Bend, OR

 Alex and I spent our Christmas break in Oregon this year.  We flew into Portland Airport the day after Christmas and spent the night in Portland.  The next day we got up early to drive to Bend, Oregon.  Bend is one of the towns near Crater Lake, which I wanted to see.  On our way to Bend, we stopped off at Tumalo Falls.  Below are pictures of that
the falls

 Obligatory top-of-the-waterfall shot
We "checked in" to the place we were staying (someone's guest house) and were welcomed by this great little basket full of goodies!

 While in Bend, we checked out Deschutes Brewery and got a tour.
 We also got to sample LOTS of beer
We woke early the next day (5am, as we mostly stayed on east coast time) and hit up this local restaurant called "Chow"

All their food is made fresh with local produce.  I got french toast with french vanilla ricotta cheese and caramelized apples on top.  It was delicious!  We then hopped in the car to head down to Crater Lake

This is the only picture I have of Crater Lake; as you can see (or not see), it was incredibly foggy.  We stood on the rim but just couldn't see a thing.  I was so disappointed.  I really wanted to see it.  So we round ourselves up and headed back down the mountain to try to find some hot springs our waitress told us about.  We drove and drove for a few more hours, feeling pretty depressed about not seeing Crater Lake.  Finally we come upon the trail-head and are greeted with this sign:

 Hmm, Ok, this has gotta be good

 An attempt at a self-portrait at the trail-head to the Umpqua hot springs
 All the trees were covered in what looked like tiny ferns
 Alright, hot springs 1200ft, we can handle that
 A quick shot of the trail

 Here are photos from my cell phone; hiking up to the springs

 Finally it comes in sight!
 There were about 6 different hot springs pools.  This one was under a structure someone had constructed
 Here is a picture of the hottest one; probably 130 degrees.  It was at the top of the cliff-side
 Another shot of the "shack"
 Some of the pools further down the face
 They all overlooked the river
Here were some of the cooler pools.

We hung out there in the pools for a couple hours.  There were probably 10 other people there.  You can tell hikers come and go.  it is not very populated.  If you google it and look at the images, you can see some better shots of the area.  This detour totally saved the day.  I had been so bummed about not seeing Crater Lake but this hidden gem really made up for it