Winter Break in Bend with Wanderlust Tours!

Snowshoeing with the gang!

Snowshoeing with the gang!

Winter sightseeing at its finest!

Winter sightseeing at its finest!

Do you have a winter vacation planned in Bend, Oregon? Did you know we have a WHOLE BUNCH of fun stuff planned for the upcoming cold weather months? Well, now you do! And in this blog post, we’re going to talk about some of the awesome, family-friendly (and date-night friendly!) activities we’re planning this winter.

Our Lava Tube Cave Tours are running daily this winter!

Our Lava Tube Cave Tours are running daily this winter!

CAVE TOURS: STAY WARM UNDERGROUND!

Did you know that the local Lava Tube Caves stay the SAME temperature year-round? It’s pretty amazing to feel that temperature change from the outside air once you descend underground. In the summer, we like to think of it as “natural air-conditioning,” whereas in the winter it could be considered balmy! Either way, we’re super lucky as the only guiding service that gets to explore these amazing caves year-round with our guests. There’s nothing like learning about the natural and cultural history surrounding these caves from a professional, award-winning naturalist guide!

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NEW YEAR’S EVE BONFIRE ON THE SNOW:
2019, HERE WE COME!

This is one of our favorite events— our annual New Year’s Eve Bonfire on the Snow is an unforgettable, unique experience every year! Spend time with friends and family ringing in the New Year in one of the most beautiful locations Bend has to offer: the middle of an old-growth forest, with sweeping snow fields to explore, and a blazing bonfire to keep you warm. That’s not all, though— we’ll serve delicious warm drinks and dessert, and there will be bubbly available for a toast when midnight rolls around! We’re proud to offer this event to our guests every year. If you’re looking to have the best New Year’s Eve ever, look no further!

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Snowshoeing in the Deschutes National Forest

Snowshoeing in the Deschutes National Forest

Beautiful winter views in Central Oregon!

Beautiful winter views in Central Oregon!

ART IN NATURE
WITH BEND CAMERATA

We are so excited for this upcoming special event with the ultra talented a capella group, Bend Camerata!

For this event, we’ll head out on a slightly different, earlier version of our Bonfire Snowshoe Tour. We’ll have all the wintry beauty of nature. AND the fun of snowshoeing!

Your naturalist guides will provide expert interpretation of Bend’s cultural and natural history, as well as warm drinks and desserts, served around a cozy bonfire in the middle of a winter wonderland.

There, the 10 stunning voices of Bend Camerata will perform a host of gorgeous melodies for you to enjoy. This event will pair the natural beauty of the landscape with the beautiful vocal performance— it’s not to be missed!

DAILY AND NIGHTLY SNOWSHOE TOURS:
BE A WINTERTIME ADVENTURER!

There’s nothing like exploring out in the snow!

There’s nothing like exploring out in the snow!

It goes without saying that we’re SUPER EXCITED for our daily and nightly snowshoe tours this winter! We’ve gotten a bit of a late start with our snowfall, but that doesn’t mean we’re not dreaming of strapping on our snowshoes and heading out into the snow-covered wilderness. With Mt. Bachelor’s ski season starting last Friday, we’re expecting to be up-and-at-’em soon enough!

Our Daytime Snowshoe Tours are a fantastic way to see Deschutes National Forest at its finest. Gorgeous views, expert naturalist interpretation, and don’t worry if you’re a beginner— we’ll teach you how to snowshoe, too! This is a great tour for kids ages 8 and older.

Snowshoeing at night is the PERFECT outdoors date!

Snowshoeing at night is the PERFECT outdoors date!

Our Nighttime Snowshoe Tours make an excellent date night for folks looking to put a little wanderlust in their evenings! This is essentially the same as our Daytime Snowshoe Tour, but with the added bonus of the perfect quiet of the old-growth forest, and the opportunity to share an unhindered view of the romantic starlit sky. It’s pretty epic, and we highly recommend checking out the nighttime tour if you’ve never tried it.

STAY TUNED FOR MORE WINTER SPECIAL EVENTS WITH WANDERLUST TOURS!

 

 

Thanksgiving with Wanderlust Tours!

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This week is all about gratitude— well, gratitude, and eating delicious food with loved ones, of course!

This Thanksgiving weekend we’ll be running all of our available tours (psst… caving is a great family activity!) and sharing our love of the natural world with families on their holiday breaks. Fun fact: we’re expecting snow this weekend, so we might even strap on some shoes!

What are you most grateful for this Thanksgiving? We’re grateful that we get to be creative, think up special events for folks in the Bend, Oregon area, and play outside all day, every day.

