Today we decided to take advantage of our time in Bend to play tourist for a bit. It certainly wasn’t our typical zero day because “resting” played only a minor part in our agenda. And of course, since we were in town I basically forgot to take pictures for most of the day…
We spent the morning lounging around, taking care of our internet chores, and doing laundry at Renee’s. Then we were off to explore a bit. First stop was the famous Deschutes Brewery for lunch and beer! It’s a little weird being in a town as big as Bend. It feels like we melt into the background a bit more. Walking around in running shorts and performance t-shirts (it’s hot!) doesn’t necessarily give us away as PCT hikers, and I imagine that many of the other tourists here have no idea that the trail is nearby.
After lunch we headed back to Renee’s to pick up her two-person inter tube that she kindly offered we could borrow. Then we were off to float down the river. After my mishap during our last river rafting experience (bruise is still there), I was a little hesitant when I heard that there was a section with rapids. But we got a glimpse of the rapids on our Lyft ride over and they didn’t look too bad (on a side note, our driver didn’t bat an eyelash when we tried to fit a giant inter tube in her vehicle).
It turns out that we were lucky to have borrowed Renee’s inter tube because when we got to the launching off point there were no more tube rentals remaining. The tubing experience was tons of fun. There were lots of people out on the river, yet it ended up being a very chill and relaxing experience. And no new injuries! A definite must for a fun zero in Bend!
Since we hadn’t had enough water sports or relaxing yet, we next headed over to the old St. Francis School, which is now part of the McMenamins boutique hotel chain. We’d heard that they have an awesome soaking pool and we wanted to check in out. But first, we were advised we had to stop by the bar to grab a (plastic) glass of beer to sip in the pools. Turned out it was happy hour, so those glasses of beer quickly turned into a $12 pitcher of tasty beer to take to the baths. The experience was amazing. The tile work in the soaking pool was gorgeous and the water was warm and toasty (great for sore muscles!). Totally worth the $5 per person admission fee.
We capped off the day with a lovely dinner and now we’re beat. Today was probably the most fun that we’ve had on a zero day thus far, but it might have also been the most tiring! I’m looking forward to being back on trail tomorrow — it seems more relaxing!