Central Oregon Magazine is Now Cascade Journal
Central Oregon Magazine brought the people, places and events of Central Oregon to life for visitors and locals through strong stories, great photographs and quality writing.
In 2015 Central Oregon Magazine became Cascade Journal.
Content is from the site's 2014 -2015 archived pages providing a glimpse of what this magazine offered its readership.
The current website for Cascade Journal is found at: http://cascadejournal.com/.
2015 Cascade Journal Features
Home on the Range
Out here this is real country. Out here, dry, golden grasses color the land, dark junipers accent it, the Cascades—Three Fingered Jack, Jefferson, Hood—tower above it far off on the hazy horizon.
High Desert Harmony
What Central Oregon may lack in big city culture, it more than makes up for in music enthusiasm. Over the last two decades, this community has cultivated its love for music, gradually growing into a high desert music mecca. The beauty of Central Oregon’s landscape…
Central Oregon Reader’s Choice
What to see, eat and do in Central Oregon.
Central Oregon Reader’s Choice
Whether you’re visiting Central Oregon for the first time or call it home, there are always new adventures to be had around these parts. Go stargazing in the desert, canoe the high lakes at night or get your cowboy on at the Crooked River Roundup…
Bend’s Historic Homes Experience New Life!
Northeast Bend River Mall Drive sits between a handful of big box stores on the north side of Bend. The last thing you expect to see on this short street is a taste of historical Bend architecture. But venture far enough down the street that…
When Bend resident and avid skier Bill Healy founded Mt. Bachelor back in 1958, his vision was based around a single idea: if you build it, friends will come (and ski together!). Have they ever. From the get-go, grassroots ski groups formed to take the…
The Photography of Jeffrey Murray
As a landscape photographer, I spend countless hours searching for epic light and compelling compositions. My fascination with photography began over a decade ago while attending high school in the San Francisco Bay Area. I grew up visiting the Sierra Nevada Mountains on a regular…
2015 Cascade Journal FEATURES
Home on the Range
For long-time ranchers Dianne and Kenny Read, Bar KD Ranch is exactly where they want to be
story by Jon Bell
photography by Carol Sternkopf
Out here this is real country. Out here, dry, golden grasses color the land, dark junipers accent it, the Cascades—Three Fingered Jack, Jefferson, Hood—tower above it far off on the hazy horizon. The morning’s blue sky slowly pales with the rise of the sun, which warms chill air that just a few hours before had condensed breath into the first signs of impending autumn. Slightly east of the gray asphalt of Highway 97 past the tiny town of Culver, a campground appears on the right, green alfalfa fields on the left. A lake comes into view—Haystack Reservoir—and beyond its southern shore, a sweeping butte of the same name.
And then, just as Dianne Read had described, the first few telltale signs that the destination is here, out in this real country: the weathered old barn, the lone house among the sagebrush and grasses, the wagon wheel adorned with a signature brand and, most telling, the dark, inquisitive eyes of the Black Angus cattle of the Bar KD Ranch.
It’s just past 7:30 in the morning, maybe a little later than Kenny Read, Dianne’s husband, normally gets his day started, but no matter. There is plenty of history to cover over coffee first, as would be expected at any fourth-generation cattle ranch, let alone one that started its days as a 19th-century stagecoach and freight stop. Back then, the Bar KD property was known as Perrysville—named after Kenny Read’s great-grandfather, Perry Read—and was home to a hotel, a school, a general store and a collection of 25 houses. Those are all gone now, though the barn and the main part of the Read’s characteristic house, both built in the 1860s, remain as homestead originals.
But what’s still and unmistakably intact is the authentic ranching life that’s gone on here for generations. There have been changes, for sure. What once was a major stagecoach stop between Shaniko and modern-day Bend evolved into a dryland wheat farm with commercial Hereford cattle. More recently, it transitioned gradually into a certified Black Angus seed stock operation that today abides by a gentle, holistic approach to its animals while tapping into the latest in genomics and genetics. The present-day Bar KD is no destination ranch for the bed-and-breakfast crowd, but instead a real-deal, working cattle ranch that ties its very existence to the animals bred and raised on its 1,500 acres.
Kenny Read almost seems typecast for the role of Oregon rancher. There’s no big belt buckles or Stetsons—though he does wear Lee Jeans and a baseball hat from the 2013 Red Bluff Bull & Gelding Sale—but he’s got the natural ease of someone who’s been doing what he knows how to do—and enjoying it—for his entire life. Born and raised on the ranch, Kenny, 60, remembers sliding down the barn’s long rooftop and climbing to the top of the old windmill to steer clear of his siblings. He grew up going to school in Culver, where he had 13 people in his class from elementary school through high school, then studied agronomics at Oregon State University.
Kenny solidified his path while managing the family ranch from 1970 through 1978, when his father had gone into town to become a juvenile judge.
“That’s when I decided that I liked cows a lot better than wheat,” he says. “Cows intrigued me. They are a really intelligent creature if you know how to communicate with them.”
The ranch was too small for Kenny to officially join along with his father and brother though, so he headed north to ranch on his own in Wamic, Oregon. It was there that he met Dianne in 1990.
The daughter of a military father, Dianne had lived all over the country, from North Carolina to Texas and Washington. She grew up riding horses and living amongst her family’s orange and peach groves in Florida and a landscaping business in California. A farm girl at heart, Dianne worked for a ranching operation in Yakima, Washington, that ran 15,000 head of cattle, then joined the Forest Service before meeting Kenny. The two married in 1991 and now have three grown children, none of whom are presently involved with the ranch.
When Kenny’s brother died unexpectedly the next year, the couple came back to the ranch in Culver and decided to transition it from a farm and commercial cattle ranch into a seed stock producer of certified Black Angus cattle. Today, Kenny and Dianne raise and breed only Black Angus cattle on the ranch. They sell about 45 certified bulls every year to beef producers, largely from California and southern Oregon and primarily at a couple major livestock sales in January and February.
“My father darn near disowned us when we decided we were going to be Black (Angus) rather than red and white Herefords,” Kenny says. “The whole family was just up in arms, but eventually my father did finally admit that we were doing okay.”
First things first in the morning—the bulls need to be fed.
Kenny fills five-gallon buckets with a special feed blend and spreads it into long cement troughs by hand. The black bulls, huge even at just under a year, lumber over to get their share. Normally leery of humans, these cattle show no fear of Kenny, who pets them and talks to them just as he does the ranch canine, a friendly black Scotty named Wyatt. Since these cattle were born, they’ve gotten nothing but gentle attention from Kenny and Dianne, who’ve taken this kind of approach to keep them calm and cooperative.
“If you cowboy ‘em around and chase ‘em, you get a whole different kind of animal,” Kenny says.
The cattle respond to Kenny’s commands, all delivered in a lively rancher’s drawl; they go where he tells them to go, stay where he wants them to stay, even when it comes time for them to enter a hulking hydraulic chute for branding and vaccinations. He can identify almost every single animal by name or number.
“We call him the cow whisperer,” Dianne says.
