Lighter than Air

Balloons Over Bend is coming, and you should be on board!

Sheer Cliff Scaling

Where to find rocks (and shade) this summer

How to Jump your bike

Learn to get air by following these simple steps!

Bend's Buzzing

With bee colonies collapsing, beekeeping is more than a hobby

Summer Adventure

Up, up and away

Bike Big: Hit the road this summer for some big-time mountain biking

Oakridge, Oregon: If you haven’t heard, you need to. You could do it in a weekend, but you might need a week to really get a feel for riding Oakridge.  Oakridge calls itself a mountain biking Mecca and the title suits it.  But somehow this Cascade biking gem is still unknown, or least unfamiliar to many Bend riders. Two hours from Bend and located on Hwy 58, the small logging town offers around 500 miles of trail in the surrounding Willamette National Forest.  Downhill is the riding theme for the area, and nowhere is that more evident than in their signature Alpine Trail.  The  15 miles of singletrack will drop you over 3,000 feet as you ride past mountain vistas, through alpine meadows and into old growth forests.

Paddle Trail Epic: Wickiup to Drake Pond Over A Long Weekend

Since coming into being, many sections of the Deschutes Paddle Trail have been run countless times. But has anyone or any group paddling the 61 plus miles from Wickiup Reservoir to Mirror Pond over three days? To do so solo, a boater would have to have multi-craft skills, i.e. be equally as proficient in a touring kakayk or canoe and a whitewater kayak. That’s why undertaking this adventure as a relay team and doing it over three days makes sense. Here’s what to expect on a three-day outing.

Race Big: Why race in one sport when you can race in three?

“The best part about triathlon newbies is they still know how to have fun while competing,” says Joanne Stevens who runs a triathlon training program in town. Only a childlike sense of excitement could propel the average athlete/couch potato past the finish line of a race that includes swimming, biking and running. Armed  with a desire to prove they can do it, or just a need to cross another thing off their bucket list, beginner triathletes are flocking to the multi-sport event.

Riding High: Glass off with tandem paragliding

There are plenty of extreme sports for adrenaline junkies in Central Oregon. But those who really want to fly should consider taking a ride with U Fly Tandem, a local paragliding business in Bend. Lisa Darsonval started U Fly in 2010 as a way to supplement her income. “I love paragliding and wanted to share it with other people,” she said. “We thought, ‘What would we want to do to bring in some additional income?’ And this seemed like something fun to do.”

Free to Ski: It’s not over until it’s over—and it ain’t over

The toughest part about summer skiing is finding your gloves. OK, maybe that’s not the toughest part, but it was probably the most difficult part of my recent skiing excursion. Well, that and wiping the smile off my face when I sauntered into the office at 9:30 a.m. with three summit runs under my belt – in late June. Of course, I had the benefit of a chairlift, or more precisely, chairlifts, thanks to Mt. Bachelor’s decision to re-open for an early summer stint on the weekend prior to the Fourth of July holiday.

How we got that outrageous cover shot

This week's cover features one of the coolest images we've ever featured on the face of this publication. But it wasn't, however, easy to produce this photo. For our Snowrider's Guide, we wanted a photo that captured the mystique of our huge winters (while also getting our readers into the Halloween spirit) and so we tapped the skills of local artist Willow Durant, a painting teacher who took to face and body painting about four years ago after turning a friend into a clown and has been excelling the medium ever since. For our model, we chose local backcountry skier and instructor Jana Rogers, who was bravely up to the task. The 23-year-old University of Oregon graduate who has been skiing since she was three years old can be found out at spots like Lake Paulina and Todd Lake during the winter months. "I've gotten more into getting up early and skiing before dawn when there's nobody out there," she says, adding that she was also drawn to the project because of her interest in art and architecture, which she studied in college.

Mosquitoes Bite: How not to get eaten alive by this summer's bad crop of bugs

On an episode of Man vs. Wild, sap from a camphor tree is used as a natural mosquito repellent while hiking in the jungle. Not all of us have access to camphor trees, or the jungle, especially while trekking around the Cascade Lakes, which are notorious for horrible mosquitoes, especially this year. Luckily, there are other ways to prevent mosquitoes from attacking.

Like Scout, Be Prepared

Whether toting kids around or stocking your car, first-aid kits are always a must. But what do you put in a first-aid kit?

