This was a trip of certain uncertainty. I set my alarm for 5:30am Friday morning in my Charlotte hotel room hoping to get a good jump on the day and arrive in plenty of time to catch the 7:50am flight.
As I rolled over prior to hearing my alarm, I opened my eyes and noticed it was relatively light for prior to 5:30am. Then a rush of panic hit me and I ran to the nightstand to see it was 7:25am... I had 25 minutes to get dressed, pack up and have that shuttle get me to the airport... anyway, I ended up on the next flight to Denver and arrived in time to catch the connector to Portland. Problem was... that flight was delayed 2 1/2 hours... now I was cutting it impossibly close to catching the last leg of the trip to Bend.
I had planned on arriving at 3:30 local time so I could settle in, get my bib, find something healthy to eat and get to bed early. Well, after missing the connection in Portland I waited (in a most beautiful airport by the way with lots of good food and beer- one) for 6 hours before arriving in Bend, to the sweet smell of rain-wet pine and sage. Yankee Candle needs to visit Bend, and put it in a bottle. Of course, by this time 20 hours into my day of dismay I was expecting that something would get in the way of me and a pillow.
The car service I had hired was not there with my name on a little white card as promised. In fact, I never heard from them at all... I will take the high road and tell you that I rented a car instead, from Alamo (and for 1/2 the price). This led to freedom and extra time during my one day in Bend, so... it was a good thing!
I left the airport, without a map and headed south hoping with the ultimate faith (especially considering the day to that point) that Bend would be a tourist friendly place with many large signs pointing me (specifically) where I needed to go.
Guess what? They did. Basically. I found Mt. Bachelor Resort without much problem and they were very friendly and helpful. As was EVERYBODY in Bend. It was Truman-Show-esque how friendly and welcoming the Bend-o-nians were and I HIGHLY recommend spending your hard earned time and money in their city. Beautiful place, no traffic, round-a-bouts everywhere... it was great. I swear I raced... stay tuned for that in my next post.
Getting there was the hard part. Now all I had to do was run... how complicated could that be?