After a good night of rest, it is time to get back out in the forest and see some of the things that we don’t often see in Arizona. Our plan was to do a shorter hike along the Tumalo Creek and see some waterfalls. The day starts out with some clouds and some smoke that has settled in around Bend. The temperature is great and off we go.
I think there are quite a few vehicles around the trailhead but nothing compared to what we will see when we return from our hike. The hike starts with a less then a mile hike up the trail to a viewpoint to see what most people come to see; Tumalo Falls, the highest one in Central Oregon. It is evident that many stop here and turn around but we also want to see what is known as double falls on Tumalo Creek. This area seems like the second most popular place to turn around.
I’m feeling pretty well so Carolyn and I agree to continue on the trail, and there are few hikers out today. We only encounter a couple of mountain bikers, and maybe 4 or 5 hikers on the trek towards Happy Valley. I was so glad we ventured onward as we encountered multiple falls along the trail. Now these falls weren’t small ones but actually each one had long water drops and were amazing to see.
Once again, we had the good fortune of being by ourselves and able to enjoy this beautiful out and back hike with hardly another person to be found. It was another beautiful day to spend with each other in the great outdoors enjoying each other’s company. The series of trails in the area can get one on all the way to Mount Bachelor. We stop in the Happy Valley area where another creek runs through and the grassy area is a great place to relax and just enjoy life.
According to All Trails Hiking App, we hiked a total of 8.1 miles with an elevation gain of 1224 feet at a pace of 23:52. Not bad for this old guy. The trail is really smooth and is not rocky so it was easy on the body. Walking down, I told Carolyn that we were going to try 10 Barrel and see if we would get better service this time around. I felt it was something that I needed to show a bit of grace and make the attempt to forgive and move forward.
Carolyn and I returned to cell service around 12:30 and I immediately received texts from my daughter Caitlin and my sister Kathryn informing me that my father had passed while in Hospice care in Phoenix. It wasn’t a surprise but yet it sort of caught me by surprise. Our topic of discussion rapidly changed and we called Caitlin knowing that she would be very upset since she was probably closer to my father then almost anybody. They had had a very special relationship during her elementary school years in Payson and she spent a large amount of time with her grandfather. We talked on our way back into Bend and lunch at 10 Barrel Brewing Co.
I had just visited my father the day before we left on our Oregon trip and he was not in a good place with his dementia related symptoms but all of his vitals were good per the Hospice person. It was the worst that I had seen him and all the other times he was able to discuss special things and remember who we were and so on. The last time, he had thought that he was lying on the floor, and he referred to me as the young, strong guy who should be picking him up off the floor. In reality he was lying in his bed and upset and wanted to go “home” to be with his wife. My mother was in a rehab facility for a shoulder replacement and they were not allowed to leave or receive visitors due to Covid.
Carolyn and I stopped at 10 Barrel and had us a beer and sat outdoors discussing all things Darel. It was a totally different experience and we were able to enjoy, relax, and reminisce. We ordered the STEAK & GORGONZOLA NACHOS and it was a home run. I couldn’t even tell you what beers we had but they were good and the service was completely different from the previous evening. It all seemed right.
Done with hiking for the day, we headed back to Bend and went to Costco. Yes, Costco. I love visiting Costco around the country. Each one is a bit different so for me it is part of my adventure. Carolyn thinks I’m a bit off for wanting to visit Costco but she tolerates that obsession. After our stops, we head to the hotel to freshen up and continue our brewery journey with dinner and craft beers at the original Deschutes Brewery. Deschutes is always busy and we had made a reservation for this evening knowing that we wouldn’t be able to eat without one. Fun times sitting in one of my favorite breweries since it was the one that I most wanted to visit.
Prior to dinner, we stopped in Crater Lake Spirits Tasting Room. Great place to try some of their products and their special was something like six samples for $5. So I got to try different whiskeys that they produced. Don’t get to do that very often but it was a cool venue next door to Deschutes.
Our day comes to end and we have decided that we are going to stay around Bend and hike along the river and just hang out with little driving tomorrow.
It was a most interesting day for us, with my father passing but yet being able to find peace in the outdoors and able to discuss life and the uncertainty of our tomorrows. Spending time with Carolyn and having that special person to unburden your thoughts is part of finding an internal peace. I’m most thankful.
It’s a beautiful day
The sun is shining
I feel good
And no-one’s gonna stop me now, oh yeah
It’s a beautiful day
I feel good, I feel right
And no-one, no-one’s gonna stop me now
MamaSometimes I feel so sad, so sad, so bad
But no-one’s gonna stop me now, no-one
It’s hopeless, so hopeless to even try
By Queen, et al