Travel: Bend, Oregon

Back in the day when my family took “Sunday drives” we would trek all the way out to Chagrin Falls! I remember guided bird walks in Shaker Heights and of course the long drive out of the Cleveland Metroparks duck pond! I know firsthand that being brought up with the sound of waterfalls, the sound of bird calls and the smell of trees has been a huge reason why I live in Bend, Oregon today.

Happy Valley Hike

For the record… WOMEN ROCK in Bend. It’s common to see pairs of women out jogging with strollers. Women riding anything from a cruiser bike to a knobby wheeled mountain bike. Rock climbers and mountain climbers. Women hike in town, along the rivers, and in the mountains. Skiing, snow shoeing…

One thing that I absolutely love about the women here is that they are very confident out on the trail… ALONE!

No matter what size or shape you are, there’s something available for you to get out and see something spectacular.

One of my favorite hikes is just a 20 minute drive to the end of my street. The hike goes from Tumalo Falls to Happy Valley. The hike is along Tumalo Creek, which is fed by mountain snow melt and winds through old growth pine trees. There are about 10 waterfalls along the way and if you time your hike for mid-July, when you arrive at Happy Valley it’ll be in full bloom with wildflowers.

Sparks Lake

This is what I call couch potato kayaking. These inflatable kayaks are so comfortable! We’re at Sparks Lake and the mountain in the background is South Sister. My son and I once saw a gorgeous chocolate brown Eagle being chased away by three Osprey. My friend Jenny and I kayaked out to the middle of the lake and watched the moon rise. You know how pictures don’t do the beauty justice??

Out cross country skiing at Shevlin Park, I literally gasped when I saw this tree.

Do you see doves or angels?

People come here in droves to see the sights. Crater Lake, the deepest lake in America, is 90 minutes south of Bend. To the north you will find world class rock climbing at Smith Rock. I like to go to Smith Rock off season when people aren’t around. There’s something about the rock formations that feels very sacred.

Because there is so much to do here, there are plenty of things to do in town. There are a number of resorts and spas for all kinds of relaxation. I’m not a beer or pot person, but there are over 30 local brew pubs and marijuana is legal. Wine however… Portello is my favorite spot. Every time I’ve gone there, I’ve had quality girl time with my closest friends.

Restaurants, conferences, floating the river, golf… As you can tell, the possibilities here are endless.

While visiting Cleveland, my son missed out on the guided bird talk in Shaker Heights, but he has been to the duck pond. It was fun for me to share the experience from a Mom’s point of view. As for me… just a couple of weeks ago I took myself out on a date to Chagrin Falls!

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Diane Allen

I’m a peak performance and leadership speaker but don’t let that title mislead you. I don’t have an Olympic gold medal and I never climbed Mt. Everest! I learned the hard way how to go from sitting in the back of the orchestra to sitting in the front. I became the concertmaster (lead violinist) of an orchestra where it was demanded of me to have nerves of steel along with the sensitivity of an artist. Retired from the violin, I found my true voice as a speaker and now share the 3 critical steps to Own Your A-Game so individuals, teams, and organizations can fulfill on their potential and lead.

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