If I had the money to live anywhere and was completely unconstrained by thoughts of friends and family, Bend would have moved to the top of my list this week. It’s a fantastic small city. Good thrift stores, good parks, reasonable roads, and excellent restaurants. Also, very, very dog-friendly.

We spent a fun afternoon there, doing all of the above: lunch at Parilla Grill, a fun walk in Drake Park with the dogs, visits to a couple of thrift stores. Then we checked in to the La Quinta Inn for a night of luxury. Woo-hoo! Clean showers, comfy beds, and electricity. And internet, too!

I know I’ve been posting as if I was writing the entire trip, but in actual fact, most of our campsites didn’t have electricity or internet. By that point on Sunday afternoon, my computer had been out of charge for three days or so, and I hadn’t written a word for two of them. I told S that it felt like I was going through withdrawal.

So I was happy to write for a while and then we used our delightful internet access to find a restaurant for dinner. We wound up at 10 Barrel Brewing — with all three dogs! While we were browsing restaurants, I pointed out that they had a patio, and S promptly called them and asked if they allowed dogs on their patio. The woman on the phone answered, “Yes, of course.”

“Yes, of course,” even applied to three dogs. Yep, we took all of them out to dinner with us. Everyone else on the patio brought their dogs, too. It was great, and completely solidified my already growing love for Bend. The dog at the table next to ours was a puppy that looked so much like Zelda as a puppy — white body, black ears, patch over an eye, except about twice as big. I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture of him. But here’s a picture of Zelda under our table.

a small white dog with black ears and beautiful eyes looking wistful
Zelda, wondering when she gets a bite of my elk burger.

To complete our restaurant pleasure, on Monday morning we ate at McKay Cottage Kitchen one more time. And this time I took a picture. 🙂

plates of breakfast food including omelette and potatoes, bacon, pico de gallo, and something with Hollandaise sauce
Breakfast before a long day on the road.

But after breakfast, it was time to start the long trek home. Of course, when you’re traveling with three dogs, it’s one thing to say, “We’re just going to drive all day.” It’s another thing to actually accomplish that.

We stopped at a rest stop in Chemult and let the dogs play in the snow.

gif of two dogs playing in the snow

We stopped at the Rogue Gorge and walked the dogs along the river while S told me Tolkien stories.

scenic view of rushing water

We stopped at Fred Meyer in Grant’s Pass and bought snacks and sushi and gas.

And eventually, we stopped at Florence Keller County Park and spent another night on the road, because even though we were only 90 minutes away from Arcata, why not spend a night camping in the redwoods when you can?

two dogs, curled up together
Riley and Buddy, sharing the good bed.
two dogs, curled up together (not the same two)
Buddy and Zelda, sharing the good bed.
very tall trees with sunlight peering through them
Some very tall trees.

On the way home on Tuesday morning, we stopped at the Redwood National Park visitor center, for the final moments of a truly lovely vacation, in which the weather was mostly perfect, the adventures were mostly pleasant, and the company was always fantastic. The food was generally pretty good, too!