Every summer we flock to the high desert country around Bend, Oregon, for our version of a family vacation. After 30+ years of vacationing there, the trip always seems to mark a moment in time for me.


Juniper on my back for the morning walk

I take morning walks when the deer are awake, but most people are still in bed. Juniper joined me in the Ergo, which for you non-parents-of-wee-ones is a backpack baby carrier thing. (Totally expensive, but we’re found it incredibly useful 18 months into parenthood.)

deerWe love spending a significant portion of the vacation on our bikes. This year I found a secondhand Co-Pilot bike seat to attach to my bike, so Juniper could now join me on long rides. Juniper is now a pro at spotting deer crossing our path, although she’s not sure what sound a deer makes.

heronA few times we happened upon a heron fishing in the river. I love the kind of vacation that includes my baby learning about the natural world.

bend-brewfestThis year’s trip coincided with the Bend Brewfest, which is a surprisingly kid-friendly event at the Les Schawb Ampitheater. It reminded me of Germany to have little ones running around while adults sipped some cold brew.

Juniper & I enjoying the high desert (with stickers) and going with the flow

Juniper & I enjoying the high desert and going with the flow

Last year we wasted a lot of time trying to force nap time on Juniper or stick to a schedule that we somehow thought would maximize our vacation fun. This year we let it all go and had more fun than I think we ever have had there. I’m excited to help create a whole new lifetime of memories there for Junebug.

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Written by Renee Wilkinson