This is a short and sharp attempt by me to put the last 10 days into bullet form before my washing is done. Yes mum…… I can feel your pride that we do wash our clothes!
Well, we could not leave the Sisters, Bend & Smiths area because we got a bit too comfortable with everything being convenient, hot and free! So we ended up staying for 3 full weeks which was not our original intention but that is the joy of ‘no agenda’.
Anyway – how did we fill our time? Biking, climbing, fishing and live music!
The road biking here is great especially on the dedicated scenic routes. One of those is McKenzie Pass that runs from Sisites Coffee Shop ( our HQ) to the top of the Pass and is closed to road traffic other than bikes until mid June. Fantastic! Our first ride on it was on a weekend with about another hundred plus road bikers enjoying the views and fact we were kings of the road! It is closed to cars because the snow is still there but they have cleared it enough for bikes. We saw, families, old people, recumbent, bikes, bikes heavily laden with panniers, top of the range time trial bikes and athletes and even a mono cyclist go up and down this 30 mile road. All of them were as friendly and cheery as if it was a festival. We spoke to several folk at the top who had been to Scotland too. One of them said it didn’t rain the whole week!
Our other favourite route was up and down a quiet, scenic road that runs by the Crooked River from Prineville to the Prineville Reservoir. We saw fly fishing in scenes straight from the movie ‘A River Runs Through It” . In that film Brad Pitt does for fly fishing, what Steve McQueen for motorbikes in the Great Escape……or am I just attracted to blond blue eyed hunks?
Sisters is also the place we heard about a local Barn hosting a live folk music night with multi talented musicians. So we went. Stunning location on a working ranch with the Cascade mountains as a backdrop. No sooner had we got out of Sheldon ( our van) than we were having a laugh with a guy from Bend who loves road biking. His wife was a local musician and singer and they were our mates for the night. It was impossible to feel less than a local due to the fact that everybody talks to you all the time. I had a great laugh with a lady at the portaloo J. However, when the music started I saw Phil’s face go from elated and happy to uneasy and uncomfortable. The first song saw everybody clapping and swaying to what could have been described as a ‘happy clappy’ kind of song. Phil thought we had inadvertently found ourselves in the middle of some remote religious cult. Oh how I laughed as I rocked and clapped with the masses. As it was we were absolutely fine. They were all as normal and in the vast majority, as old as we were. The musicians were talented but not honestly our kind of music. Unlike another night we had in Bend at a local bar with Blue Grass music which had us tapping, clapping and smiling all night. Brilliant! The lead singer had toured Scotland and Ireland so we had a good chat. The joy of a small town bar.
As for the climbing – hot in the day so early or late was the order of the day. We got a few crack climbs in and repeated lots of our favourites from the last time we were here. Nothing new to report. Just a great place to climb.
Fly-fishing……. Our friend and qualified personal trainer Lou Ramsay, has told us that it is now encouraged to have a ‘recovery sport’ so we are very current in our training regime. The fact that we don’t really over do any of our activities enough to warrant too much recovery time may mean we have gone a bit far in our approach to a new hobby. However, our age is coming into play and the thought of being in a gorgeous place doing something less active but challenging is now very appealing. We can now go and play with our mates Steve and Giles in Aviemore and Baz in the Lakes…….hooray I hear them say J
We took a 3 hour lesson from a local shop Confluence, in Bend and Tay was fantastic. That was an invaluable and inspirational 3 hours. We obviously bought one set of intro kit between the two of us becausw we are tight but then managed to find a second hand set for $30 which I have adopted as I like it more.
Is this Brad of Phil?!
We practiced our casting in the town park – that looked normal…not. When we actually got to the Crooked River and camped there it was perfect. Phil was casting when I turned to look at him. It could have been Brad! Needless to say we have caught nothing yet but Phil nearly got one. The fact that the fly was literally touching the trout’s face as Phil dangled a fly right in front of him, probably meant he recognised the 6ft shadow hanging over him with a rod as a sign not to bight. Watching Phil’s body move with the rod as he tried to tease it with his fly was hilarious. It would have been more effective to get a stick and whack it over the head. It was only a few inches away from the bank where he was standing.
So, our new hobby is full of potential adventures as we pass through some meccas for fishing. Watch this space. I can guarantee the first fish we catch will be photographed a lot!
Then came our final night in Sisters and to end our time with a bang, we finished with the first night of the Sisters Rodeo. An evening of cowboys and cowgirls and bull riding. Yee ha! We have been to several rodeos now and it all felt familiar especially as I had my appropriate hat on. I do like to fit in.
See you at our next wash!