set this RV park apart from others we have stayed at. The other nice feature is that there is literally a grassy park behind all the RV sites and loads of mature ponderosa pine trees. Our only disappointment was that the pickleball court was closed due to COVID but I suspect it will be re-opening soon.

We have spent a lot of our time here in Bend just enjoying the outdoor life. Hiking, biking, walking and exploring the area have kept us plenty busy. There are no shortage of hiking trails nearby and we have especially enjoyed the extensive Deschutes River Trail system. Hiking along water – bonus points!!! Dillion Falls was one of our favorite hikes and the falls are just beautiful.

The bird watching on our hikes has been fun too. Colorful Western Tanagers, Black Headed Grosbeaks, copious amounts of Red Winged Black Birds, Finches of all kinds, Woodpeckers, loads of LBB’s, Nuthatches, Bald Eagles, Turkey Vultures, Ospreys and Hawks but our best sighting was a Great Blue Heron contemplating how to fish the turbulent waters at Dillon Falls. Herons take a bit of effort to take flight and seriously, one false move and this dude would have been swept into the water and over the falls.

Yesterday (Friday), we took a walk through Drake Park and Downtown Bend. Shops, bars and restaurants are starting to re-open but there wasn’t much foot traffic for the beginning of a long weekend. Much as I would like to plop myself down in a restaurant with white table clothes and gleaming stemware, a cold tap beer on a mostly deserted pub patio was a daring step out. Man, did it feel good to sit outside by a big fire table , overlooking Drake Park with a cold brew, sun on my back, yep…it felt normal.

While we aren’t partaking of newly opened restaurants yet that doesn’t mean we haven’t been eating well. There is a great produce stand just a few miles away and I even braved a trip to Trader Joe’s. The line was kinda long to get in as they were only letting 20 people in the store at a time, masks mandatory. So it was a thirty minute wait but once inside it was really nice not to be elbow to elbow like it always was pre-COVID. Not sure why the gal in front of me needed to bring her kids but at least they had masks on.

We have had a wide range of meals and I made a batch of triple chocolate brownies with toasted coconut which we have been feasting on for the last week. Tomorrow night the Uuni Pizza Oven is getting fired up…there is homemade pizza dough rising as I type.

We have a few more days to enjoy Bend before the Road House rolls on Tuesday. Tomorrow we are headed out to Tumalo State Park to take a hike and look for a family of owls that someone told us about. Hope you are all sane, healthy and enjoying a bit of normal…what ever that is!!!

Sheltering in Place – A Diary of Virusapocalypse: Day Fifty One – Fifty Five

May 15, 2020

We extended our stay in Bend through May 24th and have had a great week with two different friends visiting. Additionally, today is momentous in that many counties in Oregon including Deschutes County, which Bend is in, are starting to re-open. Under phase 1 of the re-opening, Gov. Kate Brown is allowing nearly all of Oregon’s counties outside the Portland metro area to begin reopening  Friday, as well as all retail statewide (except malls and shopping centers).

It will be interesting to see how these phased re-opening go, will people continue to observe the stay at home orders in counties that are still closed, will COVID cases spike, will small rural counties be able to maintain their low cases if people start traveling again… all TBD.

Great mural that has been painted on the back side of the Les Schwab Amphitheater which is in the Old Mill District.


So here is how day Fifty One through day Fifty Five of our sheltering in place went:

  • We are hiking or walking everyday…there are so many trails yet to explore!
So Bend has it’s dark and moody side! This field is right next to the RV Resort and is where Wally takes Bentley for a run everyday.


