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After traveling through epic ice storms and heavy snow, we finally made it over the mountains and into Bend with our 30-foot Airstream. We’ve been told that this is the biggest snowstorm Bend has had since the 1990’s.

We weren’t sure if we could survive winter conditions in the Airstream but we now know that we can. We blow through a significant amount of propane to keep the place heated but aside from that, life has been fairly normal in the snow. Ellie loves it. We bought her a little sled and Zak built her a snow cave while he was out shoveling our front yard.

The climbing gym (Bend Rock Gym) is incredible. It’s far more than I expected. They built an expansive addition to the gym three years ago and it now has a gigantic lead cave, top rope area, bouldering addition, weight room and auto-belay systems. These auto-belay walls are the best I’ve ever seen. They include quality routes up to 5.13 on 50-foot walls which is perfect for solo training sessions. They also have a grassy yard with slacklines for the summer months. We’re paying about $135 per month for our family membership and it includes free yoga classes five times a week. Sold.

The community here has been beyond welcoming. I often like to address the social experiences in my blogs because one of the concerns we had before departing to life on the road was maintaining connection with people. Obviously we didn’t want to become hermits. Bend has been the easiest town for us to make connections in. Ellie already attended a birthday party with children her own age, two separate families have invited us into their homes during the massive snowstorm, I’m setting up coffee and tea dates with old friends, I’ve already met climbers that have offered to take me out to the local crags, one guy told me that there’s great bouldering out near Sisters, people have plans to come visit us and we have a dinner date with two other families tonight. Additionally, we signed Ellie up for soccer which will begin mid-February and I also signed myself up to play coed indoor soccer this winter. If we get “stuck” in Bend and never leave, you now know why.

The resort we’re staying at is nice. Our campsite is completely paved with beautiful stone, we have a little storage unit, an outdoor table and a gigantic grassy backyard which looks perfect for playtime, hammocks and slacklining.

I’ve finished my first week of orientation on the Pediatrics Unit. Tomorrow I begin orientation in the NICU. The hospital is beautiful and everyone on Pediatrics has been beyond welcoming. My only complaint thus far is that I still don’t have my schedule for next week (yikes!) and I’m pacing with anticipation because I have two competitions on the table. If I get the time off that I requested I’ll be competing at a little local comp in Las Vegas next week and three days later at a local comp here in Bend.

Mountains surround the entire town and they are begging to be explored, hot springs are just next door and there are plenty of rocks to climb. I’m excited to be here and am looking forward to the adventures we’ll have over the next three months!