High Desert Museum

We got to visit the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon. I couldn’t believe how long we spent at this museum. We were there for around four to five hours. Usually for me, a museum is exhausted in around two – two and a half hours, but this museum was like two museums in one: they had lots and lots on natural history and tons and tons on pioneer and native history. So on a five star scale, I definitely give this museum five stars. If you’re ever in Bend, Oregon for any reason, go visit this museum. It’s interesting to kids and it’s interesting to people a lot older than me, so it’s a great place.

Canada Lynx

They had a Bobcat and this Canada Lynx, which we watched for ages. These were G’tums favorite exhibits.

Ferruginous Hawk

There was a Raptor Center. This Ferruginous Hawk was brought out during their presentation by one of the keepers. JD Boy was very happy, because he was the only one in the audience of mostly adults who was able to identify the bird. I was glowing a bit myself. He had gone around and looked at all the different posters in the Raptor Center before the presentation and had me read the name on each one to him. He immediately recognized that this bird matched one of the posters and he was right!

G-tums riding an Elk

Here’s a smiling little guy, riding a real slow moving elk!

JD Boy and a Cougar

JD Boy posing with a real stuffed cougar.

We saw all kinds of animals that are specific to the area. We saw amphibians and reptiles (neither of which are my favorites!) black widow spiders (that might be ever worse) and fish and birds. We got to see a mother Mallard just outside of the museum with a bunch of newly hatched fluffy yellow duckings. That was free, but it was also a real attraction! We also got to see a river otter real close and hear a whole presentation about the river otter.

We got to take a nature walk with a wild-plant expert. He told us that it really isn’t a desert there, because they get 11 inches of rain per year and the definition of a desert is 10 or less. He helped us learn to identify several plants. I enjoyed that. Birds I’m getting better at identifying, but as for plants, I still have quite a ways to go.

Besides all of the nature that we learned about, we also learned about some history too. They had a great exhibit on pioneer life and Indian life in the area. We learned about people moving west, about trappers, about miners, about local businesses of the era.

Zipp trying out a straw tick

Zippy is trying out a straw tick. She didn’t think it was that great either. We’ve read about them in our history studies a few times and I tried to tell her what they were like. Now she knows!


Trapper tent.


Canoe made from reeds.

Zippy took all of these pictures with her new camera (except the one of her). She sure loves being able to record the things that are interesting to her and I enjoy seeing what she takes pictures of.

We got to see so much more. We went through a real, old-fashioned, non-electric saw mill that still operates a couple of days a week, besides getting to look at a miniture model. We got to go through a gold mine. That was the least favorite part. It scared my youngest one quite a bit. We climbed in a teepee.

We just saw and did so many things. The exhibits were nicely organized and presented. It was definitely a great museum. You’ll have to visit it one day!

4 thoughts on “High Desert Museum

  • June 3, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    I'd love to go see next time I'm over that way.

    Right now we're enjoying cooling off in LA. We've even had some rain several times on this trip and today.

    I keep wondering who's learning the most, the children or the parents? I think you "big kids" are getting all the learnin' you missed out on when you were youngsters because you and your parents felt you really needed all those books!


  • June 3, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    It looks like you guys had a great time at the museum. And yes this was my first experience at a homeschool conference. I had a blast, so much fun. Definitely not a place I would want to take the kids. They would be tired and wore out really quick. I so think you should call your husbands work and tell them he is sick…heehee. Just kidding!

  • June 7, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    What a cool museum! The Lynx is beautiful and we would have probably watched it for a long time too. That poor stuffed cougar looks like he's seen better days though, LOL. Looks like you guys had a great time and I bet you were real proud of your little guy when he knew the name of that hawk, good for him.

    Have a great week,

    blessings, Julie

  • June 11, 2009 at 1:51 am

    Love that place. Looks like you've had a lot of fun.


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