Once the bulls are fed, Kenny moves one group of heifers—young females who’ve not yet had a calf—across the way for their own feeding. There are about 200 females on the ranch; close to 130 of them are out in another pasture, bred–i.e. pregnant–and approaching the late October calving season. Kenny stops to chat with a salesman who’s eager to get him into a new tractor, his spiel bolstered by the air seeping out of the old tractor’s tire nearby. The rig had sprung a leak the night before while Kenny was out mowing grass.
“It’s always something around here,” Dianne says, “whether someone runs through the fence down on the road, someone’s trespassing, something needs to be fixed. We’ve had cattle stolen—27 pair once. We’ve had cattle shot. It’s something different every day.”
After moving a select handful of females into the barn—the best-looking of the bunch, the ones who get washed and brushed daily, the ones who will most-likely be sold as show cattle—it’s into the pickup and off to a nearby pasture to check on the pregnant cows. Like the bulls, they are calm and cool even as we walk among them just inches away. In a few more weeks they’ll be moved to an expanse textured with juniper trees far behind the house. There, they’ll have their calves—all within a 10-day window thanks to artificial insemination—and raise them through the winter among the protection of the trees.
To ensure that only the best cattle are part of Bar KD’s offering, cows that can’t deliver without assistance are culled from the herd; so are calves who need to be pulled out and bulls who don’t make the grade. Some who come up short go to town—Kenny-speak for “sold at the auction.” Others earn the nickname Dinner. Dianne says about 40 such cattle are harvested for beef, sold privately or sold at the local auction each year.
While scouting out the rest of the ranch in the pickup, Kenny stops to repair a water pipe and Dianne hops out to grab an intact buck skull off the ground. Wyatt shoves his shaggy head out the window, taking in the sights and smells: the eagles’ nests up on the butte, the pungent yellow rabbitbrush, the swooping magpies and the glaciated summits to the west.
“We live in the hole,” Kenny says of the protected location of their house, “but when you actually get out to where the ranch is and see all the mountains and the different colors, it really is a pretty place.”
After a late and long lunch, it’s back to it. The group of heifers that had been moved earlier in the morning needs to be tagged, tattooed and branded. Kenny rounds up a small bunch using little more than his voice, saying “heifers get up” and moving them along with simple shushes. They group together and, for the most part, do what Kenny says, working their way into a single-file line that leads into the hydraulic squeeze chute, a green cage-like contraption that restrains one animal at a time.
The first heifer skitters into the squeeze and Dianne cinches the walls tight with the pull of a lever. Working as a team, the Reads check their records to see if she’s a keeper or not. There’s a quick moo when Kenny tags and tattoos her ear. Dianne then opens a side door of the squeeze and grabs the branding iron, an electrical rod that glows orange hot. She plants it precisely on the heifer’s flanks. Flames lick up from the burning hair, then a trail of smoke, a smell of singe and another moo. It’s all over fairly quickly, and when Dianne opens the squeeze, the heifer trots off into the sunshine, the Bar KD brand now marking her origins for good.
The process, designed to be much less stressful than the traditional branding method, repeats again and again until this group is done. There are plenty more who need the same treatment, but it’s also time for Dianne to wash and brush the show ladies. Kenny’s got to go pick up the repaired tractor tire, and Wyatt, apparently, needs a nap. The work, the ranch life, seems never ending, and it’s hard not to wonder if Kenny and Dianne Read ever get the chance to really relax, if they might ever dream of sitting on a tropical beach somewhere far away from Bar KD.
“I don’t really want to,” Kenny says. “Every day’s a vacation to me and every day’s a holiday, okay? Every day. Even the worst days. There are some days when I’m packin’ a hundred hand pipe, it’s like, ‘what in the hell am I doing this for?’ But I’m doing what I wanted to do, and these are all my babies. There’s not much I’d rather do in life than this.”
Dianne agrees, almost wholeheartedly. Almost.
“I mean, the beach in Mexico is a little appealing, you know, piña coladas or something,” she says. “That’d be kinda fun. But I could only do it for a couple days. I’d be too worried about what was going on at the ranch.”
High Desert Harmony
The top notes of the Central Oregon Music scene
story by Gregg Morris
What Central Oregon may lack in big city culture, it more than makes up for in music enthusiasm. Over the last two decades, this community has cultivated its love for music, gradually growing into a high desert music mecca. The beauty of Central Oregon’s landscape continues to attract creative, talented artists looking for an inspirational environment to act as their muse. Simultaneously, venues have popped up like sunny days in summer. The Brooks-Scanlon mill has given way to the Les Schwab Amphitheater in the Old Mill District. Some farms that used to be concerned with water rights now host festivals and worry about noise ordinances. And, anchored by the growth of Bend’s beer culture and many breweries, Central Oregon offers free, live music at local businesses nearly every night of the week.
“I used to travel to Portland or the valley to see shows regularly,” concurs Stacy Totland, executive director of the 4 Peaks Music Festival. “Now, I get to hop on my bike and see great shows in town; the symphony one night, a bluegrass show another, then a late-night funk band.”
From the community of homegrown bands playing local bars and restaurants to the national touring acts who recognized Bend’s appreciative crowds and awe-inspiring surroundings, from solid music educators to festivals and concert creators, Central Oregon has become more than just a blip on the music map. Quality music is everywhere in the high desert air.
For the last decade, a handful of local artists have gained notoriety in Central Oregon and have carried it to Portland, across the United States and, in some cases, the globe. Leading the international charge is the high-energy, folk-punk band Larry and His Flask. Currently touring in Europe, LAHF calls Central Oregon home, although they tour so much that their dynamic live show in town is still considered to be a major event.
Popular Americana string band Moon Mountain Ramblers and groove-rock ambassadors Mark Ransom and the Mostest have played just about every venue and event in Central Oregon, as well as toured throughout the West. Reaching even further is rap-rock outfit MOsley WOtta, who brought their artful storytelling to the far reaches of Fiji not too long ago. Funky dance/rock band Precious Byrd plays in Los Angeles more than Bend. And local, laid-back pop-rock artist Franchot Tone’s presence was felt as the music video for his song “Everything’s Fine” saw over 1,225,000 YouTube views in its first two weeks.
Tone, having decamped for Los Angeles a few years ago only to eventually return to Central Oregon, offers a unique perspective on the local music scene. “I went to LA to record my solo album with Grammy-winning engineer/producer Robert Carranza at Jack Johnson’s Solar Powered Plastic Plant Studios,” explains Tone. “It was an awesome experience. But, I came back to Central Oregon for the venues and the crowd support. In LA, there is very little support for local artists.”
Feeling that crowd support are a solid group of bands who perform mainly close to home, including acoustic artists such as Hilst & Coffey, Wild Rye, Pitchfork Revolution and Kim Kelly, who all turn up on stages around Central Oregon regularly. The Travis Ehrenstrom Band, a roots-rock group, regularly makes the rounds, as does blues guitarist Bobby Lindstrom, who’s been known to incite a crowd, either solo or with his band. Performing memorable late-night shows are reggae-soul band 2nd Hand Soldiers and funk/soul/electronica newcomers Elektrapod.
Country singers like Bryan Brazier and Cheyenne West are finding fans at cowboy bars like Mavericks in Bend, and rodeo events throughout Central Oregon. For the jazz hepcats, the Groove Merchants, Cutmen, Rich Hurdle’s jazz ensemble Crescent Jazz, and Slick Side Down take turns at the various jazz nights around town. Even the young artists are beginning to make waves around the area, including the likes of solo artists Kylan Johnson and Derek Michael Mark.
