Summer is finally here! Unfortunately, this year we get "Summer 2020 Edition," which can only mean one thing: nothing is normal, and traveling away from home is in something of a gray area.
(As much as Central Oregonians love to count out-of-state license plates, we can't really condemn Californians and Washingtonians as the spawn of Satan if we're traveling, too.)
- Courtesy of Long Hollow Ranch
- Long Hollow Ranch provides staycationers with a peaceful and private setting right outside of Sisters.
"Airplane travel is still very high risk, mainly because you'll be sitting in an indoor setting with poor ventilation," said Chunhuei Chi, professor of Global Health Services at Oregon State University's College of Public Health and Human Sciences. "There is mounting evidence that COVID-19 can spread through aerosol in addition to droplets. With aerosol indoors, in a confined space, there is no such thing as a 'safe distance.' In addition, the small toilet room presents an even higher risk than the cabin. Avoid using the toilet inside an airplane, if possible. I've read that people who travel long hours will wear adult diapers to avoid the toilet."
Postpone that cross-country trip or stock up on adult diapers? The choice is yours... but there is a more viable (and less dangerous and stressful and potentially messy) option.
With local hoteliers placing a focus on staycations, Central Oregonians can safely scratch the summer vacay itch without traveling too far from home.
Our collection of staycation options includes several close-to-home adventures in safe, serene and spacious settings.
Redmond's trendy downtown hotel is a relatively new option for Central Oregon. When calling to book a reservation, let the front desk-er know if you're a local. Deals vary depending on availability, but if there are ample rooms they may upgrade you for the same rate. Guests are able to watch the sunset from The Rooftop bar while enjoying a delicious craft cocktail, and if you squint your eyes just right, you might just start to believe you actually made it to Hawaii.
The Suttle Lodge & Boathouse
The year-round resort offers discounted rates mid-week, which conveniently happens to be when all of its summertime events take place.
- Courtesy of Suttle Lodge & Boathouse
- Suttle Lodge & Boathouse is hosting a boatload of summertime events.
Alana Kambury, director of sales and community development, detailed some of the fun happenings. "Every Wednesday we have a cookout featuring a regional brewery," she said. "We have a rotating menu of delicious barbecue from our new head chef, and the cookouts are first come, first served. Every Thursday we have wine tastings on the deck with a different local winery. Wine nights fill up fast, so we suggest making reservations. We offer a very relaxed, safe space for guests to enjoy food and drinks at a comfortable distance." While the lodges themselves book up quickly, Kambury suggests dispersed camping in the surrounding forest. "I've had some friends bike out back and forth and stay a couple of nights. There's camping all around the lake and throughout the Deschutes Forest. Of course, if people are coming out for our drink events, we recommend they make arrangements to stay the night."
Kathleen Blesius owns and operates the restful Sisters Bunkhouse with her husband, Michael. "We bought the building in 2015 and we completely renovated it," she shared. "It's a small property, only four rooms, but it's conveniently located and we have a nice big lobby and communal dining area. We encourage locals to come for a staycation because they'll have the whole place to themselves!" For those with family members in town, the entire bunkhouse can be booked at one time. It's located in the heart of downtown Sisters, within walking distance to shops, restaurants and hiking trails. Locals also receive a 10 percent discount with valid ID.
Long Hollow Ranch
- Courtesy of Long Hollow Ranch
- Larry and Linda Monger, owners of Long Hollow Ranch outside of Sisters.
Larry and Linda Monger own and operate Long Hollow Ranch right outside of Sisters. Central Oregonians looking for a break from city livin' can escape to this serene and secluded bed & breakfast, in a building that dates back over 100 years. "The main guest house has five guest rooms, each with its own private bath," Linda Monger told the Source. "Riding and hiking trails crisscross the ranch, while adjacent private and public lands provide plenty of space to explore on foot or horseback. Long Hollow boasts a couple of fine fishing reservoirs and is within minutes of several great golf courses. Our wish is that our guests leave renewed in body and spirit."
Chi, of OSU, reminds staycationers to take necessary precautions, even when traveling fewer than 20 miles, including "choosing locations where there are very few new cases over the last 14 days, choosing locations where there are fewer visitors, bringing extra sets of facial masks along with hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes and alcohol spray, separating outdoor clothing and shoes from indoor clothing and bringing enough food and drink to minimize the necessity of dining in an indoor restaurant."