By Dee Reed

Stretch your Rally fun by taking a day trip or an extended visit before or after the event to Bend, Oregon. Since you’ll already be in Redmond, July 14-17, it’ll be easy to head 17 miles south to Bend for another great RV experience.

You don’t need to worry about where you’ll park your rig when in Bend because you’ll find two Good Sam Parks: Bend/Sisters Garden RV Resort and Scandia RV Park. And if you didn’t get all your RV needs taken care of while at The Rally, visit Jerry’s RV Service Center, a Good Sam Authorized Service Center.

There are other reasons to head to Bend. In nearly the geographic center of the state, Bend is noted for its scenic setting, mild climate, and year-round recreation opportunities. Tucked neatly between the snow-covered peaks of the Cascade Mountains and high-desert plateaus, you could spend all of your time lounging in front of your RV, but you’re missing out on a lot of action.

Whether you’re seeking world-renowned rock climbing at Smith Rock, hiking, biking, and skiing in the Cascade Mountains, fly fishing on area trout streams, or trail-running on Bend’s Urban Trail System, you’ll be rubbing shoulders with people from around the world who visit Bend to get outside and to be inspired by the Bend lifestyle. Bring along your mountain bike to take advantage of the more than 300 miles of mountain bike trails. Bend was recently named the top mountain bike city in Mountain Bike Action magazine.

Unique activities include spelunking and caving, rock hounding, standup paddle boarding, and taking bicycle cab and carriage ride tours. Bend also offers a never-ending calendar of summer events, concerts, and entertainment.

If shopping is your main source of exercise, then you’ll love Bend. With more than 200 shops and restaurants in historic downtown Bend, there are plenty of places to dine and shop.

Originally, settlers traveled through the area to make a crossing on the Deschutes River at “Farewell Bend,” the designation used by early pioneers to refer to where they crossed. Incorporated in 1905, its first industry was logging, but it is now identified as a gateway for many outdoor sports. Ask most any local why they moved to Bend and most will admit that they first came to town for the incredible winters, but decided to stay for the unbelievable summers. Don’t believe what people say about Oregon’s liquid sunshine — Bend and Redmond enjoy an average of 300 days of actual sunshine a year. The climate is typical of the high desert with cool nights and sunny days — classified as semi-arid. Average annual precipitation is less than 12 inches with an average snowfall in the winter of 33 inches.

A day trip could include a visit to Crater Lake National Park — 92 miles south of Bend. The lake is the deepest lake in the United States at 1,943 feet deep, and one of the ten deepest lakes in the world. Nearby, take a wagon tour of Pine Mountain Ranch, which emphasizes sustainable ranching practices, and see buffalo, yak, dall sheep, and boar. Join Halligan Ranch Llama Adventures on a llama pack trip into the wilderness — day hikes are available as well as week-long adventures. Tours and tastings are available at the Deschutes Brewery or at Bendistillery.

For more info about RV travel visit the Good Sam Club Trip Planning section where you can route your RV trip, read interesting RV travel articles, learn about points of interest, find RV campgrounds and print out RV checklists.

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