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Please check with individual event contact or event website to see if there have been changes to the event. Central Oregon Visitors Survey Thank you for your help with this survey. Please read each question carefully.

About me

So how's a SoCal girl doing living in Central Oregon? Learn why we uprooted our family nearly 1, miles away and how I feel about the weather, the activities, and going from a diverse and bustling city of millions to a small and quiet mountain town. You might recall that my family and I relocated in October from Los Angeles to Benda move prompted by our desire to put down roots in a place that felt like a better fit ethnic our lifestyle. Bend beat out several other places on our short list which I share in 7 dating and so far, we have had no regrets about our decision to move here.

Hint: I love it! We chose Bend for its four-season climate, and we visited at the peak of every season including wildfire seasonso we went into this knowing what to expect. The winters feel long here, but we love it because it extends the season for snowboarding and skiing, which we are so Bend to have a half-hour away from our house. I find myself looking forward to the start of every season because it always means new activities, and our lives are very much centered around outdoor recreation.

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A few days after we moved to Bend, we actually had snow flurries! We have a great chicken coop that came with storm panels to keep the wind and rain out, and the heated water bowl we used all season long worked very well. We had no heating in the coop and found no need for it, despite lows in the teens. We stock up on wood pellets in summer when prices are low and inventory is high.

We feed our chickens their typical diet of homemade whole-grain chicken feedas well as weedsdried mealworms and grubs, and kitchen scraps.

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Today, we have five chickens who free-range around our new property and thrive with no supplemental heating or light. Bebe who suffered from severe hip dysplasia was euthanized at home in June after a well-fought battle with the disease. I wrote more about the homemade dog food we fed her for several years, which greatly improved her quality of life.

She was 14 years old. Up until the week before her death, she was full of spunk and was such a happy little pug. I know of no other dog that traveled and camped as much as she did 11 states in 5 months during the making of The New Camp Cookbook! Chinki passed away in her sleep in March at the ripe old age of She had gotten to the point where she was primarily blind, lame in her hind legs, and anxious whenever we left her alone at home, so we brought her everywhere with us — including the days we went snowboarding.

1. how have you adjusted to the change in weather?

We miss the pugs dearly and feel so fortunate to have had them in our lives as long as we did. When we lived in a rental the first two years, I started a small container garden on the deck as a practice run. It was certainly a strange experience to cover my plants well into June to protect against frost. Never trust the forecast more than two days out! Being a gardener here means you also become a meteorologist of sorts. Tracking seasonal weather patterns, monitoring nightly lows, learning that our deated Hardiness Zone of 6b is not truly accurate because of all the microclimates in town I actually aim for zone 5 to be safe.

We rented a house during our first two years in Bend while continuing to look for our forever home. Update: Since I originally wrote this post inwe became proud landowners in June and will finally begin the journey of building our house!

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You can follow along at Garden Betty Builds dating House. Areas of town that we once considered buying in were no longer on the list for one reason or another. We took our time house-hunting — more than two years! After Bend finding an existing home or even a fixer-upper that met all of our needs and budget, we decided to switch gears and look for land so we could build a home exactly the way we wanted. The foghorns that I used to hear from our house on the coast have been replaced by the occasional distant rumble of the train in Bend. Instead of starlings singing in our feijoa treewe hear quail calling from the rabbitbrush.

Beach days are now spent on the river or lakes, which fill my desire for being close to water. I think we moved at the right time, just as I was ready for a change. At some point in the early research phase, we considered island living in Puget Sound, Washington; rural living in Driggs, Idaho; and mountain living in Durango, Colorado.

Montana made the list as well, but I nixed it because of the brutal winters. Despite the promise of endless adventure in each of these places, we ultimately felt that they were too small for us, community- and opportunity-wise.

We wanted a good mix of small-town living and big-city amenities; a large enough network of open and like-minded people for making new friends; an entrepreneurial and creative environment that kept us stimulated; quick access to the outdoors; and ease of travel. Bend is beautiful, inspiring, and exactly ethnic we hoped it would be.

One of the unexpected — but much appreciated — surprises about being here is the amazing water quality. We have community water that comes from an aquifer, and straight out of the tap, Bend water is the clearest, cleanest, most delicious water in the country, thanks to natural filtration through layers of lava rocks.

I joke with friends who are visiting from out of town that they should fill up jugs of water before they leave, because they will sorely miss it! I love how happy everyone in Bend is, because they know how lucky they are to live here.

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But the main reason we moved to Bend is right outside our door, where we have world-class outdoor recreation. Some of my favorite trails are just 15 minutes from home, and on most days, I only run into a handful of people along the way.

With a season pass, I can head up to Mount Bachelor a few times a week, snowboard for a couple hours, and still make it home for lunch because the mountain is so close. There are usually a few days where the air quality is terrible as winds blow in heavy smoke from massive wildfires in Oregon, California, Washington, or British Columbia. A humidifier and a steady supply of lotion and lip balm have helped me feel more normal here. But, with more people comes more problems.

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Daycare is in short supply. Housing is hard to come by. There are more qualified people than there are well-paying jobs. The infrastructure in town needs continuous improvement to handle the increase in traffic. Like most or all? It was having more trees and less concrete.

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It was being close to the outdoors and away from pollution of all kinds — air, noise, and light. I know this is possible because I grew up in a predominantly white community, as did my husband.

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And as adults, we lived in and embraced two of the most diverse cities in the world. The activities Bend drew ethnic here skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, and paddling are considered affluent. Local career opportunities are scarce and funding for social programs is low. Bearing in mind all these factors, the Bend life speaks to very specific subsets of people: those who have money, those who make money by working remotely, and those who prioritize outdoor recreation over materialism.

And Bend is not exactly an Asian tourist attraction. The racial makeup of this town will change over time as more people move here from other cities, but it will never become a melting pot. I used to say that we moved to Bend because it was more affordable. But everything else? The cost of groceries, restaurants, movies, dating, house cleaning, babysitting, yard work, and extracurricular activities like yoga classes or ski passes is equal to or, in many cases, even more than what we were paying in LA.

Bend is an island. We always tell people that Bend is a money pit. You come here with your quiver of bikes or snowboards, but soon you want a kayak, a stand-up paddle board, a different bike, a trailer, an RV?! The list is neverending!

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We saved money on housing, but our day-to-day expenses are the same, if not more than we expected. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is my latest book. Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring — all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors.

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After all, the secret to a good life is ». Gosh, there are some pretty nasty comments here.

2. how have the chickens adjusted to the change in weather?

The author is sharing her experience which she admits may be different from how long-term residents feel. You should be proud that people with diverse backgrounds feel comfortable and safe here. As a Black female vanlifer, I have traveled all over the US looking for someplace that feels like home and Bend checks all of my boxes.

I have a high-paying remote job and am happy to pay into the tax system here because I am getting the bang for my buck.

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Your tips will be invaluable because every area has completely different soil, water, pest, and climate conditions. Good luck with finding your dream property! Truckee feels a little less like an island like Bend does. Both seem great but just different trade-offs! Again, would love to hear your process between the two.

And 2 Winters in Truckee are brutal. Hope that helps! Have you been to Whitefish, MT? Also a great place with a little more going on. But too far from the coast for us. I am in Los Angeles and have been looking to move. Hopefully by end of Summer.