About (e)BGTB – A Bend Oregon Blog

About (e)BGTB – A Bend Oregon Blog

Catrina is over in Amman. Irene and I are here in the Pacific Northwest. The Beginner’s Guide to Bend, our Bend Oregon blog, is seeing a lot of changes, shifts, and internal movement. I suppose you could say things are happening. So, without further ado, a little about the new owners of the (Eternal) Beginner’s Guide to Bend.

When CG passed us the baton, we took it upon ourselves to add “eternal” to the name of this here Bend Oregon blog. Why? Because we are eternal beginners. Always. And because coming at the world or the place we’ve lived in for years with a “beginner’s” mindset leaves the door open for seeing the things we see every day in a slightly different light. Or at least that’s what we hope and aim for on this Bend Oregon blog, and in life in general.

Bienvenidos, read on, and join our mailing list!

Who Does This Bend Oregon Blog Think She is?

Not sure, but here’s a little about Irene. And here are some words about me, Laura. We’re both poets who migrated to Bend Oregon from the NY/NJ (tristate if you will) area. No, we did not know one another before moving to Bend. Yes, we love our roots and where we came from. Yes, we love where we get to reside now. No, we are not amused (though we might humor you) when asked “what exit” we are off the Jersey Turnpike. Yes, we have been to the Jersey Shore and it is as real as you think it is.

Irene and her husband Mike run the Blank Pages Workshops at the Workhouse in Bend. They’re sweet monthly writing workshops you can attend for $25 a pop. And they’re worth it. Aside from being talented writers, Irene and Mike, they’re both trained and talented chefs. Seriously, the art of (      ) runs thick in their veins. Just fill in the blank and they’re probably doing it and doing it well. Also, here is some of Irene’s poetry.

Bend Oregon blog Irene Cooper
The one, the only, Irene Cooper.

Hm. Me? Well, talking about myself is not my favorite thing to do. So I’ll let the links do the talking, ok? Aside from this Bend Oregon blog, I do have this little site here and some poetry here and here. And I do race bicycles, which you can watch a little bit of in this short film. I love winter. And snowboarding. And sometimes write for The Vanilla Workshop and Patagonia’s blog called The Cleanest Line. And… anything else you want to know, just ask. I’m over talking about me.

Bend Oregon blog Laura Winberry
Also, I like mud and crazy weather. And sometimes I have pink hair. Photo: @yabpp

Other Things Besides Our Bend Oregon Blog

Back to the royal We. Along with this neat Bend Oregon blog, Irene and I also run a creative content agency in Bend. It’s called frank. and we’d love to work with you if you if you’d love to work with us. But only if we want to work with you. There’s also this thing called The Stay Project that we started with another poet-friend of ours, B. It’s a neat creative/socially aware endeavor, if we don’t say so ourselves. You should check it out.

Ok, BYE!


Catrina Gregory Bend Oregon
Hi, I’m Catrina Gregory. And this is my glass of Sancerre.

UPDATE – October 2016: Hey everyone! So, I never thought I’d leave Bend, but I got married and, well, life changed a bit. The three of us (including Betty, of course) moved to Amman, Jordan for my husband’s work. I’ve turned over this Bend Oregon blog to two whip-smart artists/writers who will carry the torch, helping y’all keep in touch with the real Bend experience. Hopefully you’ll see their bios here at some point.

In the meantime, if you’re curious about expat life in the Middle East, you can find my new blog here.  If you want to know how I felt about leaving Bend, Oregon, read this. Do I miss it? Hell, yes, but I’m enjoying the adventure of it all. Who knows? We may end up back in Central Oregon in a year or two. We’ll see.

Here’s what I wrote when I launched this Bend Oregon blog in late 2012:

Who the heck is Catrina Gregory?

I’m a city girl living in the outdoor capital of the world.

I spend my days writing, hiking the most beautiful trails ever with my Argentinian rat hound Betty, feeling insanely grateful, seeking alternatives to the omnipresent puffy jacket, gazing at my stilettos longingly, and generally exploring my own backyard.

(Central Oregon is a pretty sweet backyard.)

I’m Oregon born and bred, but I fled my lovely home state the moment they gave me my Marist High School diploma (go Spartans). I went to college in Seattle (go Falcons), then lived in New York City (go Knicks) and Los Angeles (go Lakers) before finding my way back to Oregon (go Ducks), Bend to be exact, in September of 2012. I love it here, but I haven’t had a decent glass of French white since I arrived.

