Stephanie Holmes checks into McMenamins Old St Francis School in Bend, Oregon.

Location

: Downtown Bend, an outdoorsy town in Central Oregon's high desert, surrounded by the Blue, Ochoco and Cascade Mountains. It's about half an hour's drive to Mt Bachelor, where there is great powder snow for mountain adventures.

Getting there : I'd been roadtripping through Eastern and Central Oregon, so made it to Bend from Pendleton, about a five-hour drive away. To get there from Portland is a much easier, 2.5-hour drive, with shuttle transfers now available. Or you can fly in to Redmond airport, about 20 minutes

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