“I think the Bend music scene is experiencing a great boom period,” says local artist Travis Ehrenstrom. “There are some great local bands, and great local venues, working together and creating a pretty unique scene.”
As is true of most cities, the majority of Central Oregon’s music venues primarily serve as other businesses. Many breweries and restaurants with room to fit a duo or trio add live music to their event calendar. There never seems to be a shortage of small- to medium-sized rooms awaiting the sounds of a local singer-songwriter or regional touring acoustic band.
But it’s the indoor venues shaped for music and the outdoor amphitheaters in picturesque settings that draw the most excitement for musicians and patrons alike. In 2001, the Old Mill District opened an 8000-person capacity, outdoor riverfront amphitheater named after Les Schwab, a local business pioneer. Originally, the Les Schwab Amphitheater (LSA) would consider it big-time luck to book a national touring act that viewed Bend as a nice stopover before or after a weekend gig in Portland or Eugene. Things have changed considerably, as evidenced by this year’s lineup including Steely Dan, Ringo Starr and the Dave Matthews Band.
“It’s important for us to try and book new acts choosing Bend as their only Oregon appearance,” explains LSA manager Marney Smith.
November 2004 saw a 1936 Catholic Schoolhouse converted into the McMenamins Old St. Francis School, which includes a 100-person capacity ballroom alongside multiple bars, lodging and a soaking pool. There have been many nights since, during which music lovers pouring into the hallways stretched the capacity to its limit.
Fresh off being named the “NEW and Emerging Business of the Year” at the 2014 Bend Chamber SAGE Awards, the Volcanic Theatre Pub continues to book quality acts at their alternative cultural arts center. The 2500-square-foot theatre, located off Century Drive in Bend, promotes bluegrass, hip hop and everything in between.
Meanwhile, in downtown Bend, Dojo is positioning itself as the back-alley centerpiece of live music. You can expect to hear music from DJs to funk bands any night of the week at the 100+ capacity Asian-cuisine lounge. For those interested in a heavier sound, Bend’s Northside Bar & Grill, Sisters’ HardTails and Redmond’s Checkers pub are happy to oblige.
Sisters is a microcosm of musical awesomeness, anchored by enthusiastic crowds and acoustically pleasing venues that create an artist-friendly vibe. “The audiences in Sisters tend to be very attentive and appreciate original music,” says local musician Mark Quon. Smaller venues like The Open Door and Cork Cellars welcome acoustic acts while the converted church known as The Belfry hosts up to 225 patrons.
In an effort to increase intimacy and a closer connection with artists, house concerts have begun to be the norm in Bend. The House Concerts in the Glen at Newport Hills, Willow Tree Concerts, and those put on by the folks at the High & Dry Bluegrass Festival have offered locals a chance to get up close and personal with the artists.
Of course, an appreciative crowd can sway the atmosphere of even the least likely of performance locales, and it’s not unusual to come across a band busking downtown surrounded by a group of grooving, if temporary, groupies.
Festivals and Music Series
A bevy of festivals occur year-round in Central Oregon, including Bend’s annual spring, summer, fall and winter festivals. In addition to food, libations, arts and crafts, and children’s play areas, each festival delivers multiple stages of music ranging from locals-only to national headliners. More events pile up in the summer, including Thursday night’s Munch and Music series in Drake Park, Northwest Crossing’s Hullabaloo Festival, Peak Summer Nights at The Athletic Club of Bend, and the Free Summer Sundays shows at the LSA. Year-round events that fill any remaining gap in Bend’s event list include Jazz at the Oxford Hotel, Broken Top Bottle Shop’s Sunday night Brews and Bands and Volcanic Theatre Pub’s monthly Songcrafters Series.
In an effort to nurture Bend’s local talent, Mark Ransom created the free Bend Roots Revival. Roughly 90 local bands perform each year as they raise money, by way of concessions sales, to benefit educational arts through the non-profit Rise-Up International. Last year’s festival saw acts such as Hobbs the Band power through some atypically stormy weather to the delight of a packed house.
Each summer solstice weekend, the 4 Peaks Music Festival turns the Rockin’ A Ranch into a family-friendly and intimate setting hosting national, regional and local acts. Besides the quality music, don’t be surprised to see performers on stilts or Ken Kesey’s Furthur bus making the rounds on the Tumalo ranch.
Further afield in Central Oregon are Redmond’s Music in the Canyon and Music on the Green, Prineville’s Picnic in the Park and Sunriver’s Rhythm on the Range. Since its inception as a storytelling folk festival, the Sisters Folk Festival has firmly established itself as the musical mainstay of the town. The Fest takes over Sisters for the nineteenth time the first weekend in September this year, bringing close to 45 bands to multiple stages throughout the community. While the intimate nature of the annual festival is the cornerstone of its extraordinary music experience, it has grown into an all-encompassing music entity, with events year-round.
One behind-the-scenes reason for Central Oregon’s booming music community lies in the efforts made by local teachers and foundations to provide music education to youth and adults.
The Americana Project in Sisters, the educational component of the Sisters Folk Festival, has been educating Sisters’ youth since 2000. The ten to twelve volunteers daily facilitate the programs, ranging from music lessons to guitar construction. The Project’s reputation for helping kids discover the arts won them a $280,000 grant from the Oregon Community Foundation. With the money, they will place 32 pianos in schools, this year, and 30 violins next year.
The legacy of the Americana Project is already becoming apparent. “There’s a young faction of kids that grew up here [who are] coming home,” explains Executive Director Brad Tisdel, who has seen former students leave Central Oregon to broaden their experience, and then eventually move back home. “Musicians like Benji Nagel and Raman Elis are bringing their broad and diverse talents back to Sisters. I think that’s a testament to the Americana Project.”
After seeing the success of the Americana Project, Ransom started the Bend Roots Educational Collective to place artists-in-residence at local Bend schools. The smaller-scoped program is funded through the Bend Roots Revival.
Also taking charge in teaching music education are local studios that provide lessons to kids and adults alike. The Cascade School of Music has about thirty instructors, all with degrees in music or education. The programs range from, “Ready, Set, Go” for kids to “Intro to Bluegrass” for adults. Additionally, they offer tuition assistance and merit scholarships, keeping most anyone who wants to be jamming.
Central Oregon’s musical landscape is more than just the sum of its parts. It breathes through the speakers, filling the bar, restaurant or amphitheater with sound. It lives in the guitar or fiddle at the late night jam. It keeps songwriters up late searching for the right word. It makes ordinary people get up on stage at open mic nights. Above all else, it brings a community together, for the sake of the song.
“It feels like we are one big family,” says Jasmine Helsley, owner of local music booking outfit JAH Promotions. “We’re all supporting the bigger picture.”
A Black Butte Ranch dream home comes to fruition
Written by Penny Nakamura • Photography by Ross Chandler
As a little girl, Dail Hartnack used to doodle pictures of her dream home. In her sketches she would envision a wrap-around porch, surrounded by a forest of trees. It would be a warm and inviting home, large enough to host parties for her family and friends.
