My arms are tired, my skin is burnt and my brain is fried. I have only one question: When can we do it again?! Here are the highlights of my weekend, spent with my husband, some friends, kids, and our dogs. All true.

Friday Night: The Steve Miller Band in concert
Saturday: Kayaking with the dog on Hosmer Lake
Saturday Night: Sagebrush Classic Feast/Barenaked Ladies in concert
Sunday: Boating on Lake Billy Chinook
Sunday Night: Barbecue on the deck
Monday: Arrival at our home of the Yahoo! Cycling Team

Friday Night: The Steve Miller Band played to a raucous crowd of about 5,000 people at the outdoor Les Schwab Amphitheater in Bend. While the sun set over the Cascade mountains on a hot summer night, we listened to great music, sang songs, danced, and closed down the show, hollering for more. Not entirely satisfied, we capped the night off under the starts, with crab cocktails and wine at Anthony’s Home Port, just a short walk across the Deschutes River footbridge, from the amphitheater to the Shops at the Old Mill District.

Saturday Morning: We packed up three kayaks, lunch, and the dog, and headed to Hosmer Lake, about 45 minutes outside of Bend, Oregon. We strapped a life jacket on the dog and put in amongst the lily pads with Mt. Bachelor looming in the background. We paddled through a trout-infested canal, and past an island surrounded by shallow, emerald green waters. Here is where the dog, leapt out of the kayak and bounded like a bunny through the silt to greet other adventurers. (Getting a dog out of a kayak is easy, getting the same mud-soaked pup back in the kayak … not so easy.) We proceeded upstream along a narrow creek to a waterfall surrounded by wildflowers. An hour and a half after we launched, we lunched: artichoke bruschetta on rustic Italian bread with fresh sliced tomatoes, plus mixed nuts, dried fruit, apples, cheese and iced tea. A short time later we noticed the time and paddled as fast as we could back to civilization. We had party plans!
Saturday Night: The Sagebrush Classic Feast is a great summer event in Central Oregon. Chefs from all over the country and as far away as France and Viet Nam, come to share small plates with guests who gather at Broken Top Club for a night of festivities. While the adult beverages flowed from Deschutes Brewery and regional wineries, we enjoyed oysters from Hog Island with “Hog Wash” sauce, sirloin steak, Kobe beef, and sea scallops with fois gras, to name a few. Then came the desert choices. Just when we thought we couldn’t have more fun, the live band started and we danced until we dropped. Others in our party went to see Barenaked Ladies in concert, again at the Les Schwab Amphitheater. We all fell into bed whilst visions of boating danced in our heads.

Sunday Morning: Paddling a kayak takes work. It was time to do a little speed boating and let the motor do the hard part. We called some friends, packed them up with their children, their dog and our dog, and headed to Lake Billy Chinook, about an hour north of Bend. Three rivers converge at this reservoir: the Deschutes, the Metolius and the Crooked. We launched the boat on the Deschutes arm and headed out into the wild blue yonder, full speed ahead. Zoe (11) has named our boat King Julian, from the Madagascar movie, because when we’re being pulled in the biscuit, it’s more fun to put your hands in the air. Alex (21) rocked the wakeboard and the rest of us took turns trying to stay on the biscuit (now dubbed Moto Moto), while my husband spun us in circles. Gads of fun!

Sunday Night: By now we’re hot, sunburned and totally spent. But not to tired to eat, of course. We ended our day on the back deck with barbecued chicken, spicy rice, fruit and berry salad, and grilled corn on the cob. I slept that night like a stone, glistening happily in the bottom of a stream.

Monday Morning: My arms are tired, my skin is burnt and my brain is fried. As I write this I am awaiting the arrival of the Yahoo! Cycling Team, who will be staying in our home for the duration of the Cascade Cycling Classic, July 20-25. Six days of elite stage racing lie ahead, with courses woven throughout the Cascades, culminating in the thrilling Twilight Criterium in downtown Bend. The 31st annual Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic is the longest consecutively run elite stage race in the country and has attracted most of North America’s top cyclists and teams over the years.
Next up for me: I’ll stock the pantry with pasta and sauce and load up the fruit bowl. Then maybe I’ll take a teeny little nap.

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