What else are we grateful for? Well, a whole lot. Check out what our naturalist guides are saying about Thanksgiving:

The Wanderlust Tours staff on the Cascade Lakes Cleanup!

The Wanderlust Tours staff on the Cascade Lakes Cleanup!

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to be surrounded by supportive friends and family!” — Bethany

Group shot of snowshoe guests enjoying some sunshine in Bend’s beautiful forests!

Group shot of snowshoe guests enjoying some sunshine in Bend’s beautiful forests!

“I am thankful for all the people who spend time with Wanderlust Tours! This includes our guests, staff members, and our local partners.” — Dave

We partner with excellent local breweries, cideries, and distilleries to bring you tours like the  Local Pour  and  Bend Brew Bus !

We partner with excellent local breweries, cideries, and distilleries to bring you tours like the Local Pour and Bend Brew Bus!

“I’m thankful for community, health, clean water, and space to roam.” — Danny

“I'm thankful for people working hard all over the world to protect our wild and natural places!” — James

The staff near Waldport, OR for the autumn retreat.

The staff near Waldport, OR for the autumn retreat.

“I’m grateful that I have so many creative, passionate, conscientious people in my life!” — Brooke

Survivorman Les Stroud performing in a cave for last summer’s Art in Nature series.  Check out our upcoming Art in Nature event with Bend Camerata !

Survivorman Les Stroud performing in a cave for last summer’s Art in Nature series. Check out our upcoming Art in Nature event with Bend Camerata!

“I am thankful to live in a state with such expansive public lands!” — Jeff

We love leading our special event tours from our office in Bend, Oregon! We especially love heading out to  Crater Lake : Oregon’s National Park!

We love leading our special event tours from our office in Bend, Oregon! We especially love heading out to Crater Lake: Oregon’s National Park!

Remember to have fun outside with your family this weekend! And Happy Thanksgiving from Wanderlust Tours staff. Stay tuned for our Winter Break activities and events happening in and around Bend, Oregon!

The A-to-Zs of Central Oregon: X is for XERISCAPING

It’s true: Central Oregon is the high desert! We have less water at our disposal: a large portion of our water derives from melt-off in the Cascades rather than rainfall, and for this reason, Bend imposes strict limitations on irrigation within city limits. Because of this, gardeners and designers in Bend have had to get creative with their landscape planning.

An example of xeriscaping in California

An example of xeriscaping in California

WATER CONSUMPTION

You might not consider a garden a great consumer of water. On the contrary, gardens that require a sprinkler system can consume HUGE amounts of water! According to the Washington Suburban Sanity Commission, “running a typical sprinkler from a standard garden hose (5/8”) for one hour uses about 1,020 gallons of water; if you run it three times per week, that is about 12,240 gallons per month.” That’s a whole lot of water!

Photo courtesy of    Nature’s Plan, LLC

Photo courtesy of Nature’s Plan, LLC

THE 7 PRINCIPLES OF XERISCAPING

According to WaterUseItWisely.com, the most important principles of xeriscaping are the following:

  • Planning and Design

  • Soil Improvement

  • Practical Turf Area

  • Efficient Irrigation

  • Mulch

  • Low Water-Use Plants

  • Appropriate Maintenance

Check out their website for more tips on how to xeriscape in your own yard!

The careful use of stone is quite common

The careful use of stone is quite common

A garden like this can require over 12,000 gallons of water a month!

A garden like this can require over 12,000 gallons of water a month!

In the desert, we simply can’t afford to use that much water for our garden. For this reason, xeriscaping is super popular for the homes and public spaces in Bend.

This philosophy conserves water, and ultimately protects the environment by encouraging native plants to grow and thrive. Native plants in Central Oregon are naturally drought-tolerant, and require very little to survive.

Succulents and hardy drought-resistant plants are popular in xeriscaping

Succulents and hardy drought-resistant plants are popular in xeriscaping

You can even have flowering plants!

You can even have flowering plants!

RESOURCES

It’s always a great idea to learn about the native plants in your area. These are always the best choice for planting a garden, because they are meant to thrive in your yard’s particular climate. It’s also important to encourage the thriving of native plant species (being mindful of invasive species, of course!) in order to support a healthy local ecosystem.

Check with your local plant nursery to see what native plants require the least amount of water. In Bend, Clearwater Native Plant Nursery and Wintercreek Restoration and Nursery are great resources for purchasing and consulting about native plant varieties.

PlantSelect has some ready-made landscape designs to get you started on your design ideas. Check Pinterest and YouTube to see what other people have done. With xeriscaping, you can have a beautiful garden in the desert, while protecting the local ecosystem!

Enjoy lush greens, without the water consumption!

Enjoy lush greens, without the water consumption!