Several decades and 17 homes later, Dail, with her husband Rick, built the home of her childhood dreams. “It turned out better than I had envisioned,” says Dail, as she looks around her 4500-square-foot custom lodge-style home in Black Butte Ranch. Though this is the couple’s vacation home, they spend more and more time at this dwelling.
Pacwest architectural designer Steven Van Sant designed the Hartnack home, which he calls a marriage of Cape Cod design and East Coast lodge home. “It’s a tailored lodge with an arched entry and barrel-vaulted ceilings,” says Van Sant, who has designed more than 500 custom homes in Central Oregon, 100 of them in Black Butte Ranch. “The difference between a West Coast lodge style and an East Coast lodge style is the East Coast is a little more refined. In a West Coast lodge, you’d find rough-hewed logs and beams. In this house, instead, all the mill work is all crafted and finely finished.”
The nod to Cape Cod design can be seen on the exterior, where Van Sant painstakingly designed the simple, but luxurious, symmetrical home, with a central front door surrounded by several multifaceted windows on both sides. The natural cedar shingles, along with the baton board and Montana Bridger rock exterior, signal a rugged yet unmistakably refined home built from the humble, natural materials that envelop the area around Central Oregon.
While many retired couples are snowbirds and seek the sun during the winter months, the Hartnacks are the opposite; they love the snowy weather and skiing. They’re no strangers to snow and how to manage life in it, having lived in Minnesota and Chicago. Knowing that visitors can track in snow on their shoes, Dail put in a rugged and sturdy rectangular inlay of river pebble rocks at the entry to withstand snowmelt. This natural rock theme is carried throughout the home, by way of different accents.
Pacwest interior designer Kristy Yozamp worked closely with Dail to bring her dreams to fruition. “We really wanted to bring the outside, inside,” says Yozamp. “This element was very important.” At the entrance of the home, a voluminous sweep of the open living design allows visitors to see straight through to the backyard with its forest of pines and the manicured golf fairway.
The large symmetrical windows in the great room take up most of the north-facing wall, enhancing this connection to the outdoors. But what grounds this room is the massive central fireplace, measuring five feet in height, and five feet in width. Montana Bridger rock is stacked all the way up to the vaulted ceiling. “We love real fire, and fireplaces,” says Dail. “It makes it so warm and cozy in here.”
Guests may notice the giant bull moose head hanging high above the reclaimed barnwood mantel before they notice fire in the fireplace. “It’s not often that a full thickness stone-faced fireplace has to be structurally reinforced because the moose head that is to be mounted here is too heavy,” explains Pacwest president and builder Jim Yozamp. “In fact, this is the only time we’ve run into this issue.” Kristy Yozamp adds, “It took five guys on scaffolding to put that moose up there.”
Before building a house majestic enough to become home to the massive moose, the Hartnacks lived all over the United States while Rick Hartnack worked as an investment banker. But the couple found “home” in Black Butte Ranch, beginning when they were younger and rearing their three children.
“Rick was a banker in Eugene, and people were coming in during the early 1970s to get loans to build homes in this new place called ‘Black Butte Ranch’,” recalls Dail. “So one day we drove over to see what it was all about, and we loved it. We didn’t buy a lot then, but we started renting houses there for family vacations, every year from 1972 to 1997.”
Dail laughs about the fact that in the early 1970s, when Black Butte Ranch was just starting out as a destination resort, lots were selling for $35,000. “We thought that was so much money back then—we thought they were crazy, and it wasn’t going to be worth it.” Today, Black Butte Ranch lots run upwards of a half-million dollars.
By 1997, the Hartnacks realized that Black Butte was beginning to feel more like home, and not just a vacation. They bought their first Black Butte home just down the street from this new home. When an oversized 1.6-acre lot came on the market in 2004, the couple jumped at the chance to build Dail’s dream home.
The build-out on this custom home took almost two years, partly because Pacwest ran into a rough winter, but also because there was so much thought put into every detail of the home, both in the interior and exterior.
“All the millwork was done onsite,” explains Dail. “As you can see, there’s a lot of millwork throughout this house.” Wood-paneled boxed ceilings, chair molding, beaded paneling, wainscoting and crown molding with hand-sculpted and -scribed acorn designs can be seen throughout this four bedroom, five bath home, which also includes a three-quarter bath and a powder room. Even the distressed hickory plank floors throughout the house were custom cut and scraped, giving it an old-world patina.
Complementing the wood and contributing to the home’s color schema is a large collection of new and antique Oregon Pendleton blankets, on display throughout the house. “Believe it or not, we started decorating the home with colors picked up from the Pendleton blankets,” says Kristy Yozamp, indicating a Pendleton blanket casually draping the brown leather rolled arm sofa in the great room. “The palette of colors found in Pendleton blankets is all found in nature, like earthy browns, hunter greens and rustic reds.”
Yozamp says the Hartnacks were so concerned with getting the furnishings and finishing touches perfect they had all the furniture (with the exception of their antiques) custom made for the home by Bend furniture maker, Robert Seliger. With lodge furniture it’s all about comfort, so the furnishings have an easygoing, back–to-nature ambiance, and all natural materials.
One such piece of furniture, and a favorite of Dail’s, is an oversized cowhide chair with a matching ottoman. The legs of the ottoman are cleverly made up of deer antlers. “I love this chair—I sit in it and read,” says Dail, who strategically placed the chair near the large north-facing windows in the great room, where she can sneak peeks of the birds, the deer, and the squirrels that frequent her backyard forest.
The Hartnacks also commissioned all the ironwork, which was made by Ponderosa Forge, in Sisters. Throughout the house, in every room, the ironwork can be seen in the doorknobs, staircase latticework and an impressive iron chandelier. “Dail didn’t want an ordinary light fixture in the dining room,” says Yozamp, pointing to a large, black, rectangular shaped fixture that hangs over the table, holding dozens of candles in various shapes and sizes. “The candlelight fixture, when lit, adds to the warm ambiance.”
No detail was missed, right down to the floors. All of the loomed rugs in the house were custom made for this house by New Moon Rugs in Tibet, with Native American motifs and a traditional look of woven wool in primitive patterns. “The rugs throughout the house warm up the home’s wood plank floors,” says Yozamp. “We had to wait nine months for New Moon to weave all these specially made rugs,” she says.
The great room opens up to the large gourmet kitchen, where Dail loves to cook for her guests. Even in this utilitarian room, there are boxed paneled ceilings and a massive, 11-foot by four-and-a-half foot, rough-hewn, chiseled granite edged counter top.
Soapstone counters, also with a two-inch rough edge detail, hold a 400-pound brass farm kitchen sink. With the exception of the range, all the appliances are panel-ready. The six-burner griddleand double-oven stainless-steel Thermador range is placed within a refined cave of Montana Bridger stone, which conceals the range’s hood.
Adjacent to the kitchen is a cozy kitchen nook, complete with a small stone fireplace. The rustic, understated feel in this kitchen nook is accented with a natural willow light fixture that hangs above the small breakfast farm table. Views of the outside can be seen throughout the kitchen and kitchen nook.
