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Ben(d)

August 24, 2012

The weekend of the Sweet Cheeks dinner, Sarah and I went to Bend to meet up with her parents, who were staying at their friends’ house.  Sarah’s been inviting me for ages to come hang out with them in Bend, so I finally took her up on it!  We of course needed to stay in town for the Friday night dinner, so we headed out Saturday morning.

We drove up the McKenzie pass (OR 242), which was exciting because I had been trying to go this way for ages, but it’s almost always closed because of snow.  I could see why – the steep and narrow roads would be a mess to drive on!

We paused at a lava field to explore what I thought would be a cool crater, but in fact wasn’t.CIMG1543

Sarah was not wearing the most appropriate lava exploring gear.

Sisters!CIMG1544

We finally made it, despite lots of construction, rotaries, and aimlessly driving around.CIMG1546

Of course we went to 10 Barrel, an awesome brewpub.

And we met up with Ben!CIMG1545

Sarah and I split the 10 tasters – it was good because there were definitely some that only one of us liked, but it was challenging to split everything somewhat evenly!

The last time we were here, Sarah got “the best mac and cheese of her life,” so that’s what we got.  Well, we each got one, but it was a huge portion so next time we’ll split it.CIMG1548

I love anything involving cast-iron.  This lived up to the hype.  It was super cheesy, had andouille sausage, breadcrumbs… so good.  The bread was just like Iggy’s bread back in Watertown and made me miss that place like crazy.

Then we did some shopping downtown.CIMG1549

New lab motto.

We had a great evening going to more brewpubs and then watching the Olympics back at the house.

On Sunday we met up with Ben again to go to Smith Rock.CIMG1551

Such a cool park!  We hiked up the Misery Ridge trail.CIMG1554

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And then looped around to see Monkey Face.CIMG1561

This thing is insane.  It was crazy to watch all the people rock climbing on it.CIMG1565

And crossing over the giant void on a rope!CIMG1576

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Then I found a new cave house.CIMG1585

It has a great view!CIMG1584

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Oh, I get it.  Now it looks like a monkey.CIMG1586

And here it looks like a dinosaur.CIMG1588

We were dusty, hot, and hungry after our hike, so Ben brought us to Jackson’s Corner, a seriously awesome sandwich shop/café/bottleshop.CIMG1589

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Bloody marys and BLTs!

What a great weekend.  So glad I went.  Sarah stayed another night with her parents and I drove home – but I stopped at Fish Lake, which was basically a drying pool of swamp, to swim.  It was shallow, but warm.

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