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family

Sunriver family vacation — 2019

Friday

Five bikes on the car and we’re ready for fun. We have arrived at Sunriver for our summer family vacation of 2019.

Warning: This is a long post with lots of pictures.1 Enjoy! ;-)

Unlike some of our earlier visits to Sunriver, we have no biking mileage goals. Our goals are relaxation, fun, and family time. Ashley and Kevin will be here only for the weekends and Jamison only for the final weekend. We’re saving our kayaking until then.

Saturday

We rent the same place as last year.2 It’s on the north side of the community. That means it’s farther from the village and main pool.3 Although it’s a bikeable distance to the village, I doubt we’ll bike there for a bag of coffee or some chapstick. For that, we’ll likely go to the north store. It’s also quieter here and our neighbors are largely owners. Which means, I’ll be able to watch people aerate, thatch, rake, and mow their lawns on my vacation. Sweet!

In the morning after breakfast, we drive to the village with the pups, get some drinks,4 and walk to the lodge. We’ll discover this trip that we walk a lot more instead of biking as we don’t have any way to transport the dogs while biking.5 And we don’t want to leave the dogs cooped up all day. Even so, we’ll do a fair amount of biking. Today, we bike to Lava Lands, a place I’ve biked to before. Why I remember this as a level ride, I don’t know. Lava Lands is a cinder cone in the midst of a shield volcano. It makes sense that the ground rises as we get closer. The rise isn’t steep, just persistent. Next time, we’ll reserve this ride until later in the week.

Ashley rented an e-bike for the weekend. Wow! It’s magical! As a plus, it looks like a regular bike. She has no problems with the incline. :-)

Heather’s friend Kristin is with us this first weekend. She asks whether we’ve been to Sparks Lake. Why, no, we haven’t. At her suggestion, we load the dogs into cars and head to the lake. Mousse and Gilligan have such a good time, they’re nearly frantic playing fetch and swimming in the water. As the sun nears the horizon, Kristin leads us on a walk to where we have a great view of South Sister and Broken Top on the far side of the lake. Beautiful!

The hot tub calls my name…

Sunday

We walk the dogs then ride our bikes to the Lodge for brunch. Mmm…

Kevin and Ashley aren’t staying the whole time, reserving their vacation time for later. We say good-bye to them. Kristin leaves as well.

Monday

A nice quiet day. Isn’t that what vacations are for?

Tuesday

Sparks Lake was so much fun that Suzi, Heather, Melissa, and I decide to go back with Gilligan. On the way back, we stop at Todd Lake, too. Gilligan approves!

In the evening, I finish reading The Fifth Witness6 I bought in the village a couple of days prior. Or maybe it’s after midnight…

Wednesday

Today, we decide it’s a good day to bike. We bike to the lodge for brunch, then bike all the river loops. Suzi makes our reservations for kayaking. This is gonna be fun! We’re so looking forward to kayaking! Melissa gets a snowcone. I should’ve got one, too. I’ll remember that for next time.

In the evening, we take a quick bike ride to the footbridge to see the sunset. There are definite advantages to this place.

Thursday

Yet another day at Sparks Lake! Mmm… This time, we meet Grandma Penny, a sweet old doggie whose owner is pretty nice, too. We relax and go to the Village Bar and Grill, watching the guy play keyboards and guitar and work to get audience participation. Getting four couples up for a twist dance contest is impressive.7

Friday

This is another good day to ride. We bike the east side to the village. It has more hills but we power through. Then through the south side and all the river loops. Essentially, we bike the perimeter.

In the evening, Suzi and I head to Bend for a little shopping and to pick Jamison up at the airport. Let’s see how much Sunriver we can get in during the short time he’s here.

Ashley and Kevin return, too. :-)

Saturday

Everyone is here! Today is the day we have been waiting for. Today, we kayak.

The route we kayak is on the Deschutes River from LaPine State Park to S. Century Drive by Big River Campground. Allegedly, this can be done in about 2.5 hours. Being founding members of the dry-paddle drifting kayakers, we take nearly 4 hours.

In the evening, we bike to the footbridge at the end of the day and take family pictures. Ashley ignores the “No Jumping” sign to take a jump shot. ;-)

We finish the day with a trip to the Village for Goodies. It’s probably not a trip to Sunriver without ordering and waiting for a milkshake.

Sunday

It’s our last day. We know we want to go for a bike ride today and yet we need to check out in the morning. Last night, we packed as much as we could to prepare.

We bike to the Nature Center. Sunriver’s new swan family are on the island when we arrive, then swim toward the eastern shore. Then we bike back and finish getting everything loaded back into our cars.

