Thursday was our last full day in Bend. I had managed to stub my toe hard enough to split it open Wednesday night, so we were limited to less vigorous activities on Thursday. After having some breakfast and reorganizing the car a bit, we decided to head south if town and checkout the Lava Tube Cave. Not really knowing what to expect, we were pleasantly surprised by how cool the place was. The cave is, as the name suggests, is a lava tube from when the volcanos were erupting all over this area. This one is about a mile long (the part that you can explore) and is in places 30-40' high, and equally wide. It feels like walking through a subway tunnel.
You can rent lights at the entrance where the parks service controls access. The lights are big suckers, which you need to see anything in the complete darkness. The tunnel runs for a full mile, and is a constant 6C, making it really chilly. In this case it was a nice break from the heat of the day. Justine and I walked the full mile length and explored all the different areas. It was pretty cool.
After leaving the caves, we headed back north, through Bend and up to a small town called Sisters. This little town is on the edge of the Three Sisters mountains northwest of Bend. It's got an old west feel to it, and the buildings along the main drag have all maintained that early 1900s feel. It was a cool place to stop, but there was not a lot to see. Graham and Colleen were already there, and we joined them for a bit of a late lunch at a Mexican restaurant.
After lunch, we headed out of town, stopping at the Three Creeks Brewery to sample some beer. The beer was ok, and the brewery was well done. I really like the labels for their beers, but didn't like the beer enough to buy any. Limitations on bringing alcohol back to Canada really restrict how much we can buy. After that stop, we continued back towards Bend, and made a short stop at the Benddistillery, a local spirit producer. I sampled a few (a ginger vodka, gin and a rye) which were really good.
That evening, we were having Colleen and Graham over to the campsite for dinner, so we spent the late afternoon shopping and running some errands. We did make a stop at Boneyard Beer, and sampled a couple of more beers. I liked one of them enough to fill a small growler, before we continued on. We didn't hit as many breweries here in Bend as I would have liked, but I guess that means we'll just have to come back.
Dinner was great - corn cooked on the campfire, steak on the BBQ, grilled veggies and salad, with most of the veggies from the Bend farmers market. We had a few bottles of wine, sat around the fire and generally had a great time. It was a good end to the Bend section of our trip.