Friday, July 19, 2013

Oregon road trip

Greetings and salutations ... the three of you reading this blog might have forgotten about it.

From the 5th until the 14th we were on the road. Seeing the sights and hiking some trails. Baron the dog went for his first road trip. He traveled very well and hiked all 60 miles or so that we hiked. He was tired when we got back to Phoenix. So were we.

We basically spent a week or so driving around the perimeter of Nevada (HA HA).

Day #1 - Phoenix to Fresno, CA. Mostly driving that day. Someone tell LA that their city is the definition of urban sprawl. They may know that already, but please feel free to tell them again.

Day #2 - Redding, Weed and Mt. Shasta!

Redding seems like a very nice town and a very manageable population. Shasta! That is a fantastic mountain. We hiked and explored many areas. There is a nice little community college in Weed that has a degree in snow sports. That's awesome.

Day #3 - Ashland, Medford and Eugene, Oregon.
  • Ashland has a nice downtown area and we explored the Shakespeare Festival setting. It is impressive.
  • Medford has some cool hiking in and around the town.
  • Eugene was the highlight city of the trip. We saw the track where history often happens. OU is an impressive campus.
Day #4 - The Oregon Coast - Florence, OR to Tillamook, OR

We found a covered bridge across Wildcat Creek on our way to Mapleton, OR. We hiked around there quite a bit. We were all alone. In Florence, we found some tourist pamphlets. Florence seemed nice and that's where we saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time on this trip. Cool and windy!

Day #5 - Tillamook Cheese, The Goonies House over to Portland

We toured the Tillamook Cheese factory. I sometimes miss factory/assembly line work. We saw some Sea Lions, some Light Houses, hiked amongst the old-growth forests and hiked all alone on a trail up to Bloom Lake. The lake was not the highlight of the trail -- the trail was the highlight.

Day #6 - Portland, Vancouver, WA to The Dalles, OR

Portland has always been interesting to us. I think I hyped it up too much in my head. It is scenic BUT it is still a giant city with traffic snarls. We visited Sauive Island, the Arboretum (we saw Ranier from there) We then crossed over into Washington and hiked all over the Fort Vancouver National Site. Portland to The Dalles was super scenic. We stopped off in Hood River to watch the kite boarders. I now want to try kite boarding.

Day #7 - The Dalles, Mt Hood!  and  Bend, OR

We saw quite a bit of The Dalles. That is a nice city. The Columbia River provides great scenery. The Tamanawas Falls  hike in Mt Hood  is a busy trail, but for good reason. That is what I would draw if someone asked me to draw a picture of a waterfall. Amazing. What a great hike to have on the anniversary! We saw Bend. Bend is also a nice city. It is also fairly isolated if you are trying to go to the east.

Day #8 - Bend to Boise, ID

It's a little less scenic and a lot more dangerous driving from Bend to Boise, ID. Twisting, hilly, two lane roads with very few passing lanes were the flavor of the day. At one point we were behind a motorcycle with two people pulling their little trailer and the semi in front of them blew out a tire and nearly knocked them off the bike. They went into a skid and I slowed way down trying to figure out which ditch to take if it dumped them. They recovered before the bike threw them. Spooky. We were happy to be off that road and back to the freeway.  Boise is a larger city - but it has appeal. It lacks trees for the most part.

Day #9 - Boise to Salt Lake City, UT

After an oil change in Boise we blasted down the freeway to Salt Lake City. By this day we were all SPENT! When we arrived in SLC, we took a nap. After the nap we found some parks and hiked around the city quite a bit. Again, the city is too big for our liking but the mountains are scenic.

Day #10 - Salt Lake to Phoenix

Driving. Then we got to within an hour of the house on the I-17 and there was an RV rollover that blocked both southbound lanes. Traffic backed up for over 30 miles. We U-turned and went up through Payson and down to Phoenix on 87. We arrived home safely - just 3 hours after we could have ... oh well.

3600 miles of driving. 60 miles of hiking. Fun times!

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