“Why do we care about La Nina, or El Nino?” In short, it’s really the only reliable clue that meteorologists have to predict temperature and precipitation patterns months and seasons in advance. Meteorologist/skier Joel Gratz weighs in.
“Hey La Nina, what’s in it for me?” When geek-speak goes mainstream, you know the nerds must have a hot topic on their hands. You might think that I’m talking about The Facebook Movie (“The Social Network”), where geeks write computer code over shots of Tequila. But not quite.
A new system of downhill mountain bike trails would provide year-round recreation. But what are the environmental impacts?
Timberline Lodge and Ski Area has proposed a plan to construct 15 miles of lift-serviced mountain biking trails and an acre-sized skills park. Until now, bikers eager for some downhill action have been creating their own trails. These illegally constructed routes are said to be damaging Oregon’s public lands. The new network of trails will be designed to meet the growing demand for year round recreation on the hill. Although nearby Portland has more people with bikes per capita than any other state, there are few lift-accessed mountain biking areas.
The Sun Mountain Fun Center has almost too much fun for one center. There’s bowling, an arcade, pool, go-karts, mini golf, batting cages, and bumper cars. You can recharge at Sunny’s Café. The Family Funtastic Pack, offered Monday through Friday, is $60 for a pitcher of soda, a large two-topping pizza, and four junior passports (which are good for one game of bowling, one game of mini golf, one bumper car ride, one batting cage token, and a $2 arcade card). Other specials continue throughout the summer.
InClimb is Central Oregon’s only full-service rock gym, started in 1996. The first rock gym was in a 95-year old mill building. That area of town has since been remodeled and InClimb has moved on to a new location on the southeast side of Bend, with well over 10,000 square feet of every type of climbing. There is no age minimum and they do free clinics for all skill levels. Every Saturday there is Parents’ Night Out from 6:30-9:30 p.m. You must have six people confirmed by Friday and the $25 price tag does not include equipment rentals or belay certification.
Jump around! Bouncing off the Walls is an inflatable fun center in Bend started by Rob and Alissa Guthrie. After they moved to Bend from Portland their two small boys started missing the inflatable fun center the family used to frequent in Portland. So Rob and Alissa made their own. Bouncing off the Walls holds a Family Fun Night every other Saturday—$20 buys a family of four unlimited playtime, a one-topping pizza, and a two-liter soda. There are also party specials, party packages, a summer camp, and a bi-weekly Kids’ Night Out.
No longer is frolf solely a sport of the dirty hippy. Yes, many a dirty hippy can still be spotted tossing discs around the mountains, but so can doctors, lawyers, pet food testers, and other sorts of respectable citizens. Frisbee golf on Mt. Bachelor begins each summer in early June. Ride the Pine Marten chair up to hole #1 and work your way down the mountain to hole #18. The elevation, wind, and terrain changes make this a particularly challenging course. And since parts of it get snowy, be sure to wear proper footwear. Hippy.
Mt. Bachelor offers a host of fun family activities in the winter besides just skiing and snowboarding. The Snowblast Tubing Park, between the Ski and Sport building and the bottom of the Red Lift, has an 800-foot long ride full of rollers. Surface lifts pull you up the slope quickly and comfortably. All-day tickets are $26 for adults and $20 for children; two-hour tickets are $13 for adults and $13 for children. Other activities on Mt.