Escaping into Oregon's High Desert in Bend, Oregon
Less than ten miles east of Bend, the Oregon Badlands and scrub brush desert sprawls out, full of lava flows with hidden caves and other wondrous discoveries for adventurous souls. Follow one of the random jeep trails off Alfalfa Market Road about a mile, and prepare to be amazed as a large pond reveals itself among the gnarled junipers and clumps of fragrant sagebrush. Wavy reeds surround the perimeter of Mayfield Pond, and hundreds of colorful birds dive down to the water's surface, feasting upon bugs drawn out by the afternoon's last light. The vast desert sky opens up, and as you scale the small cliff to the southeast, a panoramic view of the high Cascades appears, reward for your adventurous spirit.