Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Can you believe I grew up in Oregon and never once spent a vacation (or even went to) Sunriver? Maybe. I don't actually know how common Sunriver vacations are in the general Oregonian population. I only know that as a youth, it seemed like all my friends spent a week there during summers. Our family never did. We tended to go on vacation to visit both sets of grandparents in California, or just go camping near the coast. Central Oregon was not in my vacation vocabulary.

But guess what? This summer, for the first time ever, the Walkers went on vacation to Sunriver. We just got back today. I feel like a real person now. But I also feel a little strange. Like going to Sunriver was this language I was supposed to learn growing up and it's kind of difficult to pick up now, at the age of 30. I think we figured out the routine well enough in our week there, and we enjoyed it so much that I hope we'll have a chance to put our Sunriver skills to use in a future trip there.

On offer:
Hiking to the top of nearby Mt. Tumalo, a plan which was downgraded from climbing South Sister, and then downgraded again from climbing Mt. Bachelor. Sometimes you have to adjust your expectations to fit the reality of limited time and small children.

Swimming at the SHARC pools. I say pools, because there are several.

Hiking through some lava tubes. Didn't get a picture of that, sorry. Possibly because it was pitch black? Also possibly because the entire hike back I had to talk Miriam down from the ledge of having to pee SO BAD. It was like a hostage negotiation. Don't worry, we made it out without any accidents.

Lots of bike riding, both within the Sunriver community and without. There was one particularly epic bike ride whose distance and difficulty was increased tenfold because of a few key wrong turns right off the bat, both outbound and inbound. And I now have a testimony of ride-along bikes (pictured above, without Miriam, which speaks to my constant fear that I was going to someday take off riding without making sure she was on her part of the bike).

Playing at Elk Lake. The fun began once Jeremy, my brother Blair, and my SIL Emily showed up with a canoe, a kayak, and a stand-up paddleboard.

The most amazing part was that the entire Walker family was there. The last time we were all together was possibly as "recently" as Christmas 2009, but we're not sure.

Hooray for Sunriver!


Alanna said...

AAAAHH!!! This is where MY family always went on vacation! I'm from Seattle, so it was a bit of a drive, but we LOVED going to Sunriver! I haven't been in six years now, and that last time I was 7 months pregnant with my first kid, and learned how hard it is to ride a bicycle that pregnant-- no lung capacity AND my knees kept hitting my stomach! But the milkshakes at Goody's were still to die for!

Such happy memories. Just reading this post made me happy! I'm glad you guys had a good time!

Julia - Finding My Way Softly said...

I lived in Bend for over a year and lots of my coworkers had houses there as rental properties. I was invited out on weeks that they used them, usually with lots of friends coming and going. One 4 day weekend without kids, when a house wasn't rented, in late October, I had the whole house to myself. I loved having lots of time to read, dinner I didn't have to think about, and short hiking trails I could wander around and dusk. The only food things I brought were milk, cereal, oatmeal and snacks. Everything except breakfast I just ate out. Since I wasn't paying to stay it turned out to be a very relaxing four days.

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Suzanne Bubnash said...

Yeah, now I've lost my head-turning comment: "I've never been to Sunriver." No more shocking gasps from the local crowd.

Resort vacations have never been on our radar. We've had some of the most wonderful vacations--East Coast multiple times, Ireland, Slovakia, Syria, Cape Kiwanda, 3 weeks in Alaska, etc.

Sunriver was unique--just easy fun, then more fun. I read 2.5 books there. Played w/ the grandchildren. The heat was a struggle for me, but otherwise it was a fabulous week!

Katie Lewis said...

How fun! I went to Sunriver once on a middle school field trip, but that was my one and only experience there. I don't speak the language either.

Kathy Haynie said...

How did I miss this post? Just now reading it. I recommend Sparks Lake instead of Elk Lake for future SUP and canoe / ect outings. Much smaller, more beautiful, WAY more fun. Funny to read Alanna's comment above about Goody's milkshakes. Mark and I went for a day hike at Newberry Crater when we were camped at Sparks Lake this summer. Dying for a milkshake on the way back. Surely Sunriver would sell milkshakes? Not easy to find...finally found (expensive) milkshakes at...Goody's! Yes, they were delicious, but not sure they were really worth the wait in line or the price. Guess I don't speak the lingo either. Glad you had such a fun vacation/reunion!


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