We drive to the village and have lunch at El Caporal. Gilligan had such a soulful face. She knows we’re packed to go and doesn’t want to. Can’t we just stay a little longer? :-(

Suzi finds a sweatshirt, Jamison finds some T-shirts, and I find a coffee mug.8 One more smoothie and we’re on our way home.


  1. Credits: Although I took most of these pictures, some of the best I borrowed with permission. Thanks to Ashley for the pictures of the doggies swimming in Sparks Lakes on the first Saturday and to Heather for the picture of Gilligan rolling in the meadow by Todd Lake on Tuesday. Major Kudos to Jamison for finding a bunch of typoes and bringing them to my attention. ?
  2. It would appear that I posted no pictures from last year. As I have some, I’ll need to fix this. Done?
  3. Which we end up not even visiting. For that matter, we don’t go to the north pool either, but we biked by it daily. ?
  4. Yeah, that’s a daily thing. Probably the last time I mention it. ?
  5. I try to convince Heather to get a bike trailer for dogs and practice with Gilligan. I’m not sure I succeed. ?
  6. The Fifth Witness is written by Michael Connelly, the same author of The Lincoln Lawyer that I read some years back. Although I enjoyed the book, I was disappointed spoiler alert that both books share a similar plot twist at their ends. ?
  7. I’d have to take up drinking to do that, and even then… ?
  8. If only I needed a coffee mug. Yet, it makes me happy. :-) ?
Categories
family

Sunriver Family Vacation – 2018

I’m posting this more than a year late.1 Not sure why I didn’t earlier, but I have my theories…

Both Kevin and I got sick this vacation, resulting in a fair amount of downtime. It was still relaxing. I just didn’t end up with many pictures.

Kevin even missed our kayaking float. :-(

And it probably explains why half my pictures are the family sitting on the couches. That’s where I was.

Jamison and I both brought our guitars and worked our way through a couple of Youtube tutorials. Bossa Nova, anyone?


  1. And backdating it as though I posted it on time. ;-) ?
Categories
family pets Photographs

Kayaking With Mousse On Sunset Lake

For our Saturday excursion, Suzi and I rented1 four kayaks to explore Sunset Lake. Ashley got a larger life vest for Mousse.2

Suzi, Ashley, Heather, and I boarded our kayaks. Ashley had Mousse join her. Things went swimmingly until Mousse went swimming. Thanks to Mousse’s life vest and its handle, Ashley was able to get Mousse back on board. Turns out, Mousse likes to swim and is fast. And Mousse likes to swim a lot! With her life vest, we didn’t worry about Mousse getting dog tired. We could paddle next to her and let her dog paddle.

Another fun day on the water.3 :-)


  1. By the way, if you are looking for a nice place to rent some recreational kayaks around Seaside, Cleanline treated us well. I’m sure they’d do the same for you. The owner is friendly. That wasn’t too surprising. The kids who helped put the kayaks on my car were friendly, too, introducing themselves, shaking my hand, asking how my visit was, etc. Wow! 
  2. Although we also got one for Meisa, it’s going back; Meisa said nothing doing to putting on a life vest so she could sit on a tippy kayak. Instead Meisa relaxed, tied up at our campsite. 
  3. Yeah, that’s redundant. ;-) 
Categories
family

Sunriver Summer Vacation 2012, Day 6

Yesterday, I complained I didn’t take enough pictures and promised to make up for it. Today, I think I overdid it. These are just a few of the pictures (and I may yet pare them down).

We started the day with bicycling (as usual). Suzi and Melissa joined the 100-mile club in our morning ride. Ashley, who joined us on Monday, still had a few miles to go. Jamison and I went on a second morning ride with Ashley, this time tackling the hill to Fort Rock Park to finish off her miles. Oh, the sweet, sweet ride back down the hill and into the wind — it felt so good! :-)

After lunch, we headed into the village to start our kayak ride. They delivered us and our kayaks to Lapine State Park and sent us off. Three hours later, they picked us up where S. Century Drive crosses the Deschutes. We had so much fun! What a great way to spend the day.

No one felt like cooking or cleaning, so we returned to the village to eat. As we finished, Slick Side Down was just starting to play. We listened for a few minutes and then walked to the lodge.

We watched the sun set, then returned to Goody’s for our final ice cream and to watch Slick Side Down complete their set. Jamison and I “had” to get one of their CDs before we left.

It’s so hard to believe that our vacation is almost over. Fortunately, we have so many good memories. We’re looking forward to our next chance to visit.