Passing the entryway, past the grand staircase and down a hallway, is the Hartnack’s own master suite retreat. The master bedroom is infused with natural light and unobstructed views to the outside through large floor-to-ceiling windows that transform the space into a true retreat that immerses you in nature. The queen-size bed is fitted with a sky-blue Pendleton blanket with a plethora of mixed, hooked rug pillows that pull together the wildlife themes in the room.
A pop of red from the wall’s entertainment center gives this room a bit of whimsy. To the left of the oversized, red entertainment center is a door that leads to the outside porch and spa.
The master bathroom has clean lines and the walls are tiled with Carrara marble with black glass diamond-shaped accents. Double his and hers sinks, an enclosed oversized glass shower, and a separate bathtub encased in the marble makes this bathroom feel like a spa.
Ascending the sculptured staircase leads to three master guest suites, with private bathrooms. Halfway up the staircase is a large landing, where Van Sant installed a large tall bay window and seating area, which gives this broad stairway ample natural light.
All the master suites on this second floor feel distinctly American, with vintage pieces co-mingled. One of the rooms Dail calls the “fishing room”: her son, an avid fly fisherman, occupies this space when he’s visiting. An antique bamboo fly rod is simply placed on the wall above the queen-size headboard. The attached bathroom also carries the fishing motif; a hooked rug with a Chinook salmon design is on the floor, and antique plates painted with different trout decorate the wall.
Just outside this room is the hallway, where a deer trophy holds court above its visitors. “My husband hunted that deer,” says Dail. “He got a giant elk this year, but it’s so big, I won’t let him hang it in the house. Maybe the garage. Enough is enough.”
To punctuate her point, she enters the adjoining guest suite, where another trophy head of a Pronghorn is hanging on a wall. “I call this room the ranch room,” says Dail. An eye-catching armoire lines one wall of the room. The unique closure catch is a piece of antler.
“I found this at an antique shop in Sisters—it’s actually an old pie safe,” explains Dail, who admittedly loves to shop for this lodge-style home, where every room has its own special wilderness theme.
On the other end of the upper floor, a porch offers a bug-free, screen-enclosed space, where the Hartnack grandchildren can sleep in the summer when visiting their grandparents. Next to this screened-in porch is a fourth full guest bath suite, a bathroom that Dail refers to as a “fun” place for her grandchildren. It is the only room in the house that strays from the wilderness theme, except for the lime-green glass pebble rocks bordering beveled white subway tile and chartreuse walls.
A reproduction iron cast, silver claw-foot tub is the favorite washing area for the grandkids, explains Dail. Kristy Yozamp says she had the outside of the claw-foot tub powder-coated a rich butter cream yellow to tie in the whimsical chartreuse color of the walls and the glass pebble rocks.
Next to the “fun” bathroom is a large, functional office and study with beautiful handmade built-in desks, shelves and display spaces for artwork and photos. As this is a family home, Dail has blown up several old photos of her children growing up, camping, fishing and hiking in the great outdoors. These priceless photos are on display in each guest suite.
The Hartnacks’ art collection ranges from paintings by Duke Beardsley, a celebrated cowboy artist, to Lindsey Scott’s “Buffalo Dream” oil painting, to the couple’s most collected paintings of G. Russell Case, which can be found in most central rooms.
Pacwest president Jim Yozamp says, of the thousands of homes the company has built in Central Oregon, this one is his favorite. “I can tell you, this is the type of house that will look exactly the same 30 years from now,” he says. “It’s a solid, well-built home that will stand the test of time.”
Kristy Yozamp, who spent years finding all the right light fixtures and decorative touches, says all the pieces fit, from the architecture to the interior spaces. Dail and Kristy still aren’t finished; they’re hatching an idea to outfit the lanai porch with Adirondack camp-style bunk beds for the grandchildren.
The Hartnack house will be home to the family for many decades to come. CJ
story by Sara Freedman
A dozen adventures close to home
Whether you’re visiting Central Oregon for the first time or call it home, there are always new adventures to be had around these parts. Go stargazing in the desert, canoe the high lakes at night or get your cowboy on at the Crooked River Roundup Horse Races. Better yet, turn our suggestions into a checklist and challenge yourself to a spring and summer full of Central Oregon adventure! See you out there.
1. Explore Fort Rock
Rising up out of the desert 70 miles south of Bend, the ancient Fort Rock formation is eerie and beautiful all at once. The jagged rock ring was shaped by a volcanic eruption and has walls reaching 325 feet high. You can hike around the State Natural Area and then take a guided tour (by reservation with Oregon State Parks) of nearby Fort Rock Cave, where 75 pairs of sagebrush bark sandals dating back 10,000 years were discovered in 1938. Fast forward a few thousand years and check out the Fort Rock Valley Historical Homestead Museum featuring an early 20th century village complete with school, church and cabins left behind by the families who called the area home. The museum opens in May for the summer; guided cave tours are in the summer months.
2. Walk the Magical Metolius
The Metolius River 10 miles west of Sisters is always an adventure. There are plenty of walking trails up and down the river—a good one starts at the Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery. Check out hatchery ponds filled with trout and kokanee before you head downriver about three miles. Cross Lower Bridge 99 and head back up the river for a six-mile loop. You’ll hike through beautiful old growth ponderosa pine, fir and cedar—but the star of the show is the clear, bubbling Metolius. Grab lunch at the Camp Sherman Store, which masters a perfect combination of old school quaint with new school deli counter.
3. Jump in a Waterfall
The Paulina Plunge Downhill/Waterfall Mountain Bike Tour combines mountain biking, hiking and natural waterslides in one big adventure. This is a guided adventure that takes off from Sunriver and requires you to do nothing but show up. The tour company provides mountain bike, helmet and even a backpack, as well as shuttle service to and from Newberry Crater. You’ll head out with a guide and explore six miles of forest trails by bike—stopping to jump in waterfalls and slide down natural waterslides in Paulina Creek. You can purchase an optional brown bag lunch, and all ages are welcome on this easy and fun adventure.
4. Catch a Fish
Always wanted to try fly fishing? A great place for first timers is the Crooked River, about 45 minutes from Bend. Do a half-day walk-in trip with a guide company like Deep Canyon Outfitters—who claim the Crooked River offers anglers of all abilities the best opportunity to catch a few trout. The counts were last estimated at 4,500 fish per mile in this waterway, so your chances are pretty darn good. The Crooked River winds through a rugged canyon, with eagles and osprey soaring overhead, so whether you catch a fish or not, you’ll enjoy a beautiful day out on the river.
5. Canoe under the moon
Canoeing is pretty much one of the most fun things you can do as a human, and our access to the Cascades Lakes makes Central Oregon an ideal place to do it. But have you ever canoed at night? Wanderlust Tours offers moonlight canoeing tours all summer long—when the full moon is out, they’re up at the lakes. The tour starts at 7 p.m., and you’ll see the beauty of Central Oregon in a whole new way on an evening canoe. The tour includes naturalists, gear, transportation, hot cocoa, desserts and even local craft beer.
6. Bet on a Horse
ull on your favorite blue jeans and head to Prineville this summer for the Crooked River Roundup Horse Races. The locals come out for this beloved summer event, and you’ll be right at home in a cowboy hat and boots. The beer is macro, the evenings are beautiful and the horses go fast. This is the real thing—place your bets at the window and loudly cheer your horse around the track. Spend your winnings at the Cinnabar Lounge—that’s where you’ll find the unofficial after party, which includes live country music and dancing. Crooked River Roundup Horse Races are July 9 through 12, 2014.
