Sunday morning we packed up camp and headed for downtown Bend. We learned that you can rent a giant canvas covered inner tube for a reasonable cost (and shuttle ride back using Deschutes public transportation buses which have trailers tagging behind to haul the tubes… wicked smart they are!)
Anyway, we found the park where you put in, changed into suits in the array of new public restrooms, and headed for the water. Gotta’ tell ya’… the water is relatively calm, not terribly deep, but it moves at a decent clip. Not too fast, but fast enough. We were told the float would last at least an hour and a half and would require one portage around a spill way. We were ready.
The trip is really a great big social event. Folks are out paddle boarding (one guy with his dog along for the ride), kayaking, or bringing their own float thingy from home. Families even bring the little ones and rent super big floats that are 4 feet across and have bottoms. It’s a constant parade.
We had a great time. Almost got carried over the spill way but made it to a portage site no worse for wear. The second half of the trip was as pleasant as the first. The sun was out, the water temp was in the doable range, and people were clearly having a good time.
We’ll miss Bend. If you ever have the opportunity to visit, be sure not to pass up the opportunity.