I’m pretty sure that this post is going to take a few legs of my return trip to pen. With good reason because there is so much that I’ve experienced since stepping foot into the terminal in Portland on Tuesday that I need to cover. Frankly, I’m having a hard time figuring out where to start. How about at the drive down to Bend.
Heading to Bend was an event all unto its own. I knew I’d be driving through mountainous areas but I was not prepared for the beauty that I would see. I know it sounds like a cliché but, when I say I could see for miles because of how clear it was, I’m not joking. It was full visibility all around me seeing mountains, buttes and more all around me. I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced that before save for two times: Once when I visited Tash in Canada when the weather was fair. The other time was when I was on a naval vessel in the middle of the Mediterranean. Knowing that I could near me all the time is refreshing and mind-blowing.
Arriving in town was wonderful. I cruised into town around 4:30pm and instantly found my hotel: The Dunes Motel. Thanks to Priceline, though I was looking for a Days Inn or a Comfort Inn, I was presented with a $35/day stay at The Dunes Inn on 3rd Street. Based on TripAdvisor ratings, it was an older motel, but had since been renovated and was pretty decent. Those reviews did not do it justice and I will be leaving a review on my way back to Augusta. Kumar, the man behind the desk greeted me excitedly, made me feel at home, and got me right to my room. The room didn’t have your traditional “Hotel Linen” but was more of something you’d see from Kohl’s or the like. Definitely different and cool. The showers made me kinda feel like Rambo when he’s picked up by Brian Dennehy and his thugs in First Blood and they hose him down. Yup, CRAZY water pressure. The mattress was a bit firm for my liking but each room also is not tailored to the individual so no fault there. Loved the motel. Again, great service.
The Purpose of the trip was to visit with a firm in Bend that I may (fingers crossed) will be working for. Without being too specific at the moment, I have to say that the team of individuals that I met with are absolutely awesome. It’s a young company with aged experience if that makes any sense (It does in my mind, at least). During the interview process, I had a chance to meet with every employee and went through a line of questioning that felt so organic. I loved it. Note to HR managers, if you are tasked with hiring someone to be apart of a team, do it that way. You let the candidate know the personalities of the people they will potentially work with and that is so beneficial. Not to mention the view from the office is awesome. Each employee (save for one) ended up taking me for a walk around the area (the Old Mill District) and I felt like I was in a movie. I kid you not, it was like a movie where there’s a beautiful public park within a 1 mile radius of EVERYWHERE. Walking down to the shopping area, which is right near the river, I saw people paddle boarding, running, playing with their kids, playing with their dogs, or simply relaxing on the grass. Perfection. Oh… and Rock chucks (more on those when I move to the area).
The Food… oh my bejesus, the food! Let me count the ways I love the food of this town! Everyplace that I went, save for one, was a 10 out of 10. I won’t call out the less than stellar place, but I will give credit where credit is due. I’m looking at you Deschutes Brewery, Cafe Yumm, Lone Pine Coffee Roasters, Bellatazza (Awesome Blueberry Tea), Pilot Butte Drive-In, and last but perfectly NOT least, Brother Jon’s Public House. I have to say, every single one of those guys brought it when it comes to service, hospitality, and tasty tasty food! If you’re ever in the area, say what’s up to “Booch” at Brother Jon’s. Tell em “Georgia Boy” sent ya! I’ll say this, P90x is going to beat me into submission next week!
The Scenery has me at a loss for words at times. I’ll try to explain what I saw. From the mountains I drove through to the rapids along many of the roads. I call them rapids and I’m probably wrong but they were beautiful none the less. I’ve never seen so much green grass in my life. Bend, you guys are green thumb masters. But it’s not a wonder so many people take to riding bikes, hiking, skate boarding and simply putting a blanket out and laying in the grass in this area. You can’t not do that. I’m torn. I don’t want to head to the airport yet. I want to go back out to by the office at REDACTED and just chill for a bit. You know what? I think I will. I did have a chance to hike up to the top of Pilot Butte which was simply amazing. Getting to the top of that thing and watching the sun set. There were no less than about 25 to 35 people there and it felt like only a handful. Quiet chatter from couples talking to each other was barely audible. What did I hear? The wind and the rustling of bushes. That’s it. And I couldn’t help but close my eyes occasionally, drinking it in. Just a note to self, don’t ALWAYS take the steepest route to the top. Meander a bit next time. Take the time to see the town below get a little smaller. Next time, I’ll drive on down to the Lava River Cave. Looks like a lot of fun!
Last thing I’ll say before I pack up and head back to the Airport. This position that I’m working towards will be that stepping stone that brings my family and I back to Bend. And right now, that’s the only place we want to be. The only thing missing from this trip was my wife and kids. Without them, Bend does feel a bit incomplete. Let’s rectify that, shall we? So on that note! Thanks for reading. Who knows if my trip home will be as nutty as my trip here. Be sure that I’ll be posting the hijinks if they happen. Until then! So long, Bend. See you soon!