I’m a freelance writer, specializing in web content and breezy, conversational copy. I help big companies name stuff, and help small companies generate fun and meaningful words to feed their content machines.

I’m a sculptor (lost wax, mostly jewelry), an operations geek (I have this weird compulsion to make everything more efficient, unless it involves my life), and a food fanatic (local, farm-to-table, ethical, ethnic, slow, etc, — and pretty much any Mexican food I can get my hands on, especially when pork is involved).

I’m fluent in 8.5 languages, good at everything I do, and I’m exceptionally graceful. I have perfect eyesight, floss and meditate twice a day, and I’m a lingerie model. I follow college sports religiously. My nails are always perfectly manicured and tyuhij73w…………… Sorry, I just fell asleep typing this totally fabricated paragraph.


Contact me privately, here:

10 thoughts on “About (e)BGTB – A Bend Oregon Blog

  1. Thanks for making me laugh! Well-written content & useful info. My friend Chris moved to Bend (summer ’13) from Philly and loves it. I opted for San Diego, with Oregon tempting me each day. Are you familiar with Portland as well? Cool, friendly, food-conscious, fit, & welcoming (I’m from the Midwest) is what I’m after. With some fishing & football mixed in. Be well and take care!

  2. Your article was wonderful! Thank you for the straight scoop. I have been considering bend now for almost 20 years and I think I’m ready to make the leap… Thanks for the great style and candor, and your sense of humor!

  3. Hi Catrina!
    O.K. So, my husband and I finally made the BIG (big for us) decision to move to Bend, OR. This based on very little really…. a hunch, a 3 day visit, and lots of online reading. From all of my obsessive online reading (largely of your blog), I gather we are not alone in this frivolous, somewhat baseless decision to up and move our lives (and now our baby boy) to an unknown place.
    We are in Kansas City now. We are actually very worldly people, however. My husband is from France. I grew up in Costa Rica. I will say that the lack of diversity in Bend/Oregon is not one of my favorite things about the region, nor is the fact that apparently we will not find a good glass of French wine (that one really bummed me out), but we ARE really looking forward to living in a beautiful place, making the outdoors a bigger part of our lives, and raising our son in a less close minded part of the country. I hope that Oregon proves to have progressive/open minded people…. at least more than the midwest does.
    We have a photography business and will be starting over from scratch…. I am also a nurse part time, so we’re crossing our fingers that between these two we’ll be able to find some success in Bend.
    Would love to grab a glass a wine, albeit not French, if you’re ever inclined to meeting some perfect strangers, feel free to get in touch!
    We’ll be neighbors this coming January, 2016. 🙂
    Thanks for the blog! Enjoy your writing style, and all the insight from someone who’s been through it!

  4. My friend, Mark Valenti, said we might remember each other from Amblin days. My husband and I moved to Bend in 1998, lived here 8 years, then back to LA for 4 years, and now back in Bend for past five years. Never leaving again. I grew up in Harrisburg.

    1. No way! Harrisburg! That was like the sister city to Junction City. Oh, the memories…

      I remember Mark, for sure. Good to hear from fellow small-town Oregonian with an LA past. Let’s have a drink some day! Drop me a line on my About Page.

  5. Hey Catrina!

    Love reading your blog! I’m 5 months out from making the move to Bend. Super nervous… I’ve lived all around, mostly in Arizona but spent time in Colorado, Nebraska and currently live in West Linn, OR. The traffic here is awful but it sure is pretty here.

    I’m a single mom of three. My two youngest girls live with me and we are yearning for a quiet home where we can embrace the outdoors. I feel mostly nervous about the homes/apartments that I have seen so far on the internet. The comforts that we have become familiar with seem hard to come by. I suppose as the months get closer, I will become more involved with connecting with a property manager. The girls and I spent some time there a few weeks ago and mostly shopping for rentals online. It’s hard to find a home three hours away.

    Are you familiar with “The Big Bend Theory”? Do you know how it has progressed or if the supposed “planned” Bend Silicon Valley is happening? People here locally talk about the poor economy but it sure looked like there was a ton of commercial there when I visited.

  6. Hey Catrina! I just bought a place in Bend and am headed there the second construction wraps (first week of June, most likely). Though I’m more a barrel-aged stout or California Cabernet fan, I’d love to grab a drink when I’m officially in town! Can’t wait to see what you do on the blog.


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