We do live in the Wild West, and every once in a while, it’s fun to pretend you are an old cow poke. A number of resorts around Central Oregon offer the chance to jump on a horse. Explore trails that showcase sweeping mountain views and the sagebrush cowboy terrain of the high desert. All levels of riders welcomed.
8. Run the Deschutes
Rafting the Deschutes River never gets old. Most of us don’t keep up on our rafting equipment, though, so your best option is to sign up for the Big Eddy Thriller tour with Sun Country Tours. They’ve been doing this tour since 1978, so you know you are in experienced hands. You’ll get shuttled to the Upper Deschutes River, placed on a raft and told to keep paddling! You want a little excitement with your river rafting, and this trip delivers with three miles of Class III rapids (intermediate)—enough to get the heart rate up and still keep you in the boat (most of the time).
9. Paddle Around Elk Lake
Ten miles past Mt. Bachelor on Cascades Lakes Highway sits a blue gem called Elk Lake. There’s a charming little lodge right off the highway that hasn’t changed too much over the last 75 years, and down at the marina you can rent paddleboards, kayaks, canoes and row boats by the hour. As you paddle around the lake, you’ll be surrounded by majestic Cascade mountain tops. Enjoy a cheeseburger and fries on the lodge deck, where on summer weekend evenings there’s often a band playing outside.
10. Visit Every Local Brewery
The Bend Ale Trail sends you to 12 local breweries to taste the latest and greatest in local craft brewing. Get a Bend Ale Trail passport (phone app, online form, or pick up a hard copy at Visit Bend) and then collect stamps from each brewery you visit. Complete the tour and earn a custom Bend Silipint! But really, you’ve already won with this excuse to hit all local breweries with purpose.
11. Summit a Mountain
Seems like just about everyone around town has summited the South Sister and lived to brag about it—will this be your year? It’s a very difficult hike, but relative to climbing other large mountains, it’s considered a good one as there is a trail that goes to the top and the summit can be reached without technical gear or climbing skills. During the summer months, the hike can be done in a day, taking an average between 7 and 10 hours round trip. The hike is 12 miles up and back, with an elevation gain of about 5000 feet. The view from the top is worth the effort. Find the trailhead at Devils Lake Campground off of Cascades Lakes Highway, about 6 miles past Mt. Bachelor.
12. Gaze at the Stars
You know what a vast high desert is good for? Stargazing! Pine Mountain Observatory is an astronomical observatory about 30 miles southeast of Bend off of U.S. Highway 20. Built in the 1960s, it sits at 6500 feet. Check out stars, planets, meteors and more using the telescopes provided by the University of Oregon Physics Department. There are also volunteers who love to talk to newbies and set up their telescopes for visitor use. And don’t worry about getting back to town in the dark—there’s a rustic public campground right next to the observatory so you can spend some real quality time with the night sky. The observatory is open to the public on Friday and Saturday nights from Memorial Day weekend through the last weekend in September.
Bend’s Historic Homes Experience New Life
This Old House
story and photography by Raimie Hedman
Northeast Bend River Mall Drive sits between a handful of big box stores on the north side of Bend. The last thing you expect to see on this short street is a taste of historical Bend architecture. But venture far enough down the street that dead-ends against the parkway, and you’ll find the Charles Boyd Homestead, a cluster of three wood buildings that sit like a bucolic oasis amongst neighboring concrete behemoths and their enormous parking lots. Built by Bend cattle rancher Charles Boyd between 1905 and 1910, the three buildings are all that’s left of the Boyd cattle ranch complex, once the largest meat supplier in the Bend area until the Great Depression.
Step inside today, and you’re more likely to find votive candles, fine linens, blue Persian cooking salts or French hand soaps than you are a cow or a side of beef. That’s because it’s presently home to Pomegranate Home & Garden, a gift and decor shop with a French-Mediterranean flair.
“The property is certainly an oddity,” says Pomegranate owner Robert Brockway, who, along with his wife Jan, first set up shop in the ice house twenty years ago. “It has attracted plenty of people over the years.”
Just glance at the ranch house from Macy’s parking lot across the street, and it practically calls you over for a closer look. If it’s a warm day during business hours, chances are that Brockway will have the doors of all three buildings thrown wide open. The small front lawn and the half dozen towering pine trees make the property look even more out-of-place in the sea of asphalt that hems it in.
Technically speaking, the Boyd Homestead is out of place. The ranch was originally situated on six acres of homesteaded land on the Deschutes River, near present-day Izzy’s Pizza and The Riverhouse. In 1978, the buildings risked being demolished to make room for commercial development, so the Boyd family moved three of them—the ranch house, the bunkhouse and the ice house—a quarter mile to the northeast. It seemed the perfect place at the time; there were old growth pine trees all around, and the Swalley canal ran nearby, providing a semblance of the original site’s close proximity to the Deschutes River.
But for the two decades that followed, even in its new location, the historic stronghold continued to be strangled by development. As more stores went up, trees were cut down, and the canal was eventually filled in when it was replaced by a pipeline to conserve water and squeeze a bit more usable land from the area.
The loss of the canal especially pains Brockway, who says it was popular with parents who brought their children to fish for trout that strayed in from the Deschutes. “The canal ran right outside the ice house. It was beautiful. There were trees and water lilies all around.”
Central Oregon is full of historic hideaways, and most of them have fared much better than the Boyd Homestead. They’re not too hard to find, once you know where to look; registries on both the national and local levels provide addresses and brief descriptions of the properties.
Local government agencies exist to help owners maintain and preserve their historic homes. Both Deschutes County and the City of Bend have their own historic landmarks commissions, established in 1980 and 2011 respectively, which enforce a strict set of guidelines for what can and can’t be done to a historic property. The two organizations work together, with assistance from state and national organizations, including the National Park Service’s own National Historic Landmarks Program.
Registration of a historic home is voluntary, says Bend Landmarks Commission Senior Planner Heidi Kennedy, but once an application is approved, the status carries over even if a building changes hands. “If the property sells, people should be made aware: the new owners have to follow all the National Park Service regulations for any alterations to the site.” Even awnings and storefront signs must be approved by the commission before they’re put up.
Sabrina Fefferman discovered this the hard way when she and Lisa Palcic moved into a building on Arizona Avenue five years ago to start their tennis supply business, The Racquet Shoppe. “We didn’t realize it was a historic house until we tried to put up our business sign. When we did, we got a letter right away from the city.”
The building they moved into was the George Davis Building, a two-story western false front style house built in the 1920s, when train tracks still ran down the middle of Arizona Avenue—then a dirt road—to service the nearby sawmills. The house served as a residence for the Davis family, and also a boarding house and restaurant for millworkers fresh off the train.
Fefferman sorted out the signage situation and was happy to stick with the strict regulations that kept the character of the home intact. It was, after all, the historic charm of the building that caught her eye in the first place. “We liked it because it had that classic, old feel. You could tell the hardwood floors and windows were original. Customers like the atmosphere, I think, for the same reason: it has that old, homey feeling to it.”