  • Monday I made some awesome Elk Burgers. I had recently discovered a package of wild ground elk that was gifted to me last fall in the freezer so that got me salivating for a good burger. Wild Elk is actually very lean so I added some garlic that I had been soaking in olive oil to the meat along with some thyme, salt and pepper. The burgers were served with carmelized onions, homemade sundried tomato goat cheese spread and arugula. YUMMY!!!! I also did not not repeat my failed burger bun attempt…licked my wounds and just bought some nice fluffy potato buns from the store.
That is an excellent burger…


  • Tuesday we had friends from Portland drive over in their Leisure Travel Serenity aka “The Mobe”. We are lucky to have some friends who like to travel as much as we do and have joined us along the way in our travels. In this case, Donna and Steve also share our love of good food and wine so we always have fun cooking together and sharing our latest wine acquisitions. Despite the fact the weather took a rainy turn, we had three days of fun together, hiking, exploring the area and quaffing some delicious wine that they brought with. Since there were no restaurants we could visit, we co-opted some great meals together.
Donna brought this delicious bottle to share… yes, the picture is blurry but hey I took it after we drank the whole big bottle!!!

  • Wednesday, a long time friend, Connie who now lives in Burns Oregon stopped by while she was in Bend. We spent a couple of hours catching up and talking about dogs, so great to see her. Connie is a devoted Standard Schnauzer breeder and our boy Gus was one of her pups. Gus was surrendered to the Oregon Humane Society while I worked there. One of my staffers called me the day he came in day so I went down our medical clinic to take a look at him as Standard Schnauzers are a bit of a rare breed. I kinda fell in love with the dude, fostered him for a few days after he had major dental work done and eventually got him transferred to a Standard Schnauzer Rescue Group. Poor buddy had serious separation anxiety and wasn’t doing well in the shelter.
Wasn’t he a cutie!!!

A couple of days after Gus went home with the Standard Schnauzer Rescue gal, I got a call from her. She told me she figured out who the breeder was (Connie – Von Berg Schnauzers), that Connie was in Portland and that she had let Connie know that she had Gus. Being a reputable breeder meant Connie wanted Gus back and of course I was thrilled he found his way home at almost 9 years old. Long story short, Connie and I kept in touch and some how I ended up going to see him one day and somehow he came home with me!! He was my buddy and my pal, a great dog that Wally and I loved to pieces. He still had terrible separation anxiety which got a bit better over time but he was otherwise fearless, confident and loved to go any where we went. Gus also helped us raise Bentley, another puppy I couldn’t resist at the shelter.

Our second week is flying by almost as fast as the first week here in Bend did. Sadly, we have no more visitors coming by but have plenty of exploring to do still. Donna texted me on her way out of town with the location of a great farm stand where I scored some awesome fresh veggies today.

Left over slow cooked bolognese with fresh fettuccine and steamed broccoli starved with a big glass of ghost pine cab – thanks Jill and Cindy for that delicious wine.


While it is tempting to go out to one of the many retaurants here in Bend that are re-opening, whats more tempting are all the micro-breweries…sigh. But we are going to continue to avoid crowds of people, do occasional take out, get a growler filled to go and just enjoy the great outdoors here in Bend. Today we ran errands, stopped at the produce stand, went to Petsmart and Ace Hardware. Yep, we are cautiously venturing out so I think this will be my last entry as sheltering in place…I hope….fingers crossed.

Quiet Downtown Bend…PS…please wear your mask!!!

Sheltering in Place – A Diary of Virusapocalypse: Day Forty Four – Fifty

We have been here in Bend for week now and loving it. What’s not to like…great weather, friendly people, hiking galore plus we are settled in a nice big site at the Crown Villa RV Resort. Liking it so much, we extended our stay another week. It has been easy to continue sheltering in place, I am still using Instacart to have groceries delivered, utilizing restaurants that offer take out and generally avoiding people as best we can. With a population just under 200,000 Deschutes County has been relatively unscathed by CODID-19 – 85 cases and no deaths. I think this could have been very different if Governor Kate Brown hadn’t shut down the state so early. Bend in particular is a tourist destination both winter and summer so with no big influx of people from all over the US, they have stayed relatively healthy here.


So here is how day Forty Four through day Fifty of our sheltering in place went:

  • We have been hiking or walking everyday. There are so many options in the Bend area that we can do something different everyday. Monday Kristen and I walked the Bend River Park Trail that starts in the Old Mill District. It is a very pretty 4 mile walk along the Deschutes River.

Dinner was a full spread of Cinco de Mayo eats complete with a pitcher of Margaritas – Thanks Kristen for the great grub!

