Bend Beer Chase

The Bend Beer Chase is a relay race that I’m participating in. The race is on Saturday the 2nd of June but we are going down to Bend on Tuesday to do some camping with friends before the race.


We’ll be spending a few nights at the Camp Sherman Campground in the Willamette National Forest northwest of Bend. We will do some hiking during the day.

Race Details

Here are the leg assignments. Our start time is 8:20 AM.

Hey! Why do I get all the Hard ones?

Here is the full course map

I’ve also posted the legs map (pdf).

I’ve created Garmin courses for my legs. I might add the others if I have the time

Kelly has provided more details via Facebook

We can check into the campground anytime after noon on Tuesday, May 29. We’re in spaces 5 and 6. Here’s the link to the information on the campground

Stan & Laura: The directions listed in this link are not great. If you look at a map, you can head directly towards Sisters from Salem on Hwy 22, you don’t have to go all the way down to Sweet Home to get on Hwy 20. Here’s the address to google your own directions, 11349 SW Tract 0 Lane, Camp Sherman OR 97730. Let me know when you might be arriving. Portland traffic is almost as bad as Seattle traffic, so do your best to avoid it.

We’re about .3 mile from the Camp Sherman General Store which sells lots of stuff including lunch items. Not sure if they make fancy coffee though. There is also a Mexican restaurant close by so we can go out to dinner one night.

LeAnn Moore and Mary Ellard-Ivey, let’s finalize plans to pick you up at the airport. Remind me what time your flights get in so I can come pick you up. I think Mary was getting there earlier and was going to hang until LeAnne’s flight came in later. Once I pick you up, we can head to Sisters and a grocery store to pick up some food items. I’ll bring a cooler along and a couple of camp stoves.

As far as hikes, I think we’ll do Black Butte on Wednesday. It’s got a decent amount of gain depending on where we start and awesome views at the top. We’ll do some sort of easier falls hike on Thursday. Don’t want to wear the runners out too much! There is also the the Metolius River trail which meanders along the river we’ll be camped next to if folks just want to mosey along it.

Friday morning, we’ll head to Bend to get ready for the race.

That’s all I can think of right now. The weather forecast is looking good for next week but always a good idea to plan for a little rain and cold nights.

[narrator’s voice] They do.

Black Butte Hike

We did in fact take this hike on Wednesday. Black Butte, which wikipedia tells me is a stratovolcano has what I think is a classic volcano shape.

You can just make out the tower at the top

There are two ways to do this one. You can start at the bottom and hike all the way up or you can drive up to an intermediate point and hike the last part of the same path. We did the former because…reasons I guess.

The upper portion starts at the southern-most point on this track

The elevation profile is pretty aggressive.

Aren’t we doing a relay race in a couple of days?

On the plus side, this was one of the softest hiking trails I’ve ever walked. The lower portion was covered with pine needles that gave your legs some relief without making it a slog though sand kind of thing.

Oh also, the views were pretty nice. It was good to see some different mountains.

Mt. Washington (before the smoke rolled in)

Three Fingered Jack Mountain

On this day in the valley to the south they were doing a controlled burn which made a portion of the trail pretty smokey and killed the views on the west side.

Controlled burn

Once we swung around that things were much clearer on the other side

from left to right, MT. JEFFERSON, Mt. Hood, and mt. adams

At the top is a working fire lookout

and an unused historic cupola building in need of some repair

We had a nice lunch with a bunch of other people at the top. Pretty crowded for a Wednesday.

This was a really fun hike but most of the good stuff comes in the upper portion so unless you want the workout, I’d suggest driving up to the upper trail head and doing the 4 miles. You won’t miss too much. It is nice to say I climbed the whole thing though.

Chush Falls Hike

On Thursday we needed to do something a bit easier since the relay was coming up on Saturday. It was quite a bit colder. We did a hike along the Whychus river to a large cascade.

The signs have eyes!

This was indeed easier than Black Butte

Half the distance of yesterday’s hike

There was a lot less climbing also

That was good because in the morning I discovered a hole in my water bag. I tried to tape it up but it wasn’t sufficient so I had less water than I would normally bring. Laura also had a destroyed water tube but she was able to switch it out with mine. I also discovered some critter had gotten into a side pocket of my backpack and got some food. I wasn’t sure how because the pack had been in the car overnight. I figured it must have happened on Wednesday while we were on the Black Butte trail and I just hadn’t noticed it.

The trail starts out in a burn zone from a fire many years ago. You get a nice view of all three Sisters.

The South Sister?

After about 2 miles you get to the falls which are pretty spectacular.

You had to scramble down a bit to get where I took that picture but it was worth it. I also found a cute little mushroom growing out of a downed tree.

Smurf Outpost

On the way back one of our party found a couple of morel mushrooms

These are an expensive delicacy (often $30-40 per pound) and here they were just sitting out in the open!

Don’t eat unless you are sure of what it is!

After getting back to the car we drove back to the campground and had a nice camp fire and meal

and went to bed for our last night there.

The next morning I found more evidence of some critter eating stuff in our car. Another pocket on my backpack was ripped open and some more food eaten. A member of our party had her tent chewed into also. As we were packing up to go I also discovered the remains or Laura’s water tube chewed up in the back of the car. I’m not sure how it got in there but there’s no doubt it did.

I did see some droppings in the glove compartment and some insulation on the passenger side floor so I suspect it got in there somehow. In any event be warned that the Camp Sherman campground has some pretty smart wild animals who know how to get into cars and tents and are expecting to get your food.

The Race

The reason we came to Bend supposedly was this relay race. Before I get to that though let me just start out by saying how great Bend Oregon is. We have dear friends living there who always make excellent hosts and give us a great excuse to visit. If you’re into outdoor activities of any kind (running, biking, watersports, skiing, hiking, rock climbing, whatever) you will want to find your way there. It’s great!

Downtown rapids on the Deschutes River

Some dude relaxing on a sculpture downtown

We were there during the June First Friday Artwalk which means we got to walk around the downtown area, visit shops and drink beer. I bought a nice metal print of last year’s solar eclipse from a local photographer named Jeffrey Murray. You should check out that website. He’s really talented.

We ended the night at Bontà Gelato because you can always use some gelato, right?

Our start time was around 7:30 Saturday morning. It started at Worthy Brewing. They have a large facility that includes a large restaurant area with an attached “Hopservatory” :comet: :star: :telescope: :eye: !

It was a shame everything was closed. It would have been nice to spend more time there. Here’s a video tour of the observatory.

I didn’t take too many pictures during the race itself. I got the start line…

Go Kim!

…and the obligatory shot of the swag after the finish.

The medal doubles as a coaster

I had two legs. My first was Leg 3

You can see it was still pretty early and the heat hadn’t picked up yet. I felt pretty good the whole way.

My second leg was Leg 9

It was almost 20 degrees warmer by 3:15 in the afternoon. I haven’t done a lot of hot weather running yet this year so I felt this one. I did see a number of prairie dogs crossing the road in front of me along the route (or maybe that was just heat hallucinations, I don’t know).

I don’t do many organized race events (they stress me out too much) but I make an exception for relays. The team of people I run with on these things is a lot of fun. We aren’t that serious about our times, we’re just there to have a good time. We’ve done a number of these things now and we still get along great. The Beer Chase event is nice because it isn’t an epic 24 hour thing. It’s just 50 miles and each transfer station has free beer! What more could you want?