The George Davis Building has seen its share of visitors from its own past. Prior occupants occasionally pop into The Racquet Shoppe not to have their racquet restrung, but to reminisce. “We even met the guy whose handprint is in the cement patio,” says Fefferman. She adds that these “customers” are usually pleased that not much has changed architecturally with the house since they last saw it.
The Davis family probably never imagined their home and restaurant would be turned into a tennis supply shop, but transitions like this aren’t unusual with Bend’s historic houses. A block north on Colorado Avenue, rows of homes are host to a variety of businesses that run that gamut from cafe and coffee shop to beauty salon to chiropractic and dental clinic. One home, miles away on NE Third Street, saw an unexpected—perhaps even humorous—transition. The realized dream of Fort Rock homesteader Hattie Mayne, the Mayne Maternity Home was built in 1931 by her husband, and operated by Hattie until her retirement in 1945. For a reasonable $50 a week, husbands could treat their wives to a full month of pre- and postnatal pampering, and they could rest easy knowing that their children would be delivered in a fully equipped maternity hospital with a full staff to care for ten patients. In 1999 the very house that saw the birth of hundreds of Central Oregon babies was repurposed as The Pretty Pussycat, a lingerie and adult novelty boutique, where husbands today can pamper their wives in a wholly different way.
Other businesses fit their historic homes almost poetically. Mable Lara would be pleased to know that her Congress Street home, built in 1910 for her family, continues to provide cozy overnight stays for Bend visitors. Her husband Arthur was the prestigious owner of one of Bend’s first department stores, and the house constantly saw high-profile guests pass through. The couple hosted out-of-town dignitaries like George Palmer Putnam, who moved to Bend, purchased the Bend Bulletin and became mayor before moving back to New York, where he married famed aviator Amelia Earhart.
Today, The Lara House Bed and Breakfast offers historic downtown lodging overlooking Drake Park and the Deschutes River.
“It’s totally fitting,” says owner Sandra Griffin of the 114-year-old Craftsman home. “This house was meant to do this.” Griffin and her husband purchased the property about a year ago, and she says the history of the Lara House caught them both by surprise. “My husband and I love Craftsman homes. We loved the style of the Lara House. When we learned about its history, it was that much richer.”
Griffin says that from the moment guests walk in, they want to know more about the history of the building. “I think they choose to stay here because of its charm.”
It’s that charm that the historic landmarks commissions want to preserve in their historic properties. Whenever possible, buildings are left intact on the land on which they were built. But striking a balance between preservation and progress in Bend can be a challenge. If a district is
re-zoned, the buildings can usually be preserved and repurposed as businesses. But if a building is in the way of planned infrastructure, it might lose—at least its original land. Kennedy says that in most cases, the building is relocated the way the Charles Boyd Homestead was.
It’s rare for a historic building to be torn down. When the request is made, it’s often because the building is on its last structural legs. “Demolition by neglect,” says Kennedy. “A request for permission to demolish is made when people say the building isn’t worth the time or money to fix.”
Or, as in the case of the Pilot Butte Inn, the building is declared uninhabitable. Built in 1917, the inn became the first site in Deschutes County to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. But a long period of heavy disuse left it in shambles, and nobody would step up to pay for the renovations needed to make the building usable.
The loss of Pilot Butte Inn is still felt today. “I can’t tell you how many people talk about that one,” says Kennedy. “It’s been years since it was taken down. There’s only a plaque there now.”
Bend leads Central Oregon in historic-homes-turned-businesses, but it doesn’t have a monopoly on hundred-year-old houses in general. Prineville, which had more than a twenty-year head start in home construction, has a variety of historical houses that can be viewed during a self-guided walking tour offered by Bowman Museum—though most are private homes. Sisters has gone to great lengths to honor its pioneer heritage with Old West-styled streets and false front architecture, but most of the buildings are recent additions, and what few historic homes it has left aren’t open to the public.
If you want to experience something more engaging than a self-guided tour, keep an eye out for events during National Preservation Month in May. Communities throughout Central Oregon will be working together to celebrate local history and show off their historic places. This year’s theme, entitled “New Age of Preservation: Embark, Inspire, Engage,” is meant to educate new audiences on local preservation efforts and attract newcomers to the sites, so it’s the perfect time to get your feet wet with experiencing bits of Central Oregon history in the modern context.
The best way to get started, however, is to go out there and find the places yourself. The Des Chutes Historical Museum created a free smartphone app for their self-guided Bend Heritage Walk, which highlights some key historic buildings near downtown. The Bend Tour Company offers guided Segway tours of the city if you prefer the company of others. Or you can just go shopping near Bend’s historical districts. If the brown commemorative plaques on the buildings don’t reveal the history of the place, a few questions placed inside surely will. And who knows? You might find yourself doing some shopping while you’re exploring!
The Photography of Jeffrey Murray
As a landscape photographer, I spend countless hours searching for epic light and compelling compositions. My fascination with photography began over a decade ago while attending high school in the San Francisco Bay Area. I grew up visiting the Sierra Nevada Mountains on a regular basis all the while falling in love with the diverse beauty of California. On my days off from work you bet you could find me hiking the backcountry, photographing in Yosemite or exploring local dusty dirt roads. I later enrolled at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, and received a B.S. in photography with an emphasis in photojournalism. Although I had worked for various publications, including the largest newspaper west of the Mississippi, The Arizona Republic, photojournalism jobs were few and difficult to come by. I decided to join the National Forest Service as a wildland firefighter, loving the idea of being able to travel and work hard labor outdoors (I’m not an indoor, office kind of guy). On a summer afternoon in 2007 I decided to try the idea out of selling my photos at a local art festival. That was eight years ago and I have been working full time as a professional photographer ever since.
2014 Central Oregon ARTICLES
Bird Watching in Central Oregon
Eyes to the sky
story by Sarah Mowry, Deschutes Land Trust
photography courtesy of Deschutes Land Trust
One of the most welcoming signs of spring is the twitter of backyard birds. Their chipper calls are the alarm clock waking nature up from its long winter rest. Spring migrations mean many birds will become active April through June as they seek out mates, nest locations and new sources of food. Now that spring has come to the high desert, one great way to get out and enjoy the season is by going bird watching.
Bird watching is one of the fastest growing forms of recreation in the country, according to the 2012 National Survey on Recreation and the Environment. Why? It’s a great way to get outside and watch wildlife that’s relatively easy to find. What’s more, it is a low-cost form of recreation that’s fun and easy to start. So, how do you take on this new hobby?
If you have a pair of eyes, you can start bird watching right away. The next time you take a walk along the Deschutes or sit in your yard, stop for a moment and examine the birds around you. You’ll notice there are obvious differences in size and shape. There are small brown birds that flit through the bushes, large woodpeckers making a racket on your house, or massive herons gliding slowly through the water.
Central Oregon is fortunate to have several resources for learning more about birds.
Deschutes Land Trust: This local land conservation group owns and manages nature preserves, where they also host a variety of bird walks for kids and adults alike. Great resource for beginning birders!
East Cascades Audubon Society: Our local Audubon chapter hosts a variety of bird walks in Bend and around Central Oregon. Great resource for learning more about birding, including how to bird by ear.
