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5 ways to spring clean your life in Bend


If the words “spring cleaning” send you scuttling under the bed to hide with your dust bunnies, fear not. While spring’s arrival spurs some to bust out the feather duster, no rule says your cleaning must be done with a mop and not hiking boots.

Here are five ways to jumpstart spring cleaning vibes in Bend—no vacuum required.

By working together, we can Preserve Bend’s pristine beauty!

By working together, we can Preserve Bend’s pristine beauty!

Join Mother Nature’s mop-up crew

Preserving Bend’s pristine beauty makes an excellent start to a new season. Begin by taking the Bend Pledge and vowing to Leave No Trace when you play outside.

Next, consider joining a voluntourism project like the annual Cave Cleanup from Wanderlust Tours or the Spring Thing cleanup at Smith Rock State Park. It’s an excellent way to help tidy your favorite outdoor spaces.

You can also join the cleanup effort sponsored by Keep Nature Wild, which vowed in 2018 to remove 1,000,000 pounds of trash from the wild by 2023. They’re close to meeting that goal, so pitch in with one of their local Earth Day cleanup events on April 22, which includes one at Pine Nursery Park, one at Pilot Butte, and a third at Smith Rock.

If you’d rather fly solo, pack a small trash bag when you head out hiking in Bend. You’ll be surprised how many gum wrappers and bottlecaps you find along the trail, and you’ll feel awesome leaving Bend’s outdoor spaces better than you found them.

Even the simple effort of tidying your own corner of the earth can make a difference. Bring reusable water bottles on your next outdoor adventure and pack out all your own trash. Got any of those annoying PakTech plastic thingamabobs that hold together packs of beer or cider? The Bend Visitor Center is one of only two spots in Bend where you can recycle them, so bring yours when you swing by to grab your free Leave No Trace sticker sheet and durable backpack tag featuring tips on responsible recreation.

Bike getting worked on at Sunnyside Sports in Bend, Oregon.

Thanks for the tune-up, Sunnyside Sports!

Time for a tune-up 

Maybe mountain bike trails are calling your name, or perhaps it’s your gravel bike making come-hither eyes from the garage? Regardless of where and how you pedal, spring’s a good time to get that bike tuned up. If biking in Bend is on your bucket list, consider scheduling a tune-up at a Bend bike shop. They’ll know just what you need for current conditions, plus they’ve got all the tips and maps your pedal-powered heart desires.

But spring in Bend doesn’t mean it’s time to put away winter gear (my tulips tearfully agree from beneath their snowy blanket). Spring skiing at Mt. Bachelor is the stuff of legends, and thanks to 2023’s epic snowfall, this season extends to the end of May. Get your ski gear tuned for bluebird conditions at a Bend ski shop and prepare for some of the best powder days on the planet.

And if those sports aren’t your jam, consider this a good time to brush up on the Ten Essentials to ensure you’ve got what you need for safe, responsible outdoor fun in the coming season.

A paddle boarder floats along the Deschutes River in Bend, Oregon.

It is time to dust off those kayaks and SUPs! River season will be here soon.

Dust off your summer gear

Tuning up seasonal sports gear is only part of your plan (though for the record, now’s also a good time to scan kayaks, canoes, and standup paddleboards to make all necessary repairs).

You should also spend a few minutes checking hiking boots, shorts, backpacks, and other warm-weather essentials. That way, you’ve got time to replace or repair what needs it.

Now’s also the right time to prepare for Bend’s summer concert season. Dust off that 16”x16” seat cushion and measure again to make sure it’ll get through the gates at the Hayden Homes Amphitheater. Better yet, review all their rules about what you can bring to each concert. If you haven’t seen a show for a while, you may not know blankets and backpacks and taller chairs aren’t permitted anymore. If you’re snapping up concert tickets as fast as they can announce shows, it’s also a good plan to purchase essentials like a see-through bag that meets their size requirements.

A group on a forest bathing experience with R'oming Yoga in Shevlin Park. (Image courtesy: R'oming Yoga | Image credit: Stacie Muller)

A group on a forest bathing experience with R’oming Yoga in Shevlin Park. (Image courtesy: R’oming Yoga | Image credit: Stacie Muller)

Spruce up your soul

Not all forms of tidying take place on the outside. If you’re looking to spiff up your spiritual side, Bend’s the best place to do it.

Book a forest bath session with R’oming Yoga and rest assured the process involves no suds. On a guided hike, you’ll get in touch with all the sights, sounds, textures, and smells of a living, breathing forest. You’ll leave clear-headed and blissed, which is a darn fine way to start the season. They also offer outdoor yoga sessions if you crave another sort of soul cleansing.

Speaking of yoga, the Bend Yoga Festival is coming up June 8-11. The event features four days of yoga, outdoor adventures, workshops, wellness sessions, music, social events, and more. Space is limited, so seize the chance to reset your nervous system in Bend’s great outdoors.

Continue your spiritual journey by attending an event at Blissful Heart Wellness Center or Bend Community Healing. Both spots offer workshops and classes ranging from Sound Bath Meditation to Chakra Balancing. If your aura needs a good scrub, you’ve come to the right place.

And if you’re more of a DIY spiritualist, hit Cosmic Depot for a wide selection of crystals, incense, meditation cushions, or sage bundles to cleanse any negative energy around you.


Healthy eats from Mother's Cafe in Bend, Oregon.

Healthy eats from Mother’s Cafe.

Did someone say clean eating?

In a town filled with this much fresh air, count on an equally fresh culinary scene. 

Looking for excellent vegan or vegetarian fare? You’ll find tons around town. Some of my faves include Active Culture (pause here to swoon for the Quinoa Lentil Bowl), Lively Up Yourself (you MUST try the vegan mac & cheez), and Broken Angel (I’d kill for their artichoke tostadas, which may defeat the purpose of eating vegan?)

Go one step further at Salud Raw Food, where everything’s plant-based and raw (i.e. no cooking/baking/high temps). If you think you can’t get full on a meal like that, think again, then order their Rawkin’ Tacos made with two romaine shells filled with 5 spice walnut-based filling, shredded carrots, purple cabbage, red bell pepper, orange, mint, and cilantro with peanut ginger sauce. It’s tasty and filling, but not so filling that you can’t squeeze in one of their mouthwatering desserts like vegan strawberry vanilla “cheesecake” with edible flowers.

Want to try a juice cleanse? Mother’s Cafe has both eastside and westside locations offering everything you need to give your body a break from digesting food while still getting the nutrients it needs. Their raw, unpasteurized juice cleanses are rich in vitamins, minerals, and active enzymes, and are available in three-day increments to maximize benefits of your detox process.

Not ready to take things that far? You’ve surely heard the benefits of kombucha, ranging from improved gut health to immune system boosting. Give it a shot with a taster tray from Humm Kombucha, where they’ll also fill growlers you can take home.

Now’s also a great time for a booze break, but that doesn’t mean ditching the flavor. Switch from regular beer to one of Bend’s locally-produced non-alcoholic craft beers. You’ll find them at the breweries I rounded up in that post, or at grocery stores throughout Bend (including locally-owned Newport Avenue Market, which has a huge range of fresh, organic food to go with that near beer).

For the ultimate in fresh-from-the-farm local food, hit Central Oregon Locavore throughout the year, or try the Bend Farmers Market from May through October.

Now go forth and make the most of your spring cleaning!

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