Photography by Emma Krasov
There are still places in our jaded crowded world where time stands still; where serene mountain lakes lie surrounded by the green pines; where you might not meet one person for miles and for hours; where boating, fishing, hiking, kayaking, or golf can take up an entire day; where your soul feels right at home – undisturbed, untouched by the unnecessary harshness of our daily struggles.
The place is Tetherow Resort in Central Oregon – a luxury retreat for golfers and all kinds of outdoor activities, plus a town of Bend, which offers a feast for all senses to art lovers, shoppers, foodies, craft beer drinkers, and nature enthusiasts.
Tetherow Resort is a 700-acre stunningly beautiful property located in the Deschutes National Forest, and framed by the blue peaks of Cascade Mountains. Besides the 18-hole Scottish links-style, David McLay Kidd-designed golf course with a two-tier driving range (named “the best” by Golf Digest and Golfweek) the resort provides its guests with 50 well-appointed spacious rooms in Tetherow Lodges, special tee time rates, gear storage, shuttle service, pet lodging, and a long list of other excellent services.
Take for example a fleet of 32 amazing electric one-person vehicles that incorporate features of skateboards and snowboards, and replace traditional golf carts. A four-wheel-drive GolfBoard, as demonstrated by Jeff Dowell, GolfBoard company president, is safe, maneuverable, and designed to turn effortlessly with a slight body movement – much more efficient than the regular golf cart.
There are two good restaurants on the property. At the Grill, overlooking the golf course, you can have a lovingly prepared breakfast, always started with homemade banana muffins and butter – the best accompaniment to the flavorful Golden Snail black tea. Corned brisket hash is made of Cherrywood smoked brisket, bell peppers, onion, smoked tomatoes, goat cheese and a fried egg topped with fresh cilantro and a lemon-chili hollandaise.
Lunch or dinner at the Row calls for at least a tasting of the many locally produced artisanal beers – each more enticing than the next – like Crux Parkway Pilsner, Deschutes Black Butte Porter, Sunriver Coco Cow Milk Stout or Number 6 Strawberry Honey Ginger Cider. For a satisfying small plate, try Scotch Eggs – two farm fresh eggs wrapped in Carlton Farms sausage, fried and served with creamy brandy peppercorn sauce.
Added this year, is the Event Pavilion – a 3100 sq. ft. meeting space with various room configurations – ideal for all events, from weddings to corporate retreats from 12 to 350 people. It boasts retractable floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open up to natural light, sweeping golf course and Cascades views.
The brand new open air swimming pool is surrounded by modern cabanas, equipped with heaters, LED lights, movable walls, and rain-sensitive roofs.
Tetherow implements several real estate programs, including vacation rental homes, homesites, townhomes, single family luxury homes, and cabins. All of the construction follows the sustainability rules from the use of natural vegetation to electric car charging stations onsite.
Since its opening in 2008, Tetherow was named “world’s number one resort” by Bookings.com, and received many other prestigious rewards.
Tetherow is a convenient starting point to all the local attractions – it’s only a five-minute drive away from downtown Bend, the restaurant and shopping Old Mill District, and the Deschuters River with its water sports and great parks.
On the morning of my arrival at Tetherow, Judy Campbell, the principal of Campbell Consulting Group, a big enthusiast of the area, and a local artist, took me on a driving tour along the National Forest Scenic Byway, to see the High Lakes. This 66-mile historic highway follows a path of water through a volcanic landscape studded by 14 Alpine lakes that reflect the majestic silhouettes of Mt. Bachelor, Broken Top, and South Sister. Central Oregon’s high country is ideal for connecting with nature, and visiting the lakes was surely one of my top priorities during a short visit a few weeks ago. I won’t soon forget the turquoise waters of Sparks Lake, Devil’s Lake, Lava Lakes, Elk Lake, and the lush forest on both sides of the highway, filled with the gorgeous specimens of ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, spruce, white pine, white fir, and sugar pine. Cultus Lake at a high altitude, with white sandy beaches and a dense forest all around, is probably the most picturesque.
At Elk Lake, there’s a historic guard station in the log cabin built in 1929 which served as a base for a forest guard. Restored as a visitor information center and a restaurant, where we had a pleasant lunch in the rustic setting among groups of other nature lovers, the guard station is included in the National Register of Historic Places.
Next day, I joined a city tour of Bend with the highly knowledgeable, witty, and engaging guide John Flannery – founder of the Bend Tour Company who conducts his tours in a fun and comfy electric cruiser car. That really helped with frequent stops and taking pictures at the many interesting places. We visited Bend’s historic downtown and the 1912 building of Old Ironworks Arts District with an impressive number of local artists inside, creating unique artwork in their tiny studios.
Here I met a mild-tempered oversized cat Leonard, whose image is loyally preserved in so many of his loving owner’s Stuart Breidenstein’s handiworks. I marveled at kinetic sculptures of Chris Cole, and at Karen Eland’s paintings made with coffee and beer for art materials.
In The Sparrow Bakery next door to the art space, we had cardamom-infused Ocean rolls – an addictive treat for which the locals are waiting patiently in line. We also tasted some seasonal brews at the Silver Moon Brewery – home to IPA 97 (named after 97th highway), Twisted Gourd pumpkin ale, and some remarkable artwork – miniature beer fairies by David Kinker, and curious corgis by Natalie Fletcher looking at the visitors from wall murals.
Fine art feels very fine in Bend, indeed. Back in the 1970s, Art in Public Places program was widely implemented. One of the most notorious outcomes of it was called Roundabout Art, with more than 38 pieces installed inside the roundabout traffic circles throughout the city.
In a narrow alley next to the historic theater, my guide showed me a remarkable array of art pieces of the Tin Pan Alley Art Collection. Here I spotted my friend Judy Campbell’s fascinating installation, Tomas’ Riddle, made of wood and steel, lit by blue LED dots, and presenting a symbolic heart image repeated in a diminishing spiral pattern. As the artist herself explained, “It’s really about the mystery… The big unknown that we’re all a part of and connected through and experiencing but a lot of times not totally understanding. You know, when you look up at the night sky and you see those stars, you can’t imagine a beginning, much less an end. I was trying to convey a little bit of that sense of the ongoing, the infinite, the mystery that we’re a part of through art. And then I’m fascinated by fractals, which we see in nature.” Judy dedicated her work to her husband, Tom, also an artist.
That night, Anthony’s Restaurant at the Old Mill District, known for its fresh seafood dishes, great wine list, and boisterous festive ambiance, put out a big sign that read, “Wild Mountain Huckleberries.” That was tempting enough for me. Erath pinot gris, made in Oregon in 2014, pan fried oysters, and Dungeness crab cakes with an enormous amount of crab meat preceded my long-anticipated desert of vanilla ice cream with huckleberry jam and fresh huckleberries, and that was quite a treat!