Bend-based Kim Cooper Findling is an award-winning travel writer and editor who recently came out with her third book, "Bend, Oregon Daycations: Day Trips for Curious Families." The Source Weekly sat down with the author to talk shop.
Source Weekly: What's the inspiration for this book? Who's it for?
Kim Cooper Findling: I've been traveling with my two daughters since they were born. My career grew up with them, and so I've taken them all of these places and so that's the way I experienced it and that's the way I wrote it. It's more of a family-oriented narrative: where you can go with kids. I saw it as intergenerational, definitely what you can do when your parents are in town, your sister with her kids, or that sort of thing, what you can do that's not that terrifying or challenging, doesn't need a lot of gear, but just to get out and explore, and just feel comfortable doing that.
SW: In the first chapter on Smith Rock, you dive right into a story of a friend who visited there while on magic mushrooms. What motivated you to make that bold move?
KCF: I wasn't trying to be titillating, just that I do believe that anecdote speaks to the fact that Smith is kind of a spiritual place for people, and it has that sort of aura of being mystical. So, I left it in. Hopefully that was a good decision.
SW: There's been a lot of talk about overcrowding at some of the area's popular spots–some which you include in your book–and "loving them to death." What do you make of that?
KCF: I think that I've seen some good responses in town lately of people talking about not just pointing fingers at other people, but taking responsibility: 'This is where we live, what can we do to really be proactive about protecting places.' Even though Oregon has become so destination-popular, there's a lot of smaller, out of the way places that are like, 'Me! Me! We need more people here!' So maybe that's one thing, is sort of bringing awareness as a travel writer. I can bring awareness to some of the places that are still hungry for visitors.
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