Sunday, March 6, 2011

Prineville: Perhaps Somewhat Less Sucky Than Bend

Today I took a long drive out to Prineville, a pretty little town about 40 minutes northeast of Bend, and up the scenic Crooked River toward Bowman Dam for no particular reason other than to blow the stench of Bend off myself and get the sight of strip malls and clogged highways out of my eyes.

I was glad I did. I was reminded of what we originally moved to Bend for, and what Bend doesn't have anymore: small-town charm, friendly and down-to-earth people, a slower pace of life, affordable homes, wide-open spaces, unobstructed views, no traffic congestion. (Two cars passing each other on Main Street at the same time is almost a traffic jam; see photo above.)

Bend offered all that and more 25 years ago, but thanks to decades of hell-bent-for-leather development it's been uglified and crappified and suckified beyond all recognition -- especially on the Eastside, where I have the misfortune to live.

A quick examination of the climate charts on indicates that Prineville also has at least a somewhat milder climate than Bend. For example, the average daily high in Prineville in mid-April is 60 degrees; in Bend it's 55. The average daily high in Prineville in mid-May is around 68; in Bend it's 65. I can't be certain, but the graphs for sunshine and cloud cover seem to show that Prineville gets a little bit more sun too.

This tends to bear out the fact, well-known to locals, that Prineville is the Banana Belt of Central Oregon. Gardeners can grow plants there that wouldn't survive in Bend outside of a greenhouse.

I'm not saying Prineville is paradise. It's even more isolated than Bend, for one thing, and has even fewer entertainment options and cultural amenities. And the political climate is so conservative it makes Bend look like Berkeley.

So I don't think we'll be pulling up stakes for Prineville in the foreseeable future. But it's good to pay the place a visit once in a while just to remember what Bend once had, and stupidly threw away.


Anonymous said...

Is that an Arctic Circle I see...? Pull over mom!

Right, and one needn't torture pol. climate to anything near... the degree of right/left-leaning for a true purist to feel out of place!?

Round 'these' parts mister we don't think much of people that slide down a bannister full of razor blades for 'fun'! ( Ah... a "starting point" we can all agree on! )

Well...? We 'can' agree that isn't a good idea, right? Sorry guys, and I realize Blackdog is almost as apolitical as 'I' am, but I won't be scoping out any potential retirement areas where "Challenge EVERYTHING!" is the "starting point". Unfortunately in altogether too many places it 'is'.

Who in their right mind actually 'wants' to have to exert themselves to the breaking point just b/c you're fine ordering a Bud? No thanks. Even though, I think by any objective measure I'm more an 'artist' than virtually all the other residents of our little artist 'colony' in Silverton.., ( 'I' don't need any support to do my own thing! )

Let alone someone else's pol. leanings. Sorry.

H. Bruce Miller said...

"I realize Blackdog is almost as apolitical as 'I' am"

No, Blackdog is very political. I just don't write about politics on this blog,

Anonymous said...

"No, Blackdog is very political. I just don't write about politics on this blog,"

Fair enough! Just a point of ref. every year Forbes, Fortune, Money mag. come out w/ a listing of "Top 10 Places to Retire if you're a cons/lib/mod" etc.

My point was simply that... when considering a place to retire, why in creation would any of us seriously consider a loc. that not only offends our sense of 'ideal' weather ( but to be drown out politically to boot? )

Anything less than "total surrender" they want to show you the door to Bible-belt America. Well why don't you just move to ____!? ( insert Hell-hole here ) in addition to being on the fence where our weather... is concerned ( how's 'that' for tolerance? )

You know... there 'was' a time when one could be as square/purist as they wanted without getting hassled about it?