  • Wednesday was Kristens birthday so of course we hiked!!! Our choice for a pretty afternoon hike was at the Riley Ranch Nature Preserve. There is a great trail system there with a series of small loops.

Kristen requested that the Wally Brenda pizza duo cater her birthday dinner so that’s just what we did. It was a three course meal featuring… wait for it…PIZZA. Of course, I made the dough from scratch in the morning so it could rise all day. I started the BD girl (Well, and me too) with a French 75 cocktail which I made with frozen meyer lemon juice (from our trees in Palm Springs), gin and prosecco – that’s how you get the party started!!! Head Pizza Chef Waldo started the birthday girl with a Pizza Margherita topped with fresh basil from my traveling herb pot. The second course was a Green Chile Chicken Sausage Pizza and the third course was an Apple Chicken Sausage Pizza with Blue Cheese topped with Arugula. John bought the birthday girl her favorite dessert – Cheesecake which we topped with Lemon Curd and Blueberry Compote. After dinner, we played a round of Five Crowns – it was a fun evening with the BD Girl!!

  • Wally and I took a day trip to Camp Sherman on Thursday. We brought a picnic lunch and hiked along the Metolius River. This is a gorgeous area and the crazy thing is the head waters of the river. The headwaters of the river are at Metolius Springs, where the river emerges from two clusters of springs at the base of Black Butte. Water flows to these springs from the drainage basin around Black Butte Ranch, several miles to the south. The elevation of the drainage basin is 300 feet above that of the springs, forming a natural standpipe that tends to stabilize the river’s rate of flow. But seriously, how can all that water come out of such a small hole in the ground???
  • Friday Wally and I headed out to Sunriver which is a city all in its self. It was actually developed in the late seventies and was the first luxury resort community in Central Oregon. The resort community is home to 63 holes of world-class golf, a marina, an aquatic center, stables and its own small airport. In Sunriver, you can spend the day riding bikes along 30 miles of paved trails, going on a guided horseback ride or visiting the Sunriver Nature Center, Oregon Observatory, High Desert Museum or Lava Lands Visitors Center, where the first astronauts trained to talk on the moon.  The Village at Sunriver hosts a variety of shops, restaurants, breweries and art galleries. In winter, the Village at Sunriver offers ice skating and Mt. Batchelor with first class skiing is just a 20 minute drive.

Wally and I have spent some time in Sunriver, mostly on skiing vacations so it was fun to drive through and reminisce. Unlike other trips, Sunriver was a ghost town. The Village was mostly shuttered except the Bend Brewing Company which was offering take out. After splitting a burger and fries we needed a good long walk so we headed out to the marina area where we picked up the River Loop Trail. This paved walking/biking path was a great way to burn off that burger and 6 miles later we were both ready for a shower and a cold beverage. We saw a plethora of birds, a big herd of elk which were way off in the trees behind the horse pastures, deer and some ground critters. We met up with Kristen and John back at the RV Resort for drinks, dinner and some time around the fire pit. Persistence won out and we finally got through to Wild Rose Thai Eats – OMG, what a feast we had. Truly some of the best Thai food I have ever “eats”. Sorry, no pictures… we forgot!

  • Saturday was our last day with the Quaranteam so we loaded up our bicycles, a picnic lunch and headed out. Kristen and John had never been to Mt Batchelor or Sunriver so those were our destinations.
Mt. Batchelor off in the distance.

Back at Sunriver, we headed to the marina again and rode the same trail we walked the day before. Kristen brought carrots so we had fun feeding the horses. Seems they are furloughed too and were definitely enjoying the attention and treats. We had our picnic after the ride at the marina by the river – such a pretty day.

Our week together with the Quaranteam in Bend literally flew by and we spent our final evening together on our patio with the fire pit going. Dinner was a light fare, White Bean and Chicken Soup with a Mixed Green Salad which Kristen and I co-opted. Great caravanning and week with our fellow full time RV friends…our paths will cross again soon!!!

