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4 little white lies to help you play hooky in Bend

mountain biking

We’ve officially reached the season when I spend roughly 50% of my workday glancing out my window and sighing, “Why am I not out there?”

Luckily, a good chunk of my job actually does require me to get out there, so it’s not such a stretch to make it happen. But for those of you stuck in offices that aren’t located in Bend, the urge to skip work and frolic in the outdoor mecca of Central Oregon can be even stronger.

To help you craft a believable excuse for your boss, professor, significant other, or even your own conscience, here are four totally legit (and mostly truthful!) little white lies that will let you play hooky in Bend, Oregon.


EXCUSE #1: I have a board meeting to attend in Bend

The beauty of this one is that it works year-round. In the wintertime, throw that snowboard on the roof rack and point your car toward Mt. Bachelor. There, you’ll spend endless hours getting acquainted with “the board” as you glide down the slopes enjoying 3,365 vertical feet of snowy goodness.

When warm weather rolls around, it’s a standup paddleboard that helps solidify this excuse. Perhaps your “board meeting” takes place on one of the high Cascade Lakes where you’ll enjoy solitude and peace of paddling on flat water. Or maybe you and the board would prefer an outing on the Deschutes River, where you can rent all the necessary gear at Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe before hopping in the river right outside their shop. Paddle upstream until you reach the Bill Healy Memorial Bridge, then float back through the Old Mill District to check out all the restaurants offering riverfront dining. Pick one you like the look of, and treat yourself to a post-paddle happy hour after you’ve turned in your gear. Nothing caps of a good board meeting like a cocktail, right?


EXCUSE #2: I’m feeling a bit under the weather

This is a good excuse to use if you’re phoning the boss from the balcony of your Bend hotel or from the hot tub at your Bend vacation rental. If you can, try to muster up a few sniffles or a hacking cough.

Then get out there and really get under the weather. In the summer months, bask beneath blue skies, warm temperatures, and endless sunshine as you hit the mountain biking trails, set out for an afternoon of hiking, or paddle your worries away in a kayak or canoe. Look up from time to time to watch a puffy white cloud drift past as you fully absorb being under all that glorious high desert weather.

If it’s wintertime, the weather is likely to be a bit snowier. Get under, over, and all around it when you trek out for a snowshoe adventure or hit the trails for some Nordic skiing. Just be sure to bundle up well. You wouldn’t want to get sick or anything.


EXCUSE #3: I need to help out at Grandma’s House

This one is admittedly a stretch, but Bend doesn’t have any bars with conveniently clever names like “The Office” or “The Recovery Room,” so we’ll make do with what we have.

This  excuse is perfect for those who like to include a bit of charity in their Bend vacation. Grandma’s House of Central Oregon is a non-profit organization providing safe shelter to homeless or abused pregnant and parenting teen girls. They’ve been part of the Bend community for more than twenty years, and they’re always seeking donations of cash or much-needed baby supplies. You can get in touch through their website or their Facebook page.

Now pat yourself on the back for helping out a good cause. It pretty much cancels out any guilt you might be feeling over your slightly shady excuse for a Bend vacation, right?


EXCUSE #4: My dog is sick

Is Rover sick and tired of being cooped up in the backyard? Does Fido desperately need a day of running and playing and breathing bountiful fresh air in the high desert wonderland of Bend?

For the sake of your pooch’s health, you owe it to him to spend a few days in the town named the nation’s dog-friendliest city by Dog Fancy magazine.

My own dog, Bindi, wrote a lovely post about all the great things dogs can enjoy in Bend, so you can read that here (or have your dog read it to you—I hear it was quite popular in canine book clubs).

Whether you’re looking for dog-friendly hiking trails or off-leash dog parks (we’ve got seven!), you’ll find plenty of places for your pup to frolic. When dinner rolls around, lots of Bend restaurants allow dogs to join their owners for meals on outdoor patios, so scope out the grid listings on our restaurant pages to find the best spot. Need a dog-friendly hotel? You’ll find plenty of them here.

Incidentally, this excuse also works if you swap out your dog for your kids. A child who’s sick of gray skies and rain will find plenty of healing power in the sunny oasis of Bend!

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