Sunday, June 21, 2015

Kah Nee Ta Resort

We took advantage of Abe's week off between school terms for a short trip to Bend, Oregon (though we still had to be back by Thursday for his weekend of performances in his current show). We started with a little side trip to Kah Nee Ta, a resort on the Warm Springs reservation, where my mother-in-law's family used to visit when she was young.

We stopped along the way for disc golf in Sandy, at Grizzly Acres. This is an unusual course in that it's on privately owned land surrounding a residence (they're usually in city or state parks). The fairways themselves were well maintained, but the surrounding spaces had lots of grasses and thorny stuff, which if you lack skill like I do becomes a problem. I threw for a couple holes, and then just walked the rest of the course while Abe played, and enjoyed the views.

We stopped after for lunch at Ivy Bear Pizzeria. It had caught our eye last month when we went to Ski Bowl to disc golf, and now it was right on our way, at lunchtime. Apparently it's newly re-opened a few years ago, so the ivy bear isn't fully ivy-covered again yet, but it's growing. The pizza is good - we had half and half Goldilocks (4 cheese) and Mama Bear (veggie).

We continued on through the middle of nowhere (but with beautiful mountains in the background) to our destination for the night, Kah Nee Ta. I just now realized I never got a picture of the main resort building from the approach, but this is the side (from our hike; this doesn't show at all how large it is) - you can see it's sort of build into the hillside. It's not necessarily my style, but an intriguing aesthetic.

And a panoramic view from our balcony: 

There's a fair amount to do at Kah Nee Ta, within/coordinated with the resort itself (though otherwise in the middle of nowhere by itself). If we'd arranged for more time there, we definitely would have gone kayaking and perhaps done some spa-ing. As it was, we started with a hike around the grounds. We did a loop that I think was a bit under 2 miles. There was a map on the website and some signs at the trail heads with a few different color-coded trails, but once we got out there navigation was a little trickier. Fortunately we were never too far from the road that we knew would take us back to the lodge, so no worries even for me.

Along the way we crossed paths with some horseback riders, and overlooked the "village" portion of the resort down the road, which has camping, and the pool and some other amenities. (There's also a golf course across from the lodge.) 

After returning from our hike, we had a quick snack to make sure we'd have time to get over over to the pool that evening. It's the part that's the "hot springs" part - although apparently there used to be more natural uses of it for soaking pools or whatnot, it's now just used for heating a more generic pool. It is a nice pool, very large and it has two slides, along with some kiddie pool areas and hot tubs, probably very fun for kids. But definitely not what come to mind in going to a hot springs - the only remnant of that is a small fenced off pool along the road to the modern pool.

After the pool, we played on the nearby mini golf course (where I got a hole in one two times!). The pool was included in our lodge room fee, but otherwise is $15 per day. The website, verbal info when we checked in, and our pass for the pool indicated that access to the slides would nonetheless cost an additional $4 per person, but the person checking us in at the pool said they were included (and gave us the wristbands for access accordingly). Mini golf was $5 per person.

We wrapped up the night with a late dinner at the Warm Springs grill, the casual restaurant on site in the lodge. It had a decent selection of even vegetarian entrees, pretty typical diner type stuff, and good cocktails (largely berry and/or tropical fruit in nature, which are my favorites).

The next morning we started heading in the direction of Bend, with a stop first at the Museum at Warm Springs, in town itself about 10 miles south of the resort. The changing exhibit was currently being changed, but we got to see the permanent exhibit about the history of the three tribes who share the reservation and originally inhabited a large area of central Oregon. 

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