On Monday I walked my dog wearing a sleeveless top and skirt.
To clarify, my dog was naked. I wore the skirt and top.
In any case, it was bright and warm and I got a touch of sunburn on my nose. When I came home and glanced at the weather report, I saw snowflakes in the forecast for Thursday. Yep, snow.
It’s always possible this time of year in Bend, just like it’s also possible I’ll be sitting on my back deck tonight sipping a Bend craft beer in 80-degree weather. You kinda never know.
But there are a lot of upsides to our crazy yo-yo weather fluctuations that come with springtime in Bend, and here are three of my faves.
Wield ski poles and a kayak paddle in the same day
Mt. Bachelor has one of the longest ski seasons in the Pacific Northwest, and the mountain is legendary for having some of the best spring skiing in the country. Most years you can ski all the way through Memorial Weekend, and given the snow year we had in 2015-2016, there’s still plenty of white stuff to be found up there.
As an added bonus, Mt. Bachelor has oodles of great Springtacular specials going right now, ranging from deals on spring passes to events with live music and competitions. You can learn more right here.
Once you’ve had enough of snow play, drive 20 minutes down the hill to the middle of Bend. Take your pick between golfing, mountain biking, kayaking, or any manner of warm-weather sport. There’s plenty to pick from, and the new Bend Whitewater Park adds an extra dimension of fun to your time on the Deschutes River.
My personal fave is standup paddleboarding, and I had my first SUP outing of the season a couple days ago. The very same day, a pal posted her photos from a ski day up at Mt. Bachelor. How’s that for the best of both worlds?
Layers can be kinda fun
I’ll be the first to admit I’m no fashionista, but I also kinda like the variety I get to have in my wardrobe this time of year. I start my workday wearing sassy boots and a cardigan with my skirt, and by mid-afternoon I’ve ditched the sweater and switched to sandals. When evening rolls around, I can go back to my original outfit, or trade for jeans and a fleece if I plan to hang out by an outdoor fire pit along the Bend Ale Trail.
Also, can I confess something I didn’t tell my husband when we packed for our recent three-week vacation in New Zealand? I deliberately packed extra light when it came to things like sundresses, hats, and scarves. I knew those would be easy to find in either beach towns or mountain towns, and I love the idea of picking up wearable souvenirs in my travels.
There are oodles of great shopping destinations in Bend, including historic Downtown Bend and the Old Mill District. Springtime is the season of killer clearance sales, so now’s a great time to score really great discounts on those “transitional pieces” that’ll see you through the changing weather.
Indecisive travelers unite! Or don’t…
If you’ve been eyeing Bend as a vacation destination, it can be tough to decide when to visit. Do you want to snuggle into your puffy coat beside the Crux fire pit sipping a hearty porter and reminiscing about your day of snowshoeing? Or would you rather hike Pilot Butte in short sleeves, then pick your favorite riverfront dining spot to watch kayakers paddle past while you enjoy a gourmet meal?
While you’d have to pick one or the other if you were deciding between a December versus an August trip, you can have both when you visit Bend in spring. That hot tub they offer at your Bend hotel or vacation rental will feel a whole lot better on a cool spring evening than it would in July, but you won’t have to shovel a path through the snow to reach it. Score!
Not only that, but the Bend lodging deals you’ll find in springtime are much better than you’d see at peak times in mid-summer or mid-winter.