We have just returned from central Oregon where we golfed and socialized with friends. Believe you me, for people that live in the Portland metropolitan area, this is a bit of country life.
Central Oregon is place with an unusual mix of people. The Warm Springs Indian Reservation sets north of Bend and boasts warm springs pools at the resort and a casino plus an 18 hole golf course. While the service at the resort is notoriously bad the setting and amenities have people returning year after year. The golf course is narrow and challenging. It is set beside the river that runs through the reservation.
Farther south you will find Madris, Terrabonne, Redmond and then Bend. The resort we stayed at is just north of Redmond and is one in a million. The location is fairly remote. Road leads you off the main highway between Portland and Bend west into the deep Crooked River Gorge area. Crooked River Ranch Association owns all the property that the resort sets on. It has an RV park that is very satisfactory and full a great deal of time during the summer. Reservation are absolutely required and when we took our RV we made them a year in advance but you can get them much later than that.
A gorgeous 18 hole golf course is walking distance from the RV location and from the motel where a number of octagon shaped building house two motel rooms each. We reserve these room a year in advance too. There is a restaurant near by for dinner or lunch and the motel serves continental breakfast. The restaurant was open for breakfast this year from Thursday through Sunday.
Now, if you venture down the road to Bend and the near by areas you will find a cosmopolitan community with lovely resort shops and great dining. The also have the famous Deshutes Brewery and Bend Brewing, Mc Mennamins, Cascade Lakes Brewery as well as a gin distillery called Bendistillery. A person could pub crawl all over the place. In Oregon, Bend is the place to see and to be seen.
If you want one of the most beautiful scenic drives in the world, I kid you not, take Century Drive. This is about 100 miles long loop leaving Bend going west and returning to town 100 miles later. It is a good day trip, and your camera will probably explode from over use after the day is over. Lakes, mountain, volcanic flows, etc. Just Do It as our Nike corporation would say!!! If you like to hike, bike, camp or just sight see you will find just the right place for you.
The Deschutes River than runs through Bend boasts some great white water rafting and if you fly fish your life is very good. This is the dream spot.
As far as golf is concerned the must destination for “real” golfer is Sunriver Resort. The courses there have seen the likes of Tiger Woods and others of his caliber play matches. The resort in and of itself is a true destination that would not leave you dissatisfied. Families are their specialty and bike trails, hiking, golf, and a pool that is simply gorgeous will welcome you. Other resorts you might consider are Black Butte ranch west of Sister, Inn at the Seventh Mountain or simply a motel in down town Bend. All of these either have golf courses on site or very nearby.
Prineville, Oregon lies about 45 miles east of Bend and boasts the Meadow Lakes Golf Course. This golf course was a Golf Digest pick several years ago. They use the waste water from Prineville as their lakes and keep an environmentalist dream alive. It is just wonderful, tough, and water laden course. Cost is reasonable and they have a nice grill on site. Prineville is the beginning of the “real west” in Oregon and if you stay on the highway and travel east you will find some delightful small Oregon towns that boast real cowboys and waitresses in cafes novelists write about. This is the part of the world that I call home. A very long drive east will take you to Ontario where my husband was Ontario High School principal for 13 years and then a short 30 minute drive west on I84 will take you to Huntington, Oregon a very small former railroad hub where we were raised.
I always come back home from trip inside my state so enthusiastic that I want all of you to visit. Just type “Bend Oregon” in the Google search box on the right and see what comes up. Your next trip will be taken care of. You can fly into Portland and rent a car. It’s really easy so come on over and visit us sometime.