The Poor Man's Lear Jet: See the High Desert from above with a powered parachute

Central Oregon has a DIY streak as strong as any that you'll find in the West. From making our own backcountry snowboards to wiring our kitchen remodels, we'd prefer to figure it out ourselves than call in an expert. But of all the do-it-yourself tasks that Central Oregonians take on, perhaps none is as brazen or breathtaking as the DIY-pilot phenomenon, which manifests itself in the form of fan-powered parachutes that can be seen slowly trolling across the early morning skies during the summer months.

Walking the Line: Think you have good balance? Try slacklining

Looking for a backyard/campsite/park game that requires a little more athleticism than horseshoes? Try slacklining. Like horseshoes, equipment requirements are minimal and it can be enhanced by casual beer drinking. Unlike horseshoes, mishaps are much more frequent and hilarious.

When in Doubt, Glue it!

While most people consider super glue, real name cyanoacrylate, as a go-to tool for fixing broken items, they do not realize is that super glue should be included in their first-aid kit. The next time you cut yourself cooking, fall off your bike or try to do some "home improvement," super glue could save you a trip to the ER.

Water, Sunscreen, Earplugs: And everything else you need to survive an outdoor music festival

So, you've decided to attend a multi-day outdoor music festival. First off, unless you're a total jerk, you're going to have fun. Secondly, you should know that many of these gatherings are essentially tests of human endurance with some music playing in the background, if you don't show up prepared. Whether you're heading to this weekend's 4 Peaks Festival out in Tumalo, or heading over to Pickathon, the Oregon Jamboree or any other big summer festival, here are some things to consider.

The Longboard: Lazy man's skateboard or extreme sports tool?

Can't ollie or kick flip or ride more than a few yards on a skateboard without endangering yourself or others? You might want to try a longboard, the skateboard's longer (duh), easier, smoother cousin. You're not going to impress anyone with tricks; this board is just for cruising and is a unexpectedly efficient mode of transportation.

The Boswell Challenge: 3.5 pounds of burrito in 5 minutes

Last summer, on a staggeringly hot day, I sat down with four young men and attempted to eat a 3.5 pound burrito in five minutes. I failed. Miserably. But three of the other competitors surrounding me finished the massive concoction of tortilla, meats, cheese, chilies, sauce, rice, beans and who knows what else before time expired. Known as the Boswell Challenge, the event is the Taco Stand's eating challenge that fewer than 10 people have completed (one of whom is the Source's own James Williams), and takes its name from local road cyclist Ian Boswell, who first completed the feat. Since then, many have answered the challenge, only to leave the legendary Bend lunch spot defeated, bloated and swearing off Mexican food for the rest of that month.

The Real Pilot Butte Challenge

It's a pretty simple equation: Go to the Pilot Butte Drive-In (the original on Greenwood) and order their 18-ounce burger, complete with all the trimmings, large fries and a large shake. Eat all of it as fast as you can and then run to the top of Pilot Butte. It is a sure-fire way to feel like hell. But like many ill-advised endeavors, it's fun when done with a group of buddies and makes for good story-telling.

The Beer Mile: Four beers, four laps and no puke

Recently, a group of friends gathered at a regulation, 400 meter oval track to find out who among them could down four beers and run four laps - one mile - the fastest, a feat known as the "beer mile." The cadre of athletes arrived at the agreed- upon track, each man toting his chosen beer for the event. With nervous anticipation, they shook out their legs, ran a few pick-ups, jogged with high-knees and cracked a couple jokes to keep things light - all in an effort to prepare for the task at hand.

Don't Rock the Boat: Surviving your river expedition

Before boaters even have a chance to launch their raft on the lower Deschutes River near the popular section around Maupin, the Bureau of Land Management offers an eye-catching reminder of the inherent danger of whitewater. Perched next to the access road, just a quarter mile or so down from the Harpham Flat boat ramp is a battered aluminum drift boat that looks to be more suitable for the scrap heap than the river. The boat is one of many the Deschutes has claimed over the years, and plenty of these are donated by experienced rowers who made just one small mistake.

Getting Extreme at the Lair: Hanging with the youth at Phil's big air zone

Reserved for kids, ex-pro downhillers and those with comprehensive health insurance, the Lair is a great place to create space between your tires and the ground. Full of tall dirt ramps and steep-bermed corners, it looks terrifying. Fourteen-year-olds make navigating the area's three main jump lines look easy. Although the three zones are thought be "progressive," (meaning that they progress from easier to harder options) I'm not sure an easy jump exists. No matter how small the feature, you still have to commit to leaving the ground.

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