My son got access to a vacation home in Bend, Oregon, for a week, and he invited us up, so we went for a couple days.
Bend is in the Oregon sunbelt–yep, we have that–a couple hundred miles south and east or Portland. Big winter destination, close to skiing at Mt. Bachelor, boating, fishing, all like that.
High desert country that way; once you cross the mountain, the Doug Fir gives way to red-bark pine and red dirt, and that to sagebrush and scrub pine. Dry, dusty, and the temperature variation this time of year can be fifty degrees. Low nineties during the day, low forties after the sun goes down. You drink a lot of water, but you don't pee much.
Rattlesnake country, so you have to keep a close eye on the dogs.
The house was a big place, done up like a hunting lodge, mounted fish, critter heads, rustic-looking, but with a lawn and a beautiful view of the mountain, plus a good-sized swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, beautiful kitchen, and enough room to billet the Swiss Army.
The pool was eighteen by forty-eight feet, plenty enough to swim laps in, although that was harder than I expected. With the elevation being 4200 feet, those of us used to sea-level workouts don't have enough hemoglobin. Ten laps, I was having trouble finding enough oxygen in the air I was recycling in a hurry.
Yeah, I know Denver is a thousand and some feet higher, and if I was going to complete in anything that need long-distance wind, that's where I'd go train, but 4200 feet was enough for this flatlander to notice.
We had a great time, barbecued, played with the grandchildren, watched a movie. Went out to behold the Milky Way and a plethora of stars you can't see in the city glow.
There are worse ways to spend a few days .