Sunriver Nature Center: View birds up close to learn their patterns, shapes and sizes. The High Desert Museum is another option.
Wild Birds Unlimited: Our local backyard bird shop is chock full of resources for birding. Find binoculars, bird books, feeders and helpful staff who know the area.
Cornell University’s All About Birds: www.allaboutbirds.org
Oregon birding locations: www.oregonbirdingtrails.org/trailguide.htm
You can judge size using birds you already know: bigger than a robin, smaller than a crow. Though this seems basic, size is one of the most important clues to identifying a bird. The body parts of birds—beaks, wings and tails—are also clues to what they eat, how they fly and where they live. Great blue herons have long skinny bills perfect for spearing fish, and their long legs help them wade quietly in the water. Northern flickers (likely the woodpecker banging on your house) have beaks that are perfect for making holes in wood or the ground to dig for ants and beetles.
Hummingbirds have tiny straw-like bills for sipping nectar from flowers.
From size and shape you can move on to color. Bright birds can make identification easier, but it is often the subtleties in color you need to search out. Are there colors and patterns on the head or tail? What do the wings look like? Finally, behavior and habitat can be important clues.
Where did you see the bird? How was it moving? Was it in a group or on its own? Though these last clues take time to learn to see, they can be the most fun as you begin to understand the habits and habitats of birds, and the stories they tell.
Undoubtedly, as you dig deeper into birding, you’ll want to get yourself a pair of binoculars. Binoculars come in a wide range of sizes and can be purchased at many local outdoor or bird specialty stores. They are essential for birding because they let you see the birds up close. One caution: take some time to get to know your binoculars before you go looking at birds! Though they are simple to operate, it takes practice to learn how to find and focus on an object with binoculars. Practice focusing on stationary objects—your fence, flowers, etc.—before you try to catch moving targets. Even better, join an introductory bird walk, which will certainly cover the basics of binoculars.
Some other helpful birding equipment include a good bird identification book or app (iBird Pro is my favorite), and a notebook to record your observations.
Where to bird
In the high desert, head toward water and you’ll find great bird watching. In Bend, you can find waterfowl and migrating songbirds at Sawyer Park on the Deschutes River. In Sisters, Camp Polk Meadow Preserve’s wetlands provide habitat year round and contribute to its designation as a birding hot spot (more than 150 species of birds observed). In Redmond, try Cline Falls State Park for canyon falcons and wrens. Wherever you go, the most important thing to remember is to enjoy yourself! You may not identify any birds or see anything unique, but you’ll have undoubtedly learned something about watching wildlife, and observation is the key to becoming a naturalist.
A perfect sunrise hike with spectacular views
story by Katy Bryce
In the heart of summer, the snow melts off in the high backcountry, and outdoor enthusiasts head to the hills to enjoy cooler temperatures and to hike trails that follow streams, wind around lakes and climb volcanic peaks. Tumalo Mountain, just 20 miles from Bend, is a 3.6-mile round trip hike that rewards with a relatively short but steep climb that culminates with an outstanding 360-degree view of the Cascades and high desert plateau.
Tumalo Mountain is a 7,775-foot-high shield volcano situated northeast of Mount Bachelor, on the north side of Cascade Lakes Highway. About two-thirds of the mountain slopes evenly to the west and south, while the remaining east-facing side is a steep, glaciated crater, popular among backcountry skiers and snowboarders in the winter.
Starting at the Dutchman Sno-Park at 6,350 feet, the trail immediately crosses a winter snowmobile trail. For the first three-quarters of a mile, you’ll enjoy a mixed forest of lodgepole pine, mountain hemlock and white fir. Stop and look over your right shoulder at times to take in occasional glimpses of Mount Bachelor peeking through the trees. You might also find spots of wildflowers such as purple dwarf lupine interspersed among the trees.
The trail is clearly marked and continues uphill, eventually opening up to a meadow. From here on up, there is virtually no shade, so take care on a warm, sunny day, and consider leaving early in the morning to avoid the heat of day. The trail continues to ascend the volcanic cinder, winding through some switchbacks, until you reach the summit, a 1,400-foot elevation gain from the bottom. Vegetation is sparse up here, but look closely and you will see hardy plants interspersed in the rocks, such as low growing purple penstemon. The trail on the summit is bordered by rocks to help keep hikers on the trail and to preserve the delicate plant life.
The panorama at the top offers one of the most photographed views of Mount Bachelor to the southwest and Sparks Lake to the west, as well as striking views of the Three Sisters and Broken Top. To the east, you can see the massive Lava Butte lava flow, Tumalo Creek canyon and even the faint cityscape of Bend.
Mountain weather can be unpredictable, and it can get quite windy on the summit, so bring appropriate clothing as well as water and food. Trekking poles can also be useful if you need help on the steep terrain. One of the best times to hike Tumalo Mountain is early morning when the sun is rising over Bend and the mountains are brushed with pink alpenglow. Sunset is a great option, as well. Bring a picnic and enjoy a bite before your descent.
Hike the untamed high desert
story by Emily Woodworth
photography by Greg Burke
Head a few miles in any direction in Central Oregon and the landscape could shift dramatically from forest to desert in an instant. Just a few miles east of Bend, for example, is the Oregon Badlands Wilderness, officially designated a wilderness area in 2009, which means it’s still new on some avid hikers’ radar. The Badlands Wilderness offers a unique glimpse at yet another vital environ in our incredibly diverse region. The 29,301-acre wilderness area typifies the harsh, untamed beauty of the high desert, and offers a unique glimpse into the natural history of Central Oregon.
With approximately 50 miles of trails, the Badlands offers many opportunities for visitors to explore tracks of varying length on foot, bicycle or even from horseback. The scenery looks like it could have come straight out of a Western film. Gnarled old-growth juniper trees and their younger descendants grow throughout the area, surrounded by hardy sagebrush and other varieties of desert plant-life. In spring and summer the sparse vegetation fills in with vibrant desert wildflowers. If visitors are lucky, they might even stumble across some Native American pictographs.
The dusty paths are composed of soils tracing their origins back to the eruption of Mt. Mazama, the event that formed Crater Lake. Deeper in the wilderness are lava rock formations, which trace their heritage back to the Badland volcano, formed when a lava tube developed a hole in its roof, allowing the molten rock to spread in all directions.
Among the main attractions to the area are many old-growth western junipers. These trees can live up to 1,000 years, though most of the stands in the Badlands average 200 to 400 years old. There are some attributes that aid in identifying these ancient desert sentinels. The older trees display rounded tops and furrowed, reddish bark, and they often have green lichen covering their branches. Though they are considered invasive and weed-like in some other ecosystems, the Badlands Wilderness is a natural habitat for western junipers, which have adapted themselves to the 12-inch average rainfall per year in the area.
Living up to its wilderness status, views within the Badlands are unobstructed by power lines and other modern constructs. Trail signs are small and sometimes hard to find, so make sure you are a competent land navigator, and bring along a map, compass and GPS. Keep in mind that the landscape is more exposed to the sun than most in Central Oregon, so wear a hat and bring plenty of water.
The Badlands is located 15 miles east of Bend off Highway 20. Watch for signs after milepost 15. Many trails exist within the wilderness area boundaries.