There are many great routes to ski resorts. Some run from the Sea to Sky such as the highway up to Whistler, BC. Then there’s the lake in the sky. Cresting Echo Summit Lake Tahoe consumes the horizon and is a must see. One of the most dramatic and desolate roads is the one that leads to Mt. Bachelor. From Bend you point your vehicle uphill. Almost half the distance to the resort, you only traverse small hills that are covered with trees. Then you catch a glimpse and the volcano pokes its head out a few times. It disappears again before it fully exposing itself in all its glory. The lone peak in the area stands proud and hovers above the rest like a king. Staring up at it absorbing the view it’s surreal. At that moment you realize everything in front of you can be skied. Excitement and awe floods your emotion.
Breakfast of Champions
Before heading out for a day of adventure, you have to fill your tank. A quick breakfast is in order. Since we’re all about supporting local businesses Mother’s Café was the choice. Their motto is “Keep it Fresh. Keep it local.” From smoothies to cold pressed juices made to order there are a ton of healthy options. Looking through the menu one item really grabs our attention, the Monte Cristo Sandwich. A crazy combination of ham, egg, Havarti, and marionberry jam on a toasted whole wheat English muffin. Since it sounded unique, that’s what we ordered. The sweet and salty was perfect as expected. We grabbed two and headed out to meet our boy Elliot of Aspect Boards & Brews.
Closing weekend of Northwest Express
As we pulled in the parking lot, Elliot arrived right behind us. After a quick greeting, we got suited up. The weather was perfect! A cool breeze was blowing, but the snow was fast. Starting at Skyliner Express we took a few warm up laps. You could see this season they had a ton of snow. The snowpack was still incredibly deep everywhere. From there we headed over to Northwest Express. Located on the backside of the mountain it has steep open bowls, which transition into tree skiing followed by a long run down to the chairlift. This was the last weekend it would be running, so we wanted to enjoy the terrain it accessed. In addition, Mt. Bachelor was throwing a party at the base, to celebrate closing weekend for the chair. Music blared and patrons enjoyed the festivities! Everyone was having a blast.
On to the Summit!
Since Elliot had to head back to Bend, to open the shop for the day, we said our goodbyes. As for us, we were on a path to the Summit. In the winter this chairlift almost never runs because of the continual onslaught of storms blanketing the resort with powder. In the spring though, this lift is the gateway to some of the coolest terrain on the continent.
The best part, it’s so big it normally doesn’t even have any tracks in it! As we rode the chair up the wind began to howl. Fortunately for us, as we exited the lift and made the turn into the main bowl the ridgeline blocked the wind. With no one in sight, we dropped in and began to take huge arcing turns through the snow. Standing at the bottom we looked up at our handiwork grinning ear to ear. After a few more laps we called it a day. It was time to enjoy the great après scene Bend is known for!
Coffee, bikes, and beer all in one place?
Since it was only two o’clock we decided to check out a place our good friend Sean told us about. He said it was a bike shop that served beer and coffee. It sounded interesting. Pulling up to Crows Feet Commons the first thing you realize is how beautiful the building is. Situated in one of the oldest craftsman bungalow style houses in Bend it is really cool to see in person. It’s also the last standing bungalow east of Mirror Pond. Swinging the door open we are greeted with a smile from Ana. Walking around the building we notice that there isn’t a bike shop anymore. Ana says that business was so good that they had to expand and move the bike shop across the street to another building. The café has a feeling of a classic New England building with creaky floors and amazing pieces of lumber throughout. After a good cappuccino and enjoying the view of Mirror Pond we hop on our cruisers to go get some food.
The Lot – Food Truck Heaven
Deciding where to eat can sometimes be a challenge especially if you don’t know what kind of food you want to eat. Fortunately, in Bend the Lot helps make that decision super easy. This is a food truck pavilion that has at least five different trucks to choose from. As typical, Bend steps up the outdoor experience even with food trucks. There’s nice outdoor seating with a roof to protect you from the elements. And if you are thirsty they serve local beers on draft to wash down your meal. From there it was onward to satisfying my sweet tooth.
Foxtail – The little bakeshop that could
Right next to the Lot is a small bakery called Foxtail Bakeshop. Even in the late afternoon this small store was packed with people ordering all kinds of desserts. Their cupcakes looked a bit different so we grabbed a lavender / marionberry cupcake along with a lemon curd. I have to say they did an excellent job. These were unique and delicious. Finishing up the day we filled a few growlers and headed back to the house.
Addy Mac’s Ice Cream
Even after all these years of visiting Bend there is always something new to try. From the ski resort opening another chairlift next year that will add another 635 acres to new breweries opening, there’s always something new to see and do. Of course there are some oldies but goodies too! For us, that is Addy Mac’s Ice Cream.
The ice cream flavors Justin has are always different. Today he was serving chipotle chocolate, peanut butter Ritz, and s’mores. All three were on point. The Mexican hot chocolate was by far the most thought-provoking. It was spicy like a jalapeno, but had the rich flavor of a dark chocolate bar. A must try indeed!
There is something about Bend that no other destination for snow sports has. It is far enough away to make it a challenge to visit, but once you get there it is worth all the work. If you are planning a trip that has anything “outdoors” you can image, but is a little bit different Mt. Bachelor and Bend are a perfect combination!