Sheltering in Place – A Diary of Virusapocalypse: Day Forty Three

The last leg of our road trip to Bend Oregon on Sunday was just under 250 miles. We tooled along in the remote back country of California and Oregon with rarely another vehicle in sight. Our route from the Likely Place Golf and RV Resort took us along Hwy 395, then we connected to Hwy 31 which then connected us onto Hwy 97 at La Pine Oregon. Part of Hwy 31 was a bit bone jarring but for the most part it was such a pretty drive that we could ignore the bad roads for a stretch. It felt like the Indy 500 when we rolled onto Hwy 97 with all the car and truck traffic!


So here is how day Forty Three of our sheltering in place went:

  • We decided to enjoyed a more leisurely start to the day so Kristen and I took a long walk around resort on the nature trails. The area around the pond was really active with Red Winged Blackbirds.



  • The caravan was on the road Saturday by 10:30 am and headed for our final destination – Bend Oregon. Wally and I have spent the last 28 years collecting experiences and our love of travel is jointly shared so what better way to spend our 28th anniversary – Love you babe!!!



  • This portion of the drive was mostly high desert plains which took us by several lakes and through tiny farming towns. I love this glimpse into old, rural america and took so many pictures… unfortunately most through the window so please excuse the window glare and bugs on the windshield!!
  • We ate a big breakfast but didn’t stop for lunch so the caravan gang was ready for an early dinner when we rolled into Bend. We had our eye on Wild Rose Northern Thai Eats, had all the entrees picked out and were looking forward to a big family style feast. Only problem was that no one ever answered the phone even though their website said they were doing take out. How rude, didn’t they know it was our anniversary??? Our second choice was Dang Vietnamese which turned out to be a great second choice and we definitely feasted.




Our three day sprint to Bend Oregon was definitely a sprint… we usually like to take our time, stop and explore the areas we are traveling through. These are strange times to be on the road for sure. Most of the small rural towns we drove through were hauntingly quiet but maybe thats how they always are. We are happy to get settled in at the Crown Villa RV Resort in Bend and enjoy exploring all the outdoor activities the area has to offer. As things start to open up again, I don’t think we will be rushing to go out to restaurants, bars or any other big venues for awhile. Being out and about in the great outdoors is just right for now.

The Lava Butte Caldera in Bend.

Sheltering in Place – A Diary of Virusapocalypse: Day Forty Two

Our first day on the road (Friday) was was mostly great… a few minor issues with the passenger seat side window (yay for gorilla tape) and low tire pressure in the passenger tag axle tire. … hey whats up with my side of the coach??? But that said, the scenery was amazing. Smoggy Victorville with heavier than expected truck traffic gave way to clean, blue skies, majestic snow capped mountain and very little traffic. We made it to Mono Lake where we stayed at the MonoVista RV Park. It was a quiet stopover…so glad they were able to get a variance to stay open for overnight travelers.

Beautiful Mono Lake


So here is how day Forty Two of our sheltering in place went:

  • The caravan was on the road Saturday by 8:30 am and headed for Likely California. We have never RV caravanned with another couple and who more perfect than our shelter in place buddies Kristin and John?
  • The drive between Mono Lake and Gardnerville is absolutely gorgeous. Snow capped mountain, lakes, roaring rivers and massive plains capture you and delight your eyes. One of my favorite parts of the drive is following the Walker River as is roars down into Topaz Lake.
  • Our first stop of the day was in Gardnerville, NV for fuel. Diesel for $2.49 a gallon – woo-hoo. Not only was it a very scenic stop but someone served me a mimosa!!! WHAT…now this is why caravanning is so fun. What wasn’t so fun was the DEF incident… luckily it all turned out fine thanks to Mr. Handy Pants but he wasn’t a happy camper for sure. If your curious what DEF is you can read the link, but suffice to say it isn’t windshield wiper fluid. I drank my mimosa while he flushed the DEF tank and refilled it with DEF.



