Pine Mountain Observatory is operated for research through the University of Oregon's Physics Department, and is open to the public on the weekends during the summer. OC and I headed there on the last weekend before it closed for the season.
Located one hour east of Bend, the dirt and gravel road takes you to the site at the top of....Pine Mountain. What a suprise. At 6300' the air is cooler than the surrounding desert.
It was SO COOL. Evidence: OC kept saying, "This is so cool!"
It was fun. They have big telescopes inside buildings with movable roofs. Plus amateur astronomers with their telescopes set up, and people will answer all your silly questions without laughing at you.
ADVICE: bring warm clothes. No kidding. Even in summer, it gets cold at night. Bring a flashlight and snacks.
Get up there this summer and we'll geek out together.