Days 6-7: The City of Bend, Oregon

I loaded up my car so I could check out of the Airbnb by 11:00am, and on the way out, I stopped to talk with Victoria, the owner. She asked where I was going next and we talked a little about my next destinations. Then I told her I wanted to make a documentary about higher education and the lack of diversity in thought on college campuses.

Victoria told me that when she was in college many years ago she took a class about feminism and literature. She read a story and had to write a summary of her thoughts and opinions on it. She was surprised by the story and in her paper, she described her understanding of the piece. However, it did not fit the narrative that the professor was trying to promote, so the professor gave her a lower grade. Victoria was upset because she had always received good grades.

She talked to the professor and explained the assignment was her interpretation of the writing and that is how she read the piece. The professor refused to change her grade because it did not fit what she was “supposed to be learning” – the narrative that the professor was trying to push down their throats.

Victoria had been very surprised by this and it upset her. This happened a long time ago and I explained to her that it’s only gotten worse. We had a great discussion and I felt so much more energized. It made me feel more like myself. I enjoy deep discussions and debates and hearing how other people think. It reminded me who I am and what I’m good at.

I headed to Bend, Oregon which took just over three hours. On the drive there, I stopped in Eugene to have lunch and just outside of Eugene, I stopped at two covered bridges; my friend Tracey had told me that Eugence was known for its covered bridges. They were so beautiful and almost magical. There was nobody around so I was able to get out and walk around a bit to see the construction inside. The bridges looked like something from a fairytale. They had been around for over 100 years. I can’t even imagine what it took to build them but they were very well constructed (and reconstructed).

The drive to Bend was full of giant green pine trees and mountains. But when I arrived in Bend, it was much dryer – similar to southern CA.

I checked in at the Sugarloaf Mountain Motel. The girl at the front desk had half of her face covered with her hair. Seriously, her hair was so side-swept that her right eye was completely covered. It made her look lazy and aloof. That and her sour attitude. I asked her if the room I was in was one of the remodeled rooms because what’s advertised is the remodeled rooms but on Trip Advisor, I saw rooms that had the old bedspreads (which I hate).

She very rudely said “I don’t know.”

“Ok, well, don’t you at least know which buildings are already remodeled?”

“No.”

“Ok, well if I get to my room and it’s the old style, can I switch it for a remodeled room?”

“No, we’re very full. Housekeeping is still cleaning rooms.”

“Well, it’s 4:30pm, I’m sure the rooms will be clean soon?”

“I would have to ask the head house keeper.”

“Ok…Please do that.”

The girl left the front desk for about 10 minutes while several bikers (as in full leather motorcycle guys with beards) and two families tried to check in, patiently waiting in line.

“The head housekeeper doesn’t have any other rooms clean.” Ugh.

I drove my car over to my room, which was on the second floor. Again, wishing I had someone to carry my luggage up the stairs, I opened the door and saw that the room had been remodeled. Listen lady, you could have just told me that! At least there weren’t men outside on the balcony drinking and smoking watching me unload.

I got comfortable and checked my matches on the dating app. There was a guy who liked me who had nothing but pictures of him with dead animals he’d killed while hunting. The profile picture was him with a giant moose. He was cute, but there is no way I could date a guy who hunts so frequently (or maybe at all). I love animals and killing them for sport is a big turn-off. I texted the profile picture to my cousin Misty and said, “He likes me. All three pics are of him killing animals. No thanks.” She wrote back, “No way”. I also had a 23-year-old like me (15 years younger than me).

The next morning, I took some time to research hikes nearby and then went for a run outside near the motel. My friend Sarah in Los Angeles had put me in touch with a friend of hers who lived in Bend, Bethany. Bethany let me know about a festival that was going on that evening.

I headed out around 7:00pm and the festival was celebrating the 25th anniversary of Deschutes Brewery. There were your typical food booths and lots of tents for beer and ciders. There were also tents for Kombucha and Hydroflask, which reminded me I was in Oregon.

I got some food and a couple of ciders, watched the sun set on the water, and stood around the stage listening to bands. The temperature was nice, the people friendly, and the music fun. I enjoyed it but wished I had someone to share it with.

Around 9:30pm, I headed to Worthy Brewing Company where I saw on Facebook events that they had an observatory on-site. When I arrived, I saw that it was a restaurant, brewery, and after going up a narrow spiral staircase, an observatory. I ordered a beer and looked through the telescope. The view to the stars was a bit disappointing because I couldn’t actually see much. But the view of Bend, with the setting sun illuminating the mountains, was gorgeous. The breeze was chilly but I hung out on the top by the observatory for a while drinking my beer and then went down to the second floor where there was an indoor/outdoor bar. I sat and ordered a beer, which was fun, but lonely. I looked forward to being able to go for a hike the following day.

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