  • We made a lunch stop at Del Taco in Carson City. Wally and I normally find a rest stop, grab a sandwich and keep on trucking but something about a taco salad just sounded good! Kristen found us a great parking spot at the nearby Walmart. She also ordered online and walked thru the drive thru to pick up our lunch – now that’s good service. We ate in our coaches and got back on the road with a full belly.
  • After leaving Carson City NV, it was about 185 miles to Likely, CA where were spending the night at the Likely Place Golf and RV Resort. The stunning scenery and virtually no traffic made the drive feel easy. Well, easy for me as I was sitting in my plush passenger seat or up taking pictures the entire time. I had great intentions to get some driving time in but somehow that just didn’t happen.
  • We arrived at the Likely Place Golf and RV Resort road weary and ready to put the jacks down and relax. Seems the computer reservation system didn’t relay our reservation to staff so they were a bit befuddled when our two big rigs arrived. No pull in sites in the big rig area were available but they took our guys in a golf cart to look at the sites “up the hill” by the group gazebo. Yep, we would fit and would not have to unhook the tow cars. It was kinda funky and for the most part neither coach could get level but whatever… it was just one night and it really is a beautiful spot in the middle of nowhere.
Heading into the Likely Place Golf and RV Resort
Circling the wagons!!!


  • Our coaches were right next to a three sided gazebo designed to block the wind which was blowing a bit. We took advantage of the outdoor setting and enjoyed our dinner in the gazebo with our propane fire pit taking the chill off. Kristin and I co-opted dinner, she did a whole chicken in her Ninja air fryer/pressure cooker and I provided all the sides, garlic-rosemary roasted baby potatoes and asparagus with clarified butter. After dinner, we hung out in the gazebo and played a game of Five Crowns. It was actually quite cozy despite the serious sideways blowing rain that started up.
Kristen was the only one not making goofy faces for the photo!!!





It has been an interesting few travel days. As we move further from the populated cities of California, we have seen less signs of lock-down. As an example, in Modoc County where we were spending the night moved Friday to reopen hair salons, churches, restaurants and the county’s only movie theater which defies the Governor’s order. There haven’t been any confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the 9,000 residents of Modoc County, but the reopening came with strict social distancing limits. Businesses could only have half the patrons, and customers must stay 6 feet apart. I sure hope this works out for them.

The county is an outlier in every sense of the word. It is tucked into the far northeast near the Oregon border, hundreds of miles from the capital of Sacramento and even further politically from the Democrat-controlled state; it’s a place where seven in 10 voted for Donald Trump in 2016.

One could argue that technically we aren’t sheltering in place either but actually our road travel in the coach has kept us mostly isolated from other people. We are still being careful, wearing masks, lots of hand washing and wiping down of things to keep us safe and healthy.

Sheltering in Place – A Diary of Virusapocalypse: Day Forty and Forty One

We are in the road and rolling today. Our first overnight stop on the 900 mile trip to Bend Oregon will be near Mono Lake California at the MonoVista RV Park.

The caravan is ready to roll!



So here is how day Forty and Forty One of our sheltering in place went:

  • To beat the heat, I only got up early yesterday morning to walk. I said my goodbyes to a few friends and the beautiful resort.
  • Frank’s Wash and Wax gave the Road House the full beauty treatment on Thursday. We have it waxed twice a year to protect the paint. The guys showed up at 7:45 am and the two of them were done around 11:30. The Road House is looking good!
  • We spent the day Thursday doing all the final pack and prep inside and out. We took advantage of the large commercial washing machines at the resort laundry center to do all of our bedding and rugs. We will enjoy at least one cat hair free nights sleep!
The lot looks so empty.


  • Bentley got a refreshing bath outside … wow is he shedding in this heat.
  • Wally picked off the remaining lemons on our tree and found this “dude”!
Definitely a dude!!!


  • I made pulled pork in the instant pot for easy meals on the road.
  • We enjoyed our final cocktail on the patio while Bentley laid in the grass behind out wall zesting lemons! I packed ten extra lemons just for him.
Bentley the zester, lemon molester!


  • Dinner was a simple Smoked Salmon and Beet Salad with a glass of Italian Chardonnay.

As excited as we are to be rolling again it comes with some trepidation. The great thing about RV travel is it is easy to maintain social distancing. Our route is remote and rural so that makes us feel more at ease too.