If you ever get to Bend Oregon, we suggest you plan to spend several days to a couple weeks. There is that much to do and see in the area. From the pretty and eclectic old downtown to a scenic byway drive in the Cascade Mountains, not to mention the quiant towns of nearby Sisters and Sunriver. One day we drove over to the resort town of Sunriver, it's only 4 miles from our RV resort. After we had breakfast at the Sintar Cafe' in the village we set out to find the Sunriver Nature Center and the Observatory.
When we located the Observatory it was well staffed to give us advise on what we were to see through the telescopes already setup for our viewing. We got to see sun spots and sun flares. We were thrilled, as for our own telescope we haven't set it up with the proper filter to look at the sun. Did you know, light from our sun takes 8.5 minutes to reach us! Don't forget that light travels at 186,000 miles per second. After viewing the sun and talking with the staffer for a few minutes we were intrigued with a model rocketry demonstration going outside. Dave positioned himself to get photos of the sequencing for a launch. On the second launch he timed his trigger just right to catch fire and smoke belching from the rocket on it's way up to about 4,000 feet ! ! !
Next, we walked up the path to the toad rescue area, where we learned about the new toads needing to be transferred to the new safe home spot for them. We gathered up about 30 of the little fellas, then walked the hundred yards to the release spot. Our kindness to "Toadmanity" done it was now time to find the High Desert Museum.
A few miles away north on hwy 97 is the High Desert Museum. As private museums and nature centers go this one is very nice and well appointed. One thing, we appreciate was the pet center. You can leave your pet in the shaded area, locked up and safe til you return and at no charge. Some places like this do not have a facility and you don't know it till you drive up, Then it's decision time, to leave your pet in the car with water, windows rolled down and hope for the best or drive away and wonder what you missed. At any rate, we used the pet center and enjoyed our several hours in the museum. While we watched the otter demonstration, Dave was visited by a little beggar, golden mantle squirrel, who walked over his shoe and stood up to beg. The little fella was so cute and posed real well. After the otters, a short walk took us to the birds of prey demo and later also a demo of forest animals. One of the most interesting moments came when the badger showed us his digging skills. Though at a leisurely pace, according to the staffer, he dug down two feet of earth in about 20 seconds!