Temperatures this past weekend were unseasonably high and although baleful in some respects, the warm temperatures and beautiful blue skies encouraged many Central Oregonians out of the house and into the great outdoors.
The average temperature in Bend for the month of March is normally between 40º F and 50º F. This past weekend, Bendites and other Central Oregonians experienced temperatures as high as 70º F. Oregon’s Smith Rock State Park
, a rock-climbing Mecca during the spring, saw temperatures at the base of the cliffs as high as 80º F.
“The weather is incredible. Frighteningly warm but incredible,” says Bend newcomer Sara Violett who spent the weekend climbing at Smith Rock.
On the sun-stroked slopes of Mt. Bachelor, temperatures over the weekend were reported to be as high as 60º F.
“I skied in nothing more than a long-sleeve shirt [this Saturday],” says Bend local Logan Karr, “and now I am climbing at Smith seeking shade."
Temperatures for this coming week
seem to be carrying the trend, albeit with some much needed precipitation in the forecast. But the time Saturday morning arrives, there will be few reasons keeping Central Oregonians from adventuring into the outdoors.
An easy and always rewarding day adventure is a hike along the beautiful Crooked River that winds through Smith Rock State Park. And at this time of year, bird watchers
will certainly enjoy the frenzied activity along the oasis that the Crooked River is in this otherwise desert land. Canadian geese, blue herons, numerous birds of prey and river otters (obviously not a bird but certainly worth mentioning) all make Smith Rock their home at this time of year.
Another easy adventure, which is almost guaranteed to be less crowded than Smith Rock, is a walk or run along the Deschutes River south of Bend. In this wonderfully forested landscape, hikers, walkers or runners are offered great views of the Cascades, Benham Falls
and the Central Oregon's lava fields.
So whether your outdoor fix is skiing, climbing, biking, running, or simply enjoying a pensive walk along the Deschutes River, get ready because the weather gods